The people have spoken: Die Hard is NOT a Christmas movie

Do you consider Die Hard a Christmas film?

  • Yes

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.
Oct 25, 2017
4,817
Near enough to 50% of Americans selected Dolan Trump as president.

I'm willing to say that the people don't get the last word on this one.

Why Die Hard is a Christmas movie:
  • It takes place around Christmas
  • The holiday event of Christmas plays a major role in the plot:
    • The building is unoccupied because it's Christmas Eve
    • The people in the building are there because they're at a Christmas party
    • John is coming out to LA from New York to be with his estranged family because it's Christmas
    • John grumbles about being in LA during Christmas, as it doesn't feel right to be in warm weather without snow
  • Christmas plays into critical scenes in the movie
    • John uses gift wrap to attach guns to his body
    • "Ho Ho Ho, Now I have a Machine Gun"
  • Christmas music is played during key scenes
  • It has just about every theme that other iconic Christmas movies have...
    • Family reunification around the holidays (Home Alone, most other Christmas movies)
    • Characters showing growth and changing due to extra-ordinary events (It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol)
    • Like all great Christmas movies, rifles play important roles in advancing the plot (A Christmas Story, Die Hard)
  • The music finishes with a Christmas song playing, and the ashes of exploded bonds/paper (or whatever it is) falls on top of the characters as the movie fades out ... a throwback to John grumbling earlier in the movie about being in LA on Christmas, instead of cold weather
There's more, but that's what sticks out to me.

There are other movies that follow a similar trend and are considered Christmas movies. It's a Wonderful Life has less to do with Christmas than Die Hard, but the general consensus is that It's a Wonderful Life is a Christmas movie. It's more or less an accident that It's a Wonderful Life takes place during Christmas, while the Die Hard plot would be impossible without Christmas.
 
Last edited:

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,825
London
It's a bit weird to think there's an edgy or nefarious reason why people call it a Christmas movie, it just is one, but it's also more than that.
 

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
3,736
The people also considered Trump to be a presidential candidate, so I pretty much don't give a fuck what the people think
On the contrary, the Electoral College gave Trump the win. Hillary won the popular vote.

This was a popular vote.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,817
Is Battle of the Bulge a Christmas movie?
Yes, for this specific reason.

One of Katherine O'Hara's previous boyfriends in the movie Best in Show was named 'Bulge,' and Katherine O'Hara also stars as the mom in Home Alone, thus via the rules of electricity, both Battle of the Bulge and Best in Show are Christmas movies.

 
Last edited:

plagiarize

Mighty Jagrafess
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
4,805
Cape Cod, MA
According to the Xfinity ads I keep getting on YouTube, it's definitely a Christmas movie. And apparently a movie for 8-year-old kids too.
I raised my eyebrow at that ad. Espesically when the 8 year old says 'Yippie Kay Ay'. Like... ohhhhkay Dad. Maybe you shouldn't have already let him see this movie, but there's still a chance to course correct.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,712
www.squackle.com
Jingle Bells isn't about Christmas. It doesn't mention Christmas, or Jesus, or Santa. It's a song set during winter.

Yet I don't think anyone would, with a straight face, say it isn't a Christmas song. Die Hard was purposefully set during Christmas as a writing decision. It doesn't 'just happen' to take place during the holidays. The book it is based on isn't set during Christmas. They consciously changed that.

Christmas movie.
its a christmas song only because people say it is. technically you're right, it doesnt say anything about christmas or holidays.

it is a winter-time song.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,100
If we're using the Die Hard test, i.e. that a movie being set around Christmas time (and being written by Shane Black) makes it a Christmas movie, then the best Christmas movie is The Nice Guys.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,367
Sunderland
It’s not. It’s not even a funny joke anymore.
I think the concept of Christmas film is broader than is normally appreciated. It can be a film specifically conceived or marketed as an entertainment for Christmas, or it can be a film of the type that people enjoy watching at Christmas. In the UK at least the biggest draws for television audiences at Christmas have long been action blockbusters such as Bond and Mission Impossible. Die Hard is a classic of that genre, and the Christmas setting doesn't hurt. It's just as much a Christmas film as Goldfinger.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,692
Does it have realistic violence (like, more realistic than in Home Alone?) Because Christmas movies should be watchable by the whole family, in my opinion
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,367
Sunderland
ABC Family thinks the Harry Potter series are Christmas movies because they play them every year at Christmas time, but outside of a couple scenes that might take place at Christmas or in the snow, they're absolutely not Christmas movies.
Narrator: in Japan, the word Halypoteru is currently the most common designation used for the weeks leading up to December 25.

Seriously though, Christmas is now the season of blockbusters, which are therefore Christmas films. And don't you dare call them Holiday films!
 
Jan 11, 2018
1,316
I’m on of those weird people that thinks a Christmas movie has to be more than just atmosphere for a movie. I mean is any movie that takes place around Christmas a Christmas movie? Personally I don’t think so.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,600
Christmas as a setting is a crucial part of the movie. It's a silly debate and I get sick of people evangelizing about how it's a Christmas movie, but the movie really has a perfectly legitimate claim. Just because it's not a movie that I would watch to get me in the Christmas spirit doesn't mean that it's not a movie heavily involved around Christmas. If you take away the Christmas setting, it's a very different movie.
 
Oct 28, 2017
121
I think the concept of Christmas film is broader than is normally appreciated. It can be a film specifically conceived or marketed as an entertainment for Christmas, or it can be a film of the type that people enjoy watching at Christmas. In the UK at least the biggest draws for television audiences at Christmas have long been action blockbusters such as Bond and Mission Impossible. Die Hard is a classic of that genre, and the Christmas setting doesn't hurt. It's just as much a Christmas film as Goldfinger.
I completely disagree. I don’t doubt that people enjoy watching action blockbusters at Christmas, as I do myself, but to say that a Christmas film can be defined so broadly as to include any film of a type that people enjoy watching at Christmas, stretches the definition beyond it’s breaking point. If everything can be a Christmas film, then the definition is basically meaningless.
 
Oct 28, 2017
201
Batman Returns is the best Christmas movie, because it's not about family (and that's what's important). It's about single weirdos.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,367
Sunderland
I completely disagree. I don’t doubt that people enjoy watching action blockbusters at Christmas, as I do myself, but to say that a Christmas film can be defined so broadly as to include any film of a type that people enjoy watching at Christmas, stretches the definition beyond it’s breaking point. If everything can be a Christmas film, then the definition is basically meaningless.
Sure, but what other films can we talk about? Can you name an actual Christmas film that people like to watch? I suspect you'd be scrambling around with Miracle on 34th Street, Elf and stuff like that. What people actually like to watch at Christmas are things like It's a Wonderful Life, Die Hard and whatnot.
 
Oct 25, 2017
102
Die Hard is Chistmas movie started off as tongue-in-cheek comment, but over time, hearing it again & again, it evolved into more & more people talking themselves into it actually being a Christmas movie. But, would a true Christmas movie even start off as tongue-in-cheek?

Die Hard is set during Christmas Eve, but does the time of setting warrant it being a Christmas movie ? The main part of a movie is the plot? Is Christmas a necessity for the plot? I don't think so. You could set the plot in a different time of year & still be able to do the same plot with minor changes. In a story, it's not necessary for it to be Christmas for a man to travel to unite with his estranged wife & kids, it's not necessary for it to be Christmas for "Who said we were terrorist?" to take hostages & attempt to rob a building's vault. Does Christmas play any role in helping the protagonist, John McClane achieve his goals or does it pose an obstacle for him to overcome? No. McClane is not trying to rescue his wife & others, because it's Christmas. "Oh boy, I have felt the Christmas spirit so therefore I will attempt to save my wife!" Christmas is just the backdrop, not significant to the plot.

Die Hard was released in July, I've always seen it as a summer action flick first before a Christmas one. I guess it's more of a Christmas in July type of film to me. But, it is very appropriate to watch it during Christmas time, since it does take place during Christmas. However, a movie appropriate to watch during Christmas & a Christmas movie are not the same. Die Hard one of the most popular action films of all time that I see as an around-the-year movie, but people want to limit it to Christmas. When you say a Christmas movie, it seems to imply a movie one would watch only at Christmas time. I wonder if some people think it's a Christmas movie because they want it to be a Christmas movie?

Is the Christmas aspects of Die Hard even the reason most people love the movie? I think people would still love the movie without the Christmas aspects. When people say it's their favorite Christmas movie, I think they like it better than any movie that is about Christmas or set at Christmas time, but it's not because of the Christmas aspects, they merely watch it at Christmas time, because it is set at Christmas time; however they'll watch it other times of the year too, because again it's not really about the Christmas aspects.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,156
You could set Die Hard in June and have McClane in town for his daughter's birthday and the gathering at Nakatomi be a company mixer or general "we made a lot of money" celebration, and you wouldn't have to change anything about the plot or the themes of the film. All that would change are a few references to Christmas that are completely incidental. To be a movie about a holiday requires more than just being set around the time of that holiday.

Now, if watching Die Hard is a Christmas tradition for you, that's different. Any movie can be that. But that doesn't make it a Christmas movie.
 
Oct 27, 2017
809
Australia
The people are wrong.
Near enough to 50% of Americans selected Dolan Trump as president.

I'm willing to say that the people don't get the last word on this one.

Why Die Hard is a Christmas movie:
  • It takes place around Christmas
  • The holiday event of Christmas plays a major role in the plot:
    • The building is unoccupied because it's Christmas Eve
    • The people in the building are there because they're at a Christmas party
    • John is coming out to LA from New York to be with his estranged family because it's Christmas
    • John grumbles about being in LA during Christmas, as it doesn't feel right to be in warm weather without snow
  • Christmas plays into critical scenes in the movie
    • John uses gift wrap to attach guns to his body
    • "Ho Ho Ho, Now I have a Machine Gun"
  • Christmas music is played during key scenes
  • It has just about every theme that other iconic Christmas movies have...
    • Family reunification around the holidays (Home Alone, most other Christmas movies)
    • Characters showing growth and changing due to extra-ordinary events (It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol)
    • Like all great Christmas movies, rifles play important roles in advancing the plot (A Christmas Story, Die Hard)
  • The music finishes with a Christmas song playing, and the ashes of exploded bonds/paper (or whatever it is) falls on top of the characters as the movie fades out ... a throwback to John grumbling earlier in the movie about being in LA on Christmas, instead of cold weather
There's more, but that's what sticks out to me.

There are other movies that follow a similar trend and are considered Christmas movies. It's a Wonderful Life has less to do with Christmas than Die Hard, but the general consensus is that It's a Wonderful Life is a Christmas movie. It's more or less an accident that It's a Wonderful Life takes place during Christmas, while the Die Hard plot would be impossible without Christmas.
.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
I actually agree on this one. I love the first Die Hard, but it's never been a Christmas movie to me, rather Christmas seems to be a rather tertiary aspect of the film. I wouldn't think of it as a Christmas film in any major way, though I do certainly consider films like Black Santa to be Christmas films, so I have no issue with the adult content necessarily, just the fact that Christmas doesn't seem to be a major factor in the film's plot in general, though it's certainly there.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,367
Sunderland
Now, if watching Die Hard is a Christmas tradition for you, that's different. Any movie can be that. But that doesn't make it a Christmas movie.
Oh shit, I think we must have radically different ideas about what a Christmas film is. On one hand there's a series of lacklustre films that were explicitly aimed at the lucrative Christmas market, and on the other hand there are films that television stations actually want to show at Christmas. I think both can be called Christmas films, but the films audiences love to watch at Christmas shouldn't be ignored.
 
Nov 5, 2017
170
Maybe because I live in the southern hemisphere and therefore don't experience a white Christmas, this movie actually feels more Christmassy to me than most. Sunny weather + Christmas music = Christmas.
 
Oct 26, 2017
740
Near enough to 50% of Americans selected Dolan Trump as president.

I'm willing to say that the people don't get the last word on this one.

Why Die Hard is a Christmas movie:
  • It takes place around Christmas
  • The holiday event of Christmas plays a major role in the plot:
    • The building is unoccupied because it's Christmas Eve
    • The people in the building are there because they're at a Christmas party
    • John is coming out to LA from New York to be with his estranged family because it's Christmas
    • John grumbles about being in LA during Christmas, as it doesn't feel right to be in warm weather without snow
  • Christmas plays into critical scenes in the movie
    • John uses gift wrap to attach guns to his body
    • "Ho Ho Ho, Now I have a Machine Gun"
  • Christmas music is played during key scenes
  • It has just about every theme that other iconic Christmas movies have...
    • Family reunification around the holidays (Home Alone, most other Christmas movies)
    • Characters showing growth and changing due to extra-ordinary events (It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol)
    • Like all great Christmas movies, rifles play important roles in advancing the plot (A Christmas Story, Die Hard)
  • The music finishes with a Christmas song playing, and the ashes of exploded bonds/paper (or whatever it is) falls on top of the characters as the movie fades out ... a throwback to John grumbling earlier in the movie about being in LA on Christmas, instead of cold weather
There's more, but that's what sticks out to me.

There are other movies that follow a similar trend and are considered Christmas movies. It's a Wonderful Life has less to do with Christmas than Die Hard, but the general consensus is that It's a Wonderful Life is a Christmas movie. It's more or less an accident that It's a Wonderful Life takes place during Christmas, while the Die Hard plot would be impossible without Christmas.
This is the best post that has ever been made on this website.
 
Oct 22, 2018
1,253
It's no less Christmas than all that Hallmark dreck about a high-stakes businessman who revitalizes a small-town's dying industry because the lady who teaches at the trade school that feeds into it gives him pants feels