The Movie Review Guy Best Movies for 2013
Dec 31, 2013
The Top 80 movies from the 1980's in 80 Days (DAY 63):
18. “Die Hard” (1988)
New York cop John McClane gives terrorists a dose of their own medicine as they hold hostages in an LA office building.
Bruce Willis—Officer John McClane
Bonnie Bedelia—Holly Gennaro McClane
Reginald ValJohnson—Sgt. Al Powell
William Atherton—Richard Thornburg
Hear Bochner—Harry Ellis
James Shigeta—Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi
Alan Richman—Hans Gruber
Clarence Gilyard Jr.—Theo
John Mc Tierrian
Facts about the this movie:
*Budget: $28,000,000 (estimated)
*(Opening Weekend: $601,851 (USA) (17 July 1988) (21 Screens)
*Gross: $137,400,000 (Worldwide)
*Much of the script was improvised due to the constant screenplay tweaks that were being made during filming.
*The scene in which Gruber and McClane meet was inserted into the script after Alan Rickman (Hans Gruber) was found to be proficient at mimicking American accents. The filmmakers had been looking for a way to have the two characters meet prior to the climax and capitalized on Rickman's talent.
*The original release poster for the film did not feature Bruce Willis' likeness, just the building (pre-release promo posters did show Willis). The producers originally thought it might deter non-Willis fans from seeing the movie. Posters were later altered after the early box office success.
*Alan Rickman's feature film debut.
*The addresses and phone numbers depicted on the LAPD dispatch's computer for the Nakatomi plaza management are the actual numbers for management of Fox Plaza, where the film was shot.
*The German that the terrorists speak is sometimes grammatically incorrect and meaningless. In the German version of the film, the terrorists are not from Germany but from "Europe". This has been fixed for the Special Edition VHS and later home video releases. The only instances of incorrect use of German are Alan Rickman's (Hans Gruber) lines.
*The line "Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!" is used in all Four Die Hard movies (this one, Die Hard 2, Die Hard: With a Vengeance), and Live Free or Die Hard, although a gunfire masks the 'fucker' part in the latest installment). It also translates in Urdu to "here eat this."
*This was based on a book by Roderick Thorp entitled "Nothing Lasts Forever" - a sequel to another book entitled "The Detective", which in 1968 was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra. Because of a clause in Sinatra's contract for "The Detective" which gave him the right to reprise his role in a sequel, he was actually the first person offered the McClane role, even though he was 73 years old at the time. Also, Coincidentally, Bruce Willis made his movie debut in The First Deadly Sin walking out of a bar as Sinatra walks into it.
*Richard Gere was considered for the role of John McClane.
*The scene where McClane falls down a shaft was a mistake by the stuntman, who was supposed to grab the first vent, as it originally was planned. He slipped and continued to fall, but the shot was used anyway; it was edited together with one where McClane grabs the next vent down as he falls.
*Director John McTiernan found it necessary to smash cut away from Hans Gruber's face whenever he fired a gun, because of Alan Rickman's uncontrollable habit of flinching from the noise and muzzle flash. If you look at Rickman's face when he shoots Takagi, you can see him wincing.
*It is often said that Bruce Willis's lines during the scene when he pulls the glass out of his feet were ad-libbed. Indeed, it is said that upon learning this, Terry Gilliam cast Willis as the lead in Twelve Monkeys. However when comparing the original script, it appears that Willis only veered very slightly from the original written dialog.
*Due to the tourist interest in the Fox Plaza building in L.A., people are now forbidden from taking photos outside the building.
*Bruce Willis was the sixth choice for the main character. It originally went to Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Sylvester Stallone, then Burt Reynolds, then Richard Gere, then Harrison Ford, then Mel Gibson before Willis got it.
*The title in Spain was translated into "Crystal Jungle", in Poland title was "The Glass Trap". It is worth to notice, that Polish title sounds and fits to this movie very good in Poland, while original title is hard to translate correctly (it would sound like: "It is hard to kill him" or "He dies slowly"). The same titles are used for the sequels (although the meanings have no relation in the sequels).
*The Hungarian title is "Give your life expensive", the title of the sequel is "Your life is more expensive", and the third part is "The life is always expensive"
*When the bomb in the elevator shaft blows out the side of the building, the effect was accomplished by (a) collecting virtually every camera flashbulb of a particularly powerful type in the Los Angeles area and wiring them on the outside of the actual building to simulate the flash, and (b) by superimposing a shot of an actual explosive blowing a hole in the wall of an all-black miniature of the building at the appropriate location.
*The fireball in the elevator shaft was shot with real pyrotechnics using a miniature shaft; the camera speed had to vary over the length of the shot because otherwise the fireball would appear to change speed as it moved up the forced-perspective model. The effects people weren't sure exactly at what rate to vary the speed, so they rigged a manual variable-speed control and did several takes changing the speed at different rates and then picked the one that looked best.
* John McTiernan was originally going to make Commando 2, but Arnold Schwarzenegger turned the role offer down. Commando 2 was transformed into this film; Schwarzenegger was the first actor offered the title role, but he again declined.
*The entire Nakatomi building was supposed to be managed by a supercomputer and the scenes where McClane is trapped in an office and Gruber orders the windows to be shot out are supposed to be the computer room. The large dark object is the computer, modeled after an ETA-10 supercomputer. It is a model and a bit larger than the actual computer which was thought to look too small. The fiberglass model was later used by ETA as part of the marketing for the ETA range of supercomputers.
*The Nakatomi tower is actually the headquarters of 20th Century Fox. The company charged itself rent for the use of the then unfinished building.
*A full 18 minutes elapse before the movie's first gunshot.
*Bruce Willis was also shooting Moonlighting concurrently which accounts for why nearly all of McClane's scenes take place at night. Willis would shoot his TV series during the day and then come to the Fox lot in the evening to work on this film.
*In the spring of 1987, producer Joel Silver and director John McTiernan attended a performance of the play Dangerous Liaisons, in which Alan Rickman played the evil Vicomte de Valmont. Immediately, Silver and McTiernan realized they had found Hans Gruber.
*In the scenes where John McClane is required to run through a multitude of glass shards in his 'bare' feet after Hans has his men shoot out the glass partitions in the computer room, Bruce Willis is in fact wearing special 'rubber' shoes designed to look like his own bare feet. One can in fact see this if looking closely as his feet appear quite unnaturally large in some of these crucial 'barefoot' scenes.
*Bruce Willis took the role of John McClane after it had been turned down by Robert De Niro. Willis had just been turned down to play the Charles Grodin role opposite De Niro in Midnight Run. Ironically both films eventually opened the same weekend.
*Tom Berenger turned down the role of John McLane.
*Reginald VelJohnson said that after his appearances in the first two Die Hard films, he would be frequently teased and joked at by friends and people on the street for his character's obsession of Twinkies, with some people even going so far as to buy twinkies and throwing them into his car while he was inside, and saying things like "Oh we knew you wanted some of those".
*EASTER EGG: On Disc 2 of the 2-Disc DVD (the Special Features Disc), from the first selection of the menu, push right on the remote control, and a dot on the top of the menu (which resembles the rooftop of the Nakatomi building) will light up. Select it, and the menu will "explode" and the words "THERE GOES FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT!" will appear when the explosion clears.
*When talking to Powell on CB, McClane tells him, "They have missiles, automatic weapons and enough plastic explosives to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger." Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally considered for the role of McClane. Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, who are now both known as for making action movies with a dark humor, later became good friends.
*The character of Hans Gruber is rumored to be based on author Roderick Thorp's father, a known tyrant amongst friends and family.
Why I Picked this movie #19:
1. Bruce Willis action film.
2. One of the most memorable quotes in film history.
3. Awesome action scenes.
4. Awesome chemistry with the cast.
5. Awesome Script.
6. Awesome action scenes.
7. Has some of the most memorable scenes in film history.
8. Awesome adaption from a book.
9. Great casting.
10. Great story.
11. One of the best 80 movies made in 1980’s
12. It is timeless
13. One of most Iconic movie Made in the 80’s.
13 One of the best villains ever.
14. Top three best villains from the 1980’s.
15. Great comedy moments to brake up the action and Drama.
16. One of the memorable fights in film history.
17. One of best ending a film from the 1980’s.
First time seeing it: