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Die Hard

Catalog Number
1666
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Primary Distributor (If not listed, select "OTHER")
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VHS | SP | Slipcase
132 mins (NTSC)
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Die Hard (1988)
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High above the city of L.A. a team of terrorists has seized a building, taken hostages and declared war. One man has managed to escape. An off-duty cop hiding somewhere inside. He's alone, tired... and the only chance anyone has got.

It's Christmas time in L.A., and there's an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation building. The revelry comes to a violent end when the partygoers are taken hostage by a group of terrorists headed by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), who plan to steal the 600 million dollars locked in Nakatomi's high-tech safe. In truth, Gruber and his henchmen are only pretending to be politically motivated to throw the authorities off track; also in truth, Gruber has no intention of allowing anyone to get out of the building alive. Meanwhile, New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) has come to L.A. to visit his estranged wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who happens to be one of the hostages. Disregarding the orders of the authorities surrounding the building, McClane, who fears nothing (except heights), takes on the villains, armed with one handgun and plenty of chutzpah. Until Die Hard came along, Bruce Willis was merely that wisecracking guy on Moonlighting. After the film's profits started rolling in, Willis found himself one of the highest-paid and most sought-after leading men in Hollywood.

Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart, based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. Die Hard follows off-duty New York City Police Department officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) as he takes on a group of highly organized criminals led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), who perform a heist in a Los Angeles skyscraper under the guise of a terrorist attack using hostages, including McClane's wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), to keep the police at bay.

Die Hard is based on Nothing Lasts Forever, the sequel to Thorp's 1966 novel The Detective, which itself had been adapted into a 1968 film of the same name starring Frank Sinatra. Fox was contractually obligated to offer Sinatra the lead role in Die Hard, but he turned it down and the film was instead pitched as a sequel to the 1985 action film Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. When Schwarzenegger also turned it down, the film was pitched to, and rejected by, a host of the era's action stars before Willis was chosen. The studio did not have faith in Willis' action star appeal, as at the time he was known for his comedic role on television.

Made on a $28 million budget, Die Hard went on to gross over $140 million theatrically worldwide, and received a positive reception from critics. The film turned Willis into an action star, and became a frequent comparison for other action films featuring a lone hero fighting overwhelming odds. The film's success spawned the Die Hard franchise, which includes four sequels, video games, and a comic book.

Release Date: July 15, 1988

Distrib: 20th Century Fox

Boxoffice: $83,008,852 2014: $164,603,900

Related Releases4

Die Hard (1988)
Release Year
Primary Distributor (If not listed, select "OTHER")
Catalog Number
8718
Format
Packaging
278 mins (NTSC)
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