Die Hard

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German title Die Hard
Original title The hard
Die hard de.svg
Country of production United States
original language English , German
Publishing year 1988
length 131 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
JMK 14
Director John McTiernan
script Jeb Stuart
Steven E. de Souza
production Lawrence Gordon
Joel Silver
music Michael Kamen
camera Jan de Bont
cut John F. Link
Frank J. Urioste

Successor  →
Die Hard 2

Die Hard (Original title: Die Hard ( English , about "not to get dead")) is an American action film from 1988 by John McTiernan . Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman can be seen in the leading roles . The film is the adaptation of the book Nothing Lasts Forever from 1979, written by Roderick Thorp , which is a sequel to the novel The Detective from 1966. After the movie's great success, four sequels were produced, the last of which, Die Hard, A Good Day To Die , hit theaters in February 2013.


Fox Plaza (in the movie: Nakatomi Plaza )

New York cop John McClane arrives in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christmas with his family. He and his wife Holly have been falling out for half a year because she has decided to move to Los Angeles for professional reasons, while his job is tied to New York City .

McClane is expected by his wife at their company's Christmas party. The celebration will take place in Nakatomi Plaza, an office tower . The not yet completely finished high-rise, in which only guests from the Nakatomi Corporation's Christmas party are left on Christmas Eve, is stormed by heavily armed gangsters, led by the German criminal Hans Gruber. In order to remain undetected and to be able to loot the company's safe without causing a stir, all connections to the outside world are cut, the party guests are taken hostage and the reception area of ​​the high-rise is occupied.

McClane is the only one who manages to hide from the robbers. In lone fighter fashion, he kills one gangster after the other and tries to make an emergency call. While he is discovered by the criminals, he manages to attract the attention of patrol officer Al Powell, who turns on the FBI . The officers on site ignore McClane's warnings and hints, which is why he is forced to continue hunting the criminals on his own, only supported by the radio contact with Sgt. Powell, who develops into a friend in the process.

The criminals are now pretending to be terrorists and wanting to extort like-minded people in order to buy more time for their actual plan to steal the blackboard from the vault. The FBI's standard rigid counter-terrorist procedure is also part of the elaborate plan. The gangsters can only get to the contents of the safe after the FBI has switched off the electricity. The agents of the FBI thus act as pawns for the criminals, and the only one who can save the situation is John McClane. After all, he can turn off all the gangsters - in the end, Hans Gruber himself fell from the 32nd floor to his death - and most of the hostages can be rescued. While McClane, Holly and the other hostages digest the experiences in front of the building, one last gangster storms from the ranks of the freed hostages and aims his gun at McClane. Before he can shoot, Sgt. Powell manages to kill the attacker.


  • In the original American version, the criminals who take control of the skyscraper are mostly German terrorists , former members of the fictional "Radical West-German Volksfrei Movement" (with the exception of the two Italians, the Afro-American Theo and Uli, an Asian). They are mostly communicated in English, but sometimes also in fragmentary German with an American accent. In the German dubbed version they are reinterpreted as a European group of criminals; possibly radical Irish as most of the names are English. Hans becomes Jack, Karl becomes Charlie, etc. However, in one scene McClane notes the names of some terrorists in their original form on his forearm, as (according to the German script) nicknames for evil fairy-tale characters.
  • Many sentences spoken in German in the original version are abbreviated sentences and have serious grammatical and word errors; exemplary Gruber to Karl: "Shoot the window!"
  • In Germany, Die Die slowly was originally approved by the Voluntary Self-Control of the Film Industry (FSK) from the age of 18 and was shortened for an FSK-16 approval when it was first released on VHS and DVD . The film was re-examined by the FSK and has now also received the approval "FSK 16" uncut .
  • After the success of Die Hard , the action concept "Lone Fighter Against Terrorists" was varied in numerous action films, especially during the 1990s, including the alert level: Red , Passenger 57 or Air Force One .
  • During the credits , the song Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! played by Vaughn Monroe . It is not the original recording from 1945, but Monroe's new version from 1963. After inspecting the high-rise foyer, Sgt. Al Powell sings this tune to himself, even though there is no snow falling there in Christmassy Los Angeles. At the end of the film, however, a large number of the blackboard paper trickles down like snow from the skyscraper onto the people in front of the skyscraper.
  • During a television interview with an expert, the film incorrectly mentions the “Helsinki Syndrome”, a psychological phenomenon in which hostages develop a positive emotional relationship with their captors. In fact, it is the " Stockholm Syndrome ". Ironically, the newscaster asks the expert: “Like Helsinki, Sweden?” To which the expert answers “No, Finland”.
  • In the first part, the motifs of a friend and an object searched for throughout the film are already present, which can also be found in the following films in the series. Here the figure of Sgt. Al Powell forms the friend, while John McClane is constantly looking for shoes.
  • Hans Buhringer (Fritz) was not on set when shooting his death scene. He was represented for the scene by stuntman Henry Kingi.
  • Some of the names that appear on the touchscreen in the Nakatomi building belong to people who actually worked on the film: Gregory McMurry (Video and Graphic Displays), Terry Miller (Second Assistant Director), Elisabeth "Liz" Galloway (Production Coordinator) ) and Bruce Gfeller (Construction Coordinator)
  • In the scene when Al Powell flees from McClane's gunfire in his patrol car, a construction board can be seen briefly; with other names of contributors: Architect: EC Chen (Set Designer), General Construction: Gfeller Construction (Construction Coordinator), Executive Architect: Roland Hill (Set Designer), Mechanical: Al Di Sarro & Co. (Special Effects Coordinator), Electrical : Ed Ayer Co. (Gaffer), Civil: Steven Callas (Construction Foreman) - A Nakatomi Corporation Development
  • The English title is a play on words that refers to diehard , which means “thick-headed” or “stubborn” as a noun and “indefatigable” as an adjective.


The film was set to music at Deutsche Synchron in Berlin, directed by Michael Richter.

actor German speaker role
Bruce Willis Manfred Lehmann John McClane
Alan Rickman Lutz Mackensy Hans Gruber
Reginald VelJohnson Engelbert von Nordhausen Sergeant Al Powell
Bonnie Bedelia Monica Bielenstein Holly McClane Gennaro
Alexander Godunov Jürgen Heinrich Karl
Paul Gleason Hans-Werner Bussinger Deputy Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
Hart Bochner Frank Glaubrecht Harry Ellis
William Atherton Uwe Paulsen Richard Thornburg
Clarence Gilyard Jr. Joachim Tennstedt Theo
James Shigeta Dieter Ranspach Joe Takagi
Robert Davi Helmut Gauss Special Agent Johnson
Grand L. Bush Ulrich Gressieker Agent Johnson
De'voreaux White Benjamin Völz Argyle
Dennis Hayden Jürgen Kluckert Eddie
Al Leong Michael Christian Uli
Andreas Wisniewski Mathias Einert Tony
Lorenzo Caccialanza Tobias Master Marco
Gary Roberts Thomas Petruo Heinrich
Wilhelm von Homburg Marlin Wick James
David Ursin Eberhard Prüter Harvey Johnson
George Christy Peter Schiff Dr. Hasseldorf
Matt Landers Detlef Bierstedt Captain Mitchell
Anthony Peck Reinhard Kuhnert police officer
Gerard Bonn Frank Schröder Kristoff


The film received mostly positive reviews. The film review portal Rotten Tomatoes gives 93% positive reviews for the film and it has a Metascore of 72 out of 100 at Metacritic .

“With the use of all imaginable technical refinements trimmed to high tension, hard action film that becomes increasingly ironic in the second half. It only reaches its pace and drama in the 70 mm version and a cinema set up accordingly. "

Grossing results

According to boxofficemojo.com , the film grossed approximately $ 140 million worldwide at a production cost of $ 28 million, including about $ 83 million in the United States.

Awards (selection)

Game implementation

In 1996 the arcade game Die Hard Arcade was released , a beat 'em up that was also implemented in 1997 for Sega Saturn and in 2006 for PlayStation 2 .

In 2002 a computer game adaptation of the film was released by Sierra under the title Die Hard - Nakatomi Plaza . It is a first person shooter that uses the No One Lives Forever engine developed by LithTech . Bruce Willis' voice actor Manfred Lehmann was able to be won over for the German version . In the English version, actor Reginald VelJohnson spoke his role as Sgt. Al Powell.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release Certificate for Die Hard . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , June 2001 (PDF; test number: 60 488 V / DVD).
  2. Age rating for Die Hard . Youth Media Commission (  TV version).
  3. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095016/trivia
  4. Cinema : Background Article Full of Role: Hollywood's Casting Carousel. Edition 02/11, p. 80.
  5. Cut report "Die hard": German dialogues / English dialogues
  6. www.filmstarts.de
  7. http://www.schnittberichte.com/schnittbericht.php?ID=135
  8. cf. Soundtracks for Die Hard (1988). In: IMDb . IMDb.com, Inc., accessed October 9, 2012 .
  9. cf. http://www.vaughnmonroesociety.org/musicrm/musicroom_index.htm
  10. entry diehard in PONS .
  11. German synchronous index: German synchronous index | Movies | Die Hard. Retrieved April 2, 2018 .
  12. Die Hard at Rotten Tomatoes (English)
  13. Die Hard at Metacritic (English)
  14. Die slowly. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  15. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=diehard.htm
  16. a b c Internet Movie Database : Nominations and Awards
  17. http://www.mobygames.com/game/die-hard-nakatomi-plaza