It’s Official, ‘Die Hard’ IS a Christmas Movie

Chris Tilly

Die Hard was a hit when released in 1988, and both its popularity and reputation have grown ever since. The film is set at Christmas, and for that reason, it’s also become something of a festive tradition, playing on TV every year alongside It’s a Wonderful Life, Gremlins, Home Alone and Elf.

But it’s also a super-violent action thriller that stars Bruce Willis as a New York cop taking out a gang of terrorists/thieves. Prompting many to argue that the film is far from festive fun, and therefore shouldn’t be considered a Christmas flick.

In this modern age of social media, and people with too much time on their hands, this debate rages every year on Twitter. So we thought we’d go to the source to find out, once-and-for-all, if Die Hard really is a Christmas movie.

FANDOM, therefore, asked the film’s screenwriter, Steven E. de Souza, and his answer is pretty definitive…

Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

De Souza: “Yes it is. It is. And I have to say that when I was writing it I didn’t think that it was a Christmas movie. Christmas is why he is coming out to get together with the family. It sort of made sense. If it wasn’t Christmas, it would have been Easter. But when I went to the set for the first time, and saw all the Christmas decorations, that’s when it struck me that it was a Christmas movie, and that it was going to play every Christmas on TV.”

Weirdly, however, Die Hard was only released in a handful of territories in December. In America, the film hit screens July 1988, while the UK got it February 1989. De Souza says that Christmas wasn’t mentioned in the commercials or newspaper ads, however, so audiences didn’t know.

Christmas Greats

Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life.

As for his own favourite Christmas movie, the screenwriter is a fan of Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, and the aforementioned It’s a Wonderful Life.

So there you have it — Die Hard is officially a Christmas movie, and one that will doubtless be playing on a TV near you over the next few weeks.

De Souza also wrote the Running Man screenplay which we discussed earlier this year, so click below to find out how that movie predicted all the bad stuff that has happened in 2017…

Chris Tilly
FANDOM Managing Editor in the UK. At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.
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