Why do people think that Die Hard is a Christmas movie?

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,268
If your movie starts with Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis" and ends with "Let It Snow" (one of the most famous Christmas songs) and the movie takes place on Christmas Eve and has a "Ho Ho Ho" in it ... you're in Christmas movie territory.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,606
Portland, OR
I just finished watching Die Hard for the first time last night and its just straight up unsettling that there are people who will claim that it's a Christmas movie. Just because the movie takes place on Christmas Eve doesn't mean that the movie is about Christmas. Die Hard could have taken place on any other holiday or occassion and the movie would still work without any major changes to the plot, but some people out there are still gonna call this a holiday classic just because John McClane put a santa hat on a dead terrorist.
Anyway, Die Hard is an awesome movie, but anyone who says it's a Christmas movie should never be allowed to watch it again. Yippie-ki-yay, motherfuckers.
Because It's a Wonderful Life could literally only take place at Christmas? Die Hard takes place during a Christmas party and that's a recurring theme throughout the film, but because it's an action film it doesn't count? Come on now.
 

HTupolev

Member
Oct 27, 2017
795
I just finished watching Die Hard for the first time last night and its just straight up unsettling that there are people who will claim that it's a Christmas movie. Just because the movie takes place on Christmas Eve doesn't mean that the movie is about Christmas.
Christmas means any number of things to any number of people, so much so that there's hardly anything specifically Christmas-y about anything Christmas-related if you remove the setting. And Die Hard is enjoyable to watch on Christmas, which is more than can be said for the vast majority of so-called "Christmas movies."

It doesn't mean anything beyond what anyone feels like it means, and most people agree that "jif" is clunky.
 

Plasma

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,676
It takes place during Christmas, has multiple references to Christmas throughout the film, it's about a man trying to get back to his family. If this isn't a Christmas movie then nothing is.
 

McScroggz

The Fallen
Jan 11, 2018
2,908
To me a Christmas movie is about Christmas, as arbitrarily vague and subjective as that is. Die Hard isn’t about Christmas, the holiday is just a superficial trapping that gives the movie some extra flavor.
 

Cirrus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
482
The setting is Christmas and it is referenced several times during the film. Its a Christmas movie.
 

McScroggz

The Fallen
Jan 11, 2018
2,908
Halloween is set during Halloween, but really it’s just a movie about a psychotic escaped serial killer Instead of trick-or-treating and costumes.

So it’s not a Halloween movie, right
Part of what made Halloween so scary is specifically because it’s Halloween it allows Michael Meyers to walk around in the mask without people immediately freaking out and calling the cops or whatever. It’s hiding in plain sight.

There is nothing instrically Christmas about Die Hard. Just like many Shane Black movies (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3) use Christmas or the time around Christmas as a way to make the movie more visually appealing. The fact that it’s Christmas is not even secondary to the narrative, it’s tertiary.

I mean if a Christmas song and a joke or two about Christmas is enough for some people to view it as a Christmas movie then all power to them.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,696
Of course Die Hard is about Christmas.

it's about giving. John McClain a weapon..Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho.

Also, it's by far the best film set around Christmas. So there you have it.

(ps, Lethal Weapon is also a Christmas film)
 

Symphony

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,310
Correct, it isn't a Christmas movie - everyone knows that term is used for ones where they usually revolve around "the magic of the season", the concept of santa or about giving, spending time with your family or whatever. Die Hard, Gremlins etc are simply set at Christmas and therefore better to watch at the time. But hey, it became a meme and so now you can't have any Xmas movie discussion without someone trying to be smart and argue over Die Hard.
 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,002
Bet. The overarching plot of the movie has little to do with Christmas. Though there’s a little bit of Christmas peppered throughout the film, like when Al is singing Let it Snow, John is just a New York cop who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He did his due diligence to stop a terrorist threat because he’s a cop and it was his duty to respond when there’s no local law enforcement in the building. The fact that it takes place on Christmas Eve (within the universe of the film) is coincidental and has no bearing on John’s motivations to stop Hans and save the hostages.

Lets flip this around. What *does* make a Christmas movie to you? Doesn't that limit it to movies about Santa Claus? Otherwise anything just set at Christmas doesn't count. Its a wonderful life - nope he could have been sad anytime.
 

Mirage

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,055
Reminds me I saw this the other day. Don't have any side in this though, pretty sure I've never seen the movie.

 

MrKlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,002
Yeah because this thread isn’t about Home Alone, it’s about Die Hard.

I’m pretty confident in thinking that when John first saw the terrorists walking into the suite with machine guns he wasn’t thinking “aw fuck, there goes my Christmas.” Or for that matter, he could have given Al any Christmasy themed name like Nick or Rudolph, but he chooses Roy instead because of an old action/cowboy movie star.
He's coming to visit his wife and they're clearly having issues/long distance relationship - she's a high flying exec, he's a down to earth NYPD cop. He's coming to visit because its christmas - its a fundamental point that is bringing them together. It creates a sense of expectation/duty to be with family and goodwill to all men etc so you put aside differences and make an effort to be together.

And then machine guns.

So it is a christmas movie because Christmas is the central catalyst for bringing all characters together in that location
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,268
Well the other clear dilenation is Die Hard 1 & 2 are Christmas movies, but Die Hard 3 is never billed as such ... because it clearly takes place during the summer and has no Christmas references.

Plot wise too don't the "terrorists" choose to take on the scheme on Christmas Eve because of lower security or whatever?
 

Betta Lines

Member
Oct 25, 2017
148
Die Hard is shown on a main UK terrestrial/free-to-air television channel at Christmas, every year, without fail.

I imagine most of the UK population think of Die Hard as a Christmas movie, or at least make some association between Die Hard and Christmas.

Also it is a Christmas movie.
 

Jegriva

Banned
Sep 23, 2019
1,613
It's set in Christmas, despite not being shot in winter, and Christmas not having to do anything at all with the plot.

So, it's a joke.
 

shaneo632

Member
Oct 29, 2017
12,999
Essex, UK
People saying "it's just a meme" are being disingenuous or ignorant. There were literally 20 years before the word "meme" even entered pop culture where Die Hard was regarded as a Christmas movie without much dissent at all.
 

Dan Thunder

Member
Nov 2, 2017
3,725
Just curious as to what the definition of a Christmas movie is? If it has to be a film specifically about/applicable only to the Christmas period then I can think of a number of films that would automatically be disqualified. As others have said Home Alone, and also It's a Wonderful Life, probably the most 'Christmas' movie there is, are both films that are set around Christmas, have only the most tenuous link to it in terms of it relating to the plot, could easily be transferred to a different time of the year and yet both are very much classed as Christmas movies.

I appreciate this is a thread about Die Hard but if you're going to apply certain criteria to one film to decide if it's a Christmas film or not then the same criteria should apply to any others.
 

Cheeky Devlin

Member
Oct 31, 2017
106
If it wasn't Christmas the ending would be different. He straps the gun to his back with Christmas wrapping tape.

Not Christmas = no tape = probably dead.
 

Protome

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,551
I don’t get why people get so upset by this. It’s a movie set on Christmas so people consider it a Christmas movie. It’s not a hard concept to understand and it’s not worth crying about if you have some different abitrary standard for what a Christmas movie is.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,561
The Ocean
It's about a cop at Christmas who misses his family and both he and his estranged wife learn the meaning of being together while in a building overrun by terrorists.