Trivia / Die Hard

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Trivia for Die Hard:

  • Actor Allusion: Robinson says that McClane "could be a fucking bartender for all we know". Prior to becoming an actor, Bruce Willis was a bartender.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Bruce Willis' own love of Roy Rogers inspired the film's other co-writer to come up with McClane's signature catchphrase.
  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Hans' quote on Alexander the Great. It's actually "Alexander of Macedon, who, upon hearing that there were other worlds, wept that he had not yet conquered one", though this would fit in with Hans' posturing and Delusions of Grandeur.
  • Completely Different Title: The original title, an English idiom, is hard to translate correctly, as it would sound like "It is hard to kill him" or "He dies slowly". That's why we have:
    • France: "Crystal Trap"
    • Hungary: "Give your life expensive". The title of the sequel is "Your life is more expensive", and the third part is "The life is always expensive".
    • Norway: "Aksjon Skyskraper"
    • Poland: "The Glass Trap" (which sounds and fits very well in the language, but does not make sense for sequels).
    • Portugal: "Assalto ao Arranha-Céus" ("Skyscraper Heist").
    • Russia: "Hard Nut" (to crack).
    • Spain: "Crystal Jungle"
    • The Finnish version is an interesting case: the original title was "Vain Kuolleen Ruumiini Yli" ("Over My Dead Body"). While the translated title is fairly close to the original, nowadays the original English title is used to refer to the movie (or, alternatively, the series as a whole).
  • Defictionalization: You can buy gray sweatshirts that say "NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN. HO HO HO."
  • Divorced Installment: The film was was based on a book, Nothing Lasts Forever. This book was a sequel to The Detective, which had its own popular film adaptation in 1968, starring Frank Sinatra. When Sinatra declined to be in a film sequel, it was quickly retooled as a stand-alone work. Rumors that it was briefly intended as a sequel to Commando was debunked by co-writer Steven de Souza, though Arnold Schwarzenegger was also considered for the lead.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Alan Rickman was told that he was going to be let go on a count of three. They dropped him on "two," and the look of panic on his face is definitely not acted; one is not surprised to learn that he was extremely angry after that shoot was over.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Alan Rickman as a German.
    • Russian Alexander Godunov plays Karl, who is from Germany.
    • The actress who played Paulina was actually Italian.
  • Improv: Much of the script was improvised due to the constant screenplay tweaks that were being made during filming.
  • Referenced by...: Knights of Buena Vista talks about this film using estranged people in love having to overcome their estrangement. One character also gives Fanon Discontinuity to the fourth and fifth films.
  • Running the Asylum: Arguably one of the biggest fans of the Die Hard franchise is... Bruce Willis. He apparently feels very strongly about not insulting the viewers' intelligence, and while his self-appointed "gatekeeper of the franchise" role makes directors cry, among other things it resulted in the villain of the fourth film actually getting a fully fleshed-out backstory (rather than what Willis described as a scene of "MySpace and cheerleader porn jokes").
  • Sequel Gap:
  • Star-Making Role: For Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, the latter making his film debut.
  • Technology Marches On: Cell phones and wireless Internet would have made things easier for McClane... if the people on the other line weren't still being so thickheaded.
  • The Other Darrin: John's daughter and son appeared as adults in the fourth and fifth films but were played by different (child) actors in the first film.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The line "Alas, your Mr Takagi did not see it that way, so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life." was an ad lib; Alan Rickman also improvised the bit of helping himself to the party buffet while saying this. Much of the scene where Hans tries to use a fake American accent to pass himself off as a hostage to McClane was apparently ad-libbed after the producers discovered that Rickman could do a good American impersonation.
    • The shot in the elevator shaft where McClane drops from the vent he was aiming for, but manages to grab the next one down was an accident on the part of the stuntman that made the final cut anyway.
    • Al Leong improvised the bit where he takes a candy bar from the concession stand before fighting the SWAT team, as he felt the scene could use some comic relief.
    • It is often said that Bruce Willis' lines during the scene when he pulls the glass out of his feet were ad-libbed. Indeed, it is said that upon learning this, Terry Gilliam cast Willis as the lead in 12 Monkeys. However when comparing the original script, it appears that Willis only veered very slightly from the original written dialog.
    • Willis has claimed that the iconic "Yippee ki yay, motherfucker" was ad-libbed, playing off Hans Gruber's cowboy taunt. Willis did not expect that line to make the cut.
    • Ellis' line "Hans... Bubby!" was ad-libbed. Alan Rickman's quizzical reaction was genuine.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: So, so much.
    • The references to VCRs, and the fact that John McClane seems really uncomfortable using the computer monitor at the front desk of Nakatomi Plaza.
    • Neither John nor anyone else in the building can call out after the bad guys cut the building's phone lines, because no one (other than Argyle) has a cell phone.
    • When Sgt. Powell responds to dispatch about John's call from the Nakatomi Plaza, you can see a gas station price sign in the background: Unleaded 77 cents, Regular 74 cents. Even the existence of Regular leaded gasoline is itself an example after the banning of leaded automotive gasoline in the 1990s.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Write Who You Know: The character of Hans Gruber is rumored to be based on author Roderick Thorp's father, a known tyrant amongst friends and family.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/DieHard