It’s the debate that comes around every year as soon as things get a little festive: is Die Hard really a Christmas movie?
For some, Die Hard is up there with the greats when it comes to Christmas films, for others it’s one of the best non-festive movies, but the movie’s writer has argued that it’s very much a Christmas film and even beats some of the classics.
Take White Christmas for example – Die Hard writer Steven E de Souza reckons that the Bing Cosby film from 1954 isn’t actually all that Christmassy.
He compared White Christmas to Die Hard and in his mind, Die Hard checks off more points on the Christmas movie checklist than the old favourite.
Speaking on the Script Apart podcast, de Souza said: ‘I think we can all agree, even the sceptics on why Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not, that White Christmas – the 1950s movie with Bing Crosby and Danny Kay – is a Christmas movie. So, let’s check the boxes.’
Putting one movie against the other, de Souza continued: ‘Does the movie take place during the Christmas holiday? Die Hard takes place entirely during Christmas. White Christmas, only the first scene and the final scene occur on Christmas, and they take place eight or ten years apart.
‘Is the setting a Christmas party? Die Hard is entirely set at a Christmas party. White Christmas, only the final scene is a Christmas party.
‘How many Christmas songs are in the movie? Die Hard has four: Let It Snow, Winter Wonderland, Christmas in Hollis, and Jingle Bells. White Christmas has only two Christmas songs: White Christmas, of course, and Snow, which is arguably not even a Christmas song, it’s just a weather song.’
The checklist continued, with podcast host Al Horner then sharing said checklist so fans could make their own mind up.
It comes after Die Hard’s director John McTiernan had his say on whether the 1988 movie is a Christmas film, and he admitted that while it was never meant to be, the reaction it received ultimately turned it into a festive hit.
‘We hadn’t intended it to be a Christmas movie, but the joy that came from it is what turned it into a Christmas movie,’ McTiernan said.
Die Hard follows detective John McClane (played by Willis) who is hoping to spend Christmas with his estranged wife in LA, but shortly after he touches down he finds out about a hostage situation in an office building and learns his wife is one of those trapped inside.
In 2018, 20th Century Fox decided to clear up any confusion over the Die Hard debate when they re-released the trailer for the film to celebrate its 30th anniversary and pointed out that, Yippee Ki Yes, Die Hard is very much a Christmas movie.
In the trailer, a voice-over is heard calling Die Hard the ‘greatest Christmas story ever told’.
It begins: ‘This is John. He just wants to spend Christmas with the family. But when he gets stuck at the office party, it’ll be a holiday he’ll never forget.
‘This Christmas get ready to jingle some bells, and deck the halls with boughs of Holly [Gennero]. Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, together in the greatest Christmas story ever told.’
Need we say more…