There are several questions in life that will be argued for all of eternity: where do we go when we die, what is the meaning of life and, as we once again approach the most wonderful time of the year, is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie? So what’s the answer to this holiday query, does John McClane belong in the same category as Frosty and the Grinch? To the dismay of all you Scrooges out there, the answer is yes, because “Die Hard” is absolutely a Christmas movie.
To start the argument for the Christmas enthusiast is the soundtrack of the film featuring songs such as “Winter Wonderland”, “Let It Snow!” and “Christmas in Hollis”. These melodies create a distinct and jolly Christmas atmosphere. There are also several easily recognizable Christmas scenes in the movie, perhaps most notably the elevator one. McClane had just managed to kill one of the terrorists, and while placing him in the elevator, he spotted a plastic Santa nearby. He decks his foe in Santa’s hat and writes “Now I Have A Machine Gun, HO-HO-HO” on his chest to send a jolly message to the other criminals in the building. Would he really do that if this wasn’t a Christmas film?
One of the most popular arguments against the action flick being a holiday classic is that Christmas is a secondary focus of the film, and if the film took place in any other setting, the plot remains the same. However, once the movie is truly examined, this argument does not hold up. The whole setting takes place at a Christmas party, and if Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber infiltrated another workplace, McClane would have no reason to be there, and the movie would have no hero to save the day.
For all those still questioning what type of film “Die Hard” is, look no further than the words of director John McTiernan and screenwriter Steven E. de Souza, who both confirm the film is a Christmas movie.
Perhaps the best indicator of the film’s categorization is how people feel. Christmas is a time to be happy, and if that means watching “Mr Cowboy” jump off the roof of Nakatomi Plaza, then by all means, “Welcome to the party, pal.”