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How Did Die Hard Become A Christmas Movie?

It’s Christmas time again and in order to spread a little holiday cheer, AFI was joined by Die Hard director John McTiernan on an episode of Behind the Scene to discuss how Die Hard turned into the world’s leading Christmas Classic.

 

McTiernan starts of with saying: “Die Hard was a terrorist movie, and it was about these horrible leftist terrorists who come in to the Valhalla of capitalism — Los Angeles — and they bring their guns and their evil ways and they shoot up on people just celebrating Christmas… And it was really about the stern face of authority stepping in to put things right again… It was the essence of authoritarianism.”

 

Although McTiernan didn’t like the idea of Die Hard as a Christmas movie and expressed his admiration for the 1946 classic It’s A Wonderful Life for its “clearest demonstration and criticism of runaway unregulated war capitalism,” which led him to request that Bruce Willis’ character John McClane would be a working class hero that, when his limo driver tells him it was his first time driving a limo, McClane would respond that it was his first time riding in one.

 

“Other people started to catch on that this was a movie where the hero was a real human being and the people of authority, all of the important folks, were all portrayed as kind of foolish… Everybody, as they came to work on the movie, began to get that, as I said, this movie is an escapee, and there was a joy in it… 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.”

You can check out the full interview down below:

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