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

sangreal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,613
Because I think that it’s wrong. If it really doesn’t matter then why reply to my thread?






No, I understand why you and everyone else itt thinks it’s a Christmas movie. It’s an easy concept to understand. And it’s even easier to see that it’s wrong.



If the bar for Christmas movies is that they play during Christmas lineups on TV channels and theatres, then The Harry Potter movies are Christmas movies by that logic (They play those all the time up here in Canada around Christmas anyway).

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles


No, because Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a holiday movie, and Die Hard is not.

Funny enough, I think that Planes, Trains, and Automobiles would work better as a Christmas movie, but I accept that it’s a Thanksgiving movie.

A Christmas movie is a movie that is primarily about Christmas in both plot and characterization. Die Hard is not about Christmas because, as I’ve said before, it’s about a cop who gets caught up in a hostage situation. Though John arrives in this situation because of Christmas, he is not motivated to fight back for the sake of Christmas. He’s fighting back because, like any other action movie, it’s the right thing to do in the face of evil. I even called it in my OP that people will point out the “ho ho ho” scene as evidence that it’s a Christmas movie, but it’s just John using the time of year (read: the setting) to toy with Hans and the terrorists. The setting is Christmas, but as McScroggz said, it’s tertiary to the film. Christmas is brought up in passing, through jokes, or offhanded remarks (such as Hans’ Christmas miracle quote), it has no bearing on (let’s say) John trying time kill Karl by hanging him with a chain.

I’m gonna use Home Alone as an example for a minute, because so many people in this thread love to use it as their “Aha!” response.

Home Alone is a movie about a large family who is going away on a Christmas vacation, but accidentally leave their son home alone in all of the hustle and bustle. The wet bandits are trying to rob the McCallister home during this time to take advantage of the family’s absence. I would even go as far as to say that they’re trying to steal Christmas from this family (upon their return).

As the protagonist, Kevin, has to cope with the fact that he’s alone for the holidays and takes up the task of defending his home, protecting Christmas for his family. On top of all of this, there’s the side plot with the scary old man who learns what Christmas means again thanks to Kevin’s efforts. The setting provides set pieces and scenes throughout the film that work with the plot because it’s a Christmas movie. Like the glass ornaments trap, or the the fake Christmas party. The movie doesn’t even have Santa Claus himself, so no, a movie doesn’t need Santa Claus to be a Christmas movie (and I wouldn’t really argue against a movie that does).
For those who like to compare them: Die Hard lacks a lot, if not all, of what Home Alone brings to the table. It’s a disingenuous comparison in regards to Christmas movies.
I'm ambivalent about whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie -- it's just a joke people have taken too far but whatever. That said, your contrast with Home Alone doesn't hold up at all. You've literally done exactly what you accuse Die Hard of doing -- you've spattered the word "Christmas" throughout your description just so you can claim it is a Christmas movie. Saying it's a Christmas movie because he used Christmas ornaments in a trap is just as superficial as "It's a Christmas movie because he says Ho-Ho-Ho in a 1-liner"
 
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Ballpoint Ren

Ballpoint Ren

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
472
Canada
I'm ambivalent about whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie -- it's just a joke people have taken too far but whatever. That said, your contrast with Home Alone doesn't hold up at all. You've literally done exactly what you accuse Die Hard of doing -- you've spattered the word "Christmas" throughout your description just so you can claim it is a Christmas movie. Saying it's a Christmas movie because he used ornaments in a trap is just as superficial as "It's a Christmas movie because he says Ho-Ho-Ho in a 1-liner"
I mean, there’s definitely a lot more in Home Alone that solidifies it as a Christmas movie, but I was already bordering on a wall of text. Thank you for reading it though.
 

Nerdkiller

Resettlement Advisor
Member
That would mean Gremlins isn’t a Christmas movie, which it obviously is, so I think you need to go back to the drawing board.
I've only noticed it this year, but they do seem to be pushing Gremlins more as the next "not really a Christmas movie" Christmas movie. Helps that it's a Warner flick, which means it won't be constrained by Disney's vault program for any themed rereleases in theatres.
 

Catdaddy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,486
TN
Ironically, it was a summer movie, and I saw it in the theater during the action movie years and remain blown away how good it is.

My wife and I made it our Xmas movie back in the late 90s just because we thought it would be funny to have a R-rated Xmas movie tradition after having to suffer through watching G-rated movies and specials with our daughter.
 

Violence Jack

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,707
I wouldn't say that Black Christmas or Silent Night Deadly Night were really Christmas movies either. They're just horror movies.

Krampus is kind of an okay fit though.
Wait, what? How are they not? If the argument against something not being a Christmas movie is that they don't have stories that include the holiday being an integral part of the plot, then I don't see how these two aren't. Hell, Silent Night Deadly Night couldn't be done around any other holiday because the events that create the Santa killer are based on what he witnessed as a child during Christmas by some maniac dressed as Santa.
 

plagiarize

To its ports I have been
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
9,716
Cape Cod, MA
Wait, what? How are they not? If the argument against something not being a Christmas movie is that they don't have stories that include the holiday being an integral part of the plot, then I don't see how these two aren't. Hell, Silent Night Deadly Night couldn't be done around any other holiday because the events that create the Santa killer are based on what he witnessed as a child during Christmas by some maniac dressed as Santa.
Halloween isn't a Halloween movie because reasons!

Lets see them try and claim Christmas Evil isn't a Christmas movie too.
 

Border

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,636
Wait, what? How are they not? If the argument against something not being a Christmas movie is that they don't have stories that include the holiday being an integral part of the plot, then I don't see how these two aren't. Hell, Silent Night Deadly Night couldn't be done around any other holiday because the events that create the Santa killer are based on what he witnessed as a child during Christmas by some maniac dressed as Santa.
I think the argument is more that the movie should tie into the holiday's themes of goodwill and togetherness, and shouldn't really be about the entertainment value we find in the murder of dozens of people. I don't think "But he's trying to get back to his family" really cuts it as a way to explain how the film ties in with Christmas.
 

Border

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,636
I've only noticed it this year, but they do seem to be pushing Gremlins more as the next "not really a Christmas movie" Christmas movie. Helps that it's a Warner flick, which means it won't be constrained by Disney's vault program for any themed rereleases in theatres.
I feel like the next big "ThIS is AcTuAlLy A cHrIsTmAs MoViE!!!" film should be Batman Returns. I would love to see that in theaters again. Die Hard isn't going to happen anymore because Disney will not allow it. I'm sure Warner Brothers would love to step in and have one of their heavy hitters take its place.

Nerdist tried to make it happen a couple years back, but the meme didn't really catch fire the way Die Hard has:

 

sangreal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,613
I feel like the next big "ThIS is AcTuAlLy A cHrIsTmAs MoViE!!!" film should be Batman Returns. I would love to see that in theaters again. Die Hard isn't going to happen anymore because Disney will not allow it. I'm sure Warner Brothers would love to step in and have one of their heavy hitters take its place.

Nerdist tried to make it happen a couple years back, but the meme didn't really catch fire the way Die Hard has:

This just makes me realize I don't remember a single thing about Batman Returns
 

tuffy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
512
But Die Hard is all about the spirit of giving. Like how at the beginning of the film Holly is given an expensive watch for all her hard work. Then, at a key moment of the film, John gives that watch to Hans Gruber. It's like a twist on the "Gift of the Magi" ending right there. What could be more in the Christmas spirit than that?
 

CampFreddie

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,112
Well it's okay as a Christmas movie, but it's not a true classic like Zulu or the Great Escape.

You may have to be British and have grown up in a time where no-one had more than the 4 terrestrial channels in order to understand this.
 

CloseTalker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,862
Every year, no matter what, around the Holidays:

The Internet: DIE HARD IS A CHRISTMAS MOVIE

Everyone else: Sure, fine, who cares.
 

Nerdkiller

Resettlement Advisor
Member
I feel like the next big "ThIS is AcTuAlLy A cHrIsTmAs MoViE!!!" film should be Batman Returns. I would love to see that in theaters again. Die Hard isn't going to happen anymore because Disney will not allow it. I'm sure Warner Brothers would love to step in and have one of their heavy hitters take its place.

Nerdist tried to make it happen a couple years back, but the meme didn't really catch fire the way Die Hard has:

I was just having that thought earlier today while reading this thread, and yeah, given the fact that it's Batman, Batbros would probably as doubly obnoxious on that front.
 

Rune Walsh

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,719
I don't really consider it a Christmas movie but I do tend to watch it around Christmas. Seems like a dumb thing to argue over.
 

Version 3.0

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,578
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.
Does It's a Wonderful Life need to take place on Christmas (Eve) for the story to work? Nope.

I wouldn't call Die Hard a Christmas movie, except to take part in the running joke, but your argument proves nothing. The argument for it to be a Christmas movie is a lot stronger than what you've presented.
 

Archon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
765
Takes place at Christmas, has Christmas references, frequently airs on TV at Christmas.
It's a Christmas movie.
 
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Ballpoint Ren

Ballpoint Ren

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
472
Canada
This is true. But guess what? It DOES happen at Christmas and we get some fun Christmassy zingers. So this is all just hypothetical.
My point is that John wanting to see his kids doesn't necessarily make it a Christmas movie, despite many people in this thread using that as their argument. Yes, family is a very Christmas theme, but John isn't even focused on that throughout the movie. He's practically fighting for survival once Hans and his goons are on to him.
 

MaitreWakou

Avenger
May 15, 2018
5,640
Toulouse, France
The christmas movie isn't really recognized as a genre in cinema. There's no thesis about it, no intellectual worked on the question of the christmas movie. Any christmas movie, analysts would say "it's a familial comedy", so what do you want to say when the people behind Die Hard actually say "it's a christmas movie" ? You can't deny it. I mean, they made the film, they know better than us what they wanted to make.
 

nekkid

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,144
My point is that John wanting to see his kids doesn't necessarily make it a Christmas movie, despite many people in this thread using that as their argument. Yes, family is a very Christmas theme, but John isn't even focused on that throughout the movie. He's practically fighting for survival once Hans and his goons are on to him.
But it happens at Christmas. Suggesting an alternative storyline is just hypothetical.
 

msdstc

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,620
Ppl who say it’s a Christmas movie are desperate for attention
it's pretty much this. I know I'm cynical, but it's jsut people wanting to get a reaction of "but wuuuuut!? That's not a christmas movie!" and then they argue that it takes place on christmas so it's a christmas movie. Great movie, but certainly not what people are looking for in a "christmas movie".
 

msdstc

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,620
Couldn't you say that about quite a few Christmas movies? Home Alone 1 & 2, Gremlins, Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, etc. The setting being Christmas is enough for a lot of people to consider it a Christmas movie. Just let folks be happy.
wait whattttt?! Home alone 1 & 2? the movie entirely about how he has a christmas wish that comes true then turns out family is the best gift after all? With the score and soundtrack that is exclusively christmas themed? Lethal weapon and long kiss goodnight sure, but the plot of home alone is built entirely around christmas. Die Hard would be Die hard whether it was on christmas or not. Gremlins is a little closer to a christmas movie, but it still doesn't quite fall in line with that.
 

nekkid

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,144
it's pretty much this. I know I'm cynical, but it's jsut people wanting to get a reaction of "but wuuuuut!? That's not a christmas movie!" and then they argue that it takes place on christmas so it's a christmas movie. Great movie, but certainly not what people are looking for in a "christmas movie".
Personally I find the opposite to be true. That it is a Christmas movie being he default position and anyone arguing against it just being argumentative.

Case in point, this thread:

No one:
OP: Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie and you’re wrong if you disagree!
 
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msdstc

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,620
Personally I find the opposite to be true. That it is a Christmas movie being he default position and anyone arguing against it just being argumentative.
Nah it's first and foremost an action movie. I'm sorry it's pretty clear when people say "christmas movie" it's basically its own genre of hallmark type movies, stuff like the grinch, and yes home alone, elf, etc. where christmas is crucial to the plot and the overall theme. Die Hard takes place on christmas, but it's not necessary for the plot at all. The real meat of the movie is an action movie about a badass taking on a hostage situation.
 

nekkid

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,144
Some opinions can be factually incorrect. I'm not saying that's the case here, but when the average person is asking for "christmas movie" it's clear they're not looking for an action movie that has a few christmas things in the background. (most of the time)
They’re usually asking for a movie that makes them feel Christmassy.
 

msdstc

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,620
They’re usually asking for a movie that makes them feel Christmassy.
Again, christmas movie is basically its own genre. You can say die hard makes you feel christmasy, because you associate it with christmas, but the movie itself deals very little with christmas at all and is not crucial to the plot or themes.