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47 Facts About Die Hard
Die Hard's finished draft was greenlit immediately by Fox, which was eager for a summer blockbuster the following year.
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Defying predictions, Die Hard grossed approximately $140million, becoming the year's tenth-highest-grossing film and the highest-grossing action film.
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Die Hard has been critically re-evaluated and is considered one of the greatest action films, and is often named one of the best Christmas films.
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The film produced a host of imitators; the term "Die Hard" became a shorthand for plots featuring overwhelming odds in a restricted environment, such as "Die Hard on a bus".
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Die Hard is driven to Nakatomi Plaza by a limo driver, Argyle, who offers to wait for McClane in the garage.
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Development of Die Hard began in 1987, when screenwriter Jeb Stuart was in dire financial straits.
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Die Hard returned home to reconcile with his wife and wrote 35 pages that night.
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Die Hard described the character as a flawed hero who learns a lesson in the worst possible situation and becomes a better, but not a different, person.
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Die Hard adapted many sequences faithfully, including a C-4 charge being thrown down an elevator shaft and the central character, Joe Leland, leaping from the roof.
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Die Hard befriended a construction superintendent at the under-construction Fox Plaza in Los Angeles, allowing him access to the building to gain ideas on how to lay out the characters and scenes.
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Die Hard declined the role because of his contractual obligations to Moonlighting, but when Shepherd became pregnant, the show's production was stopped for eleven weeks, giving Willis enough time to take the role.
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Die Hard was cast by Silver, who had seen him perform in a Broadway version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, playing the villainous Vicomte de Valmont.
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Die Hard's role was shot in chronological order over three weeks.
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Die Hard approached the story as if Gruber is the protagonist.
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Die Hard realized this would allow Gruber to disguise himself when he met McClane, and the earlier scene of Takagi's murder was reworked to conceal Gruber's identity from McClane.
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In Stuart's original script, Die Hard took place over three days, but McTiernan was inspired to have it take place over a single night like Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
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Die Hard did not want to use terrorists as the villains, as he considered them to be "too mean", and avoided focusing on the terrorists' politics in favor of making them thieves driven by monetary pursuits; he felt this would make it more suitable summer entertainment.
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Die Hard came straight from filming Moonlighting to shoot one of his most pivotal scenes, where McClane leaps from a rooftop as it explodes behind him, saved only by a length of firehose.
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Die Hard did not spend much time with the rest of the cast between takes, opting to spend it with his new partner, Demi Moore.
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Die Hard recruited Frank J Urioste and John F Link to edit scenes together while in mid-motion, contrary to the mainstream style of editing used at the time.
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Die Hard saw the film as primarily about a "phenomenal bad guy" who made McClane seem less important.
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Perception of film stunts changed shortly before production of Die Hard following a fatal accident on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie, and a push was made to prioritize a film's crew over the film itself.
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Die Hard was suspended on a raised platform and dropped onto a blue screen airbag.
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Die Hard controlled these to create more dynamic and dramatic lighting.
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Die Hard placed fluorescent tubes on the floor in one scene to indicate they had not been installed.
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Die Hard was singled out for Willis's salary, and the failure earlier that year of his previous film, the western Sunset, which brought into question his leading man capabilities.
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Die Hard acknowledged it was difficult to perform when acting only against special effects.
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Die Hard believed it was the result of a calculated effort to please the broadest possible audience, and concluded that it had squandered its potential as an intelligent thriller for "numbing" violence and carnage.
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Die Hard described it as a "nearly perfect movie for our time", designed to appeal to audiences Canby described as "kidults"—adults with the mindset of children.
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Kehr said Die Hard emulated Alien and RoboCop by developing a humorous and sentimental design that perfected the action genre, but in doing so it lacked a personality of its own.
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At the 1989 Academy Awards, Die Hard was nominated for Best Film Editing for Frank J Urioste and John F Link; Best Visual Effects for Richard Edlund, Al DiSarro, Brent Boates and Thaine Morris; Best Sound Effects Editing for Stephen Hunter Flick and Richard Shorr; and Best Sound for Don J Bassman, Kevin F Cleary, Richard Overton and Al Overton Jr.
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Die Hard was released on Video Home System cassette in January 1989.
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Die Hard has been described by critics such as Richard Brody and Chris Hewitt as a story about obtaining redemption through violence.
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Die Hard has elements that are anti-government, anti-bureaucracy and anti-corporation.
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Die Hard is failing, both personally and professionally, and serves as a vulnerable, identifiable hero who openly sobs, admits his fear of death, and sustains lasting damage.
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Die Hard has been referred to as one of the most iconic villains in the genre.
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Die Hard raised Willis from television stardom to worldwide recognition and brought fame to Rickman.
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In 2017, Die Hard was selected by the United States Library of Congress to be preserved in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
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One of the most influential films of the 1980s, Die Hard served as the blueprint for action films that came after, especially throughout the 1990s.
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Die Hard is considered one of the greatest action films ever made.
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Success of Die Hard spawned four film sequels, beginning with Die Hard 2 in 1990, which was rushed into production to capitalize on the original's popularity.
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Die Hard 2 is the last film in the series to feature the involvement of De Souza, Bedelia, VelJohnson, Atherton, Silver, and Gordon.
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Die Hard remains the most critically acclaimed film in the series based on aggregated reviews.
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