It’s a question that has stoked debate for years: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? From filmmakers to movie fans, to relatives at the holiday dinner table, the question has caused shouting matches and plenty of discussion to find out the answer.
Many answers to the question are likely dictated by what your personal definition of a “Christmas Movie” actually is. Is it a movie that takes place on or around Christmas Eve or Christmas? Does the plot directly revolve around the holiday? Does it have references to the holiday? Depending on what you think, Die Hard easily could fall into—or be left out of—the discussion of the top Christmas movies.
People around the country have strong opinions on the matter, as do the filmmakers and actors who actually made the movie itself.
Lead star Bruce Willis, writer Steven E. de Souza, and director John McTiernan have all made their opinions known about what they think (more on that in a minute), while a study done by StreamingObserver found that Die Hard was named the top holiday film in four states, including Washington, Missouri, Wisconsin and Virginia, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
I spoke with director John McTiernan himself about the film and the Christmas debate and here’s a preview of what he had to say: While he didn’t directly say that he thinks it’s a Christmas movie, he acknowledged that Die Hard has become a holiday staple in an interview with Men’s Journal:
“While making the movie, we were just busy putting one foot in front of the next,” McTiernan said. “The idea that it’s endured is wonderful and the idea that it’s turned into a Christmas movie is kind of shocking. I guess we’re a pretty brutal bunch if that’s what we call a Christmas movie [laughs]. If you compare to the last generation, their Christmas movie is It’s A Wonderful Life. Our Christmas movie is Die Hard. Oh my god, how did that happen? It’s kind of taken a life of its own.”
Senior Editor Matthew Jussim joined a panel on Bold TV to discuss the debate over Die Hard:
While the Die Hard Christmas question does have a lot to do with personal preferences, we decided to try and look at some of the “hard” evidence—sorry for the pun—that is for and against the idea that Die Hard is a Christmas movie.
In fact, this year the movie got a new holiday season makeover for the Die Hard – Christmas Edition, showing that the studio is leaning into the Die Hard Christmas movie debate:
We try to answer the question once and for all: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Dig in with us and find out.
(Also just a heads up, some of the photos below are from the first Die Hard, as well as Die Hard 2.)
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