Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

Updated Feb 20, 2019 at 06:26PM EST by Brad.

Added Dec 20, 2018 at 10:15AM EST by Matt.

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About

Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie? is a viral debate about whether or not the 1988 action film Die Hard is a Christmas movie because it is set during the holiday. The question and classification have been refuted by some who believe those insisting that Die Hard is a Christmas movie only do so to elicit a response (similar Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?).

Origin

On July 15th, 1988, Die Hard was released in the United States (trailer below).[1]

While the film, which follows police officer John McClain (portrayed by Bruce Willis) as he attempts to reclaim an office building seized by terrorists, is set on Christmas Eve, the holiday plays a minimal role in the plot. However, in the earliest mentions of the film as a Christmas movie, on December 13th, 2007, the media outlet Slate[2] included the film on their "guide to overlooked Christmas movies." They wrote:

"Die Hard's most elegant Christmas sneer occurs early in the movie, when McClane sends a dead German down the elevator, strapped to a chair, wearing a Santa hat, with the following written on his gray sweatshirt: 'NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN. HO HO HO.' Rickman's line reading is exquisite. With three punctuated Hos, he deftly inverts the joy of those words, expressing all the contempt that the manufactured cheer of Christmas can inspire."


Spread

That year, other blogs and publications, including The Guardian,[3][4] also published arguments for Die Hard as a Christmas movie.

In 2009, Cracked[5] published the listicle "5 Reasons Die Hard Is The Best Christmas Movie Ever Made." In 2011, Forbes[8] named the film the "Best Christmas Movie of All Time."

Since 2007, stating that Die Hard is a Christmas movie became a popular talking point on social media websites, such as Twitter (example below, left)


And, yes. Die Hard *is* a Christmas movie. Someone tell my Mom that the first Die Hard IS a Christmas movie. I think we would be a lot closer to world peace if we could all just agree that DIIE HARD is the greatest Christmas movie ever.

In 2013, others began refuting the assertion. BuzzFeed [6] published the article "Stop Saying Die Hard Is Your Favorite Christmas Movie." In the article, they wrote, "I suspect that people think this opinion is unique. It's the betcha didn't see this answer coming that gives it it's oomph. You'll see this opinion trotted out by people who normally claim a psychical inability to pick a favorite film or album or artist."

On November 27th, 2017, in a since-deleted tweet,[7] Twitter user @_ElizabethMay tweeted a mock conversation with someone who considers Die Hard to be their favorite Christmas movie. Within one month, the tweet received more than 12,000 retweets and 57,000 likes (shown below).



On July 29th, 2018, at the Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis, in his closing address, the actor said, "Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. It's a Bruce Willis movie." Uploaded to YouTube that day, the clip received more than 492,000 views in less than one year (shown below, left).

Later that year, on December 18th, 20th Century Fox, the studio that produced Die Hard, released a recut movie trailer for the film, reframing it as an explicit holiday movie. Within two days, the video received more than 265,000 views (shown below, right).



Various Examples


A GOOD CHRISTMAS TO DIE HARD Magic City WEEKEND Photo: 20th Century Fox/MCW 30TE ANNIVERSARY ioy DIE HAR HO HO HO
THEREARETWO TYPES OF PEOPLEIN THEWORLD THOSEWHOTHINK DIE HARD ISA CHRISTMAS MOVIE AND THOSE WHO ARE WRONG YIPPEE やや KI YAY

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 4 total

Recent Images 17 total

Top Comments

Briham
Briham

To settle this debate, we must first ask ourselves "What makes a Christmas movie?" Obviously, the movie must be set in the holiday season. Beyond that, it seems every Christmas movie involves a message about the meaning of Christmas. In the most famous Christmas story of all, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, the meaning of Christmas was to turn away from greed and embrace family and friends. Die Hard exemplifies these qualities, as the greedy thieves are justly foiled and John McClane renews his bond with his estranged wife. The inescapable conclusion is that Die Hard absolutely fulfills the criteria of a Christmas movie.

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