ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

Die Hard is an all-time Christmas classic. There's nothing better than hibernating on your sofa during a long winter evening and settling into two hours of John McClane, machine guns and explosions!

But how much do you actually know about the 1988 action masterpiece? I've got some pretty insane bits of trivia for you to chew on that will only enhance your love for the film. But first, a little something to get you in the mood...

Yippie kay-yay!

1. Bruce Willis Was Deafened by a Gun

Director John McTiernan was adamant that extra loud blanks were used when shooting in order to convey an element of hyper-realism. The gunfire was certainly realistic enough; so much in fact that Bruce Willis suffered permanent hearing loss when shooting one of the terrorists at close range.

2. 'Die Hard' Doesn't Translate So Well

Although Die Hard is a great title in English, some other languages had trouble conveying the movie's name. In Hungarian the first movie is called 'Give your life expensive,' the second is 'Your life is more expensive,' and the third 'The life is always expensive.' It doesn't quite have the same ring to it...

3. It Was Alan Rickman's First Movie

That's right, Rickman's terrific performance as the sinister Hans Gruber is made all the more impressive when you find out he'd never done this kind of thing before! Sure, he'd appeared on TV, but Die Hard was his feature film debut. Mad props!

4. Bruce Willis Was Never Meant to Be in it

Even though it seems Bruce Willis was born to play John McClane, he was actually the seventh choice for the lead role. The offer first went to Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Sylvester Stallone, then Burt Reynolds, then Richard Gere, then Harrison Ford, and then Mel Gibson, before it finally fell in Willis' lap and sky-rocketed his career. Good things come to those who wait.

5. The Building Has Quite a Cinematic History

The Nakatomi tower - where the movie is set - is in fact the headquarters of 20th Century Fox. It was still being built in real life, so most of the construction work you see on screen is completely genuine! The skyscraper has also featured in Airheads, Speed, and is blown to rubble in the climactic scene of Fight Club.

6. Alan Rickman Couldn't Fire a Gun Properly

Director John McTiernan was forced to cut away from Hans Gruber's face whenever he fired a gun. Even though the character is meant to be a seasoned terrorist, Rickman couldn't keep himself from flinching at the startling noise. If you watch Rickman closely you can see his aversion to the gunfire when he shoots Mr. Takagi.

7. Bruce Willis Could Only Work at Night

The American actor was working double shifts at the time, filming Moonlighting in the day and Die Hard in the evening. Besides making Willis exhausted (which probably contributed to McClane's exhaustion), this also explains why almost all of his scenes take place after nightfall.

8. Alan Rickman's Death Scene Came as a Real Shock

When filming Gruber's demise, Rickman was dropped 40 feet by the crew. But in order to get a genuine reaction of surprise, they actually let him plummet on the count of two, rather than three. Looks like it worked, at least!

Are you an expert on a movie? Show us what you know by creating your own awesome list of trivia!


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