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

Ithil

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,671
I distinctly feel this "debate" is the most manufactured attempt at an argument out there. Who actually gives a flying fuck about this question? It really feels like people just bringing it up to force an argument with no participants.
 

Ryaaan14

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,832
Chicago
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".
Bingo
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.
Are u actually me?
 

msdstc

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,620
And yet this is the entire premise of this thread!
There's a difference between arguing the controversial opinions for the sake of contrarianism, and pionting out contrarianism. You're being contrarian and intentionally obtuse. You keep turning this like a "gotcha!" moment, but it's really not. The arguing in this thread is trying to figure out how this became a meme, when it's clear what people mean by christmas movies.
 

nekkid

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,149
There's a difference between arguing the controversial opinions for the sake of contrarianism, and pionting out contrarianism. You're being contrarian and intentionally obtuse. You keep turning this like a "gotcha!" moment, but it's really not. The arguing in this thread is trying to figure out how this became a meme, when it's clear what people mean by christmas movies.
Alright, Scrooge.
 

Inigo Montoya

Member
Nov 6, 2017
600
I don’t care if people say Die Hard is or isn’t a Christmas movie. However if you are one of the misguided souls who think Die Hard is not a Christmas movie, you also have to say Home Alone is not a Christmas movie. You can’t have it both ways.
 

JaeCryo

Member
Nov 6, 2017
5,997
it takes place at a christmas party

the christmas aesthetic is part of the narrative

it's a christmas movie

yippee ki yay
 

msdstc

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,620
Lol don't mean to be a scrooge, again I'm a pretty cynical person. It's just pretty clear what you're going for. It's like when you say goodnight to someone past midnight and they're like "ooo you mean good morning right!?" If you look at the conversation objectively it's clear why arguing against it is different than arguing for it. You're allowed to argue however you want, but in this particular debate I always see the same exact gotcha arguments and sort of "you just don't get it" tone.
 

msdstc

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,620
I don’t care if people say Die Hard is or isn’t a Christmas movie. However if you are one of the misguided souls who think Die Hard is not a Christmas movie, you also have to say Home Alone is not a Christmas movie. You can’t have it both ways.
I don't see how anybody can say this. The entire soundtrack and score is built around christmas music, he makes a christmas wish to lose his family and then makes a christmas wish to get them back, and the entire payoff is that his christmas wish came true and that the best gift of all is family. The entire tone is built around family hijinks not around a badass cop taking on terrorists. Also one is a lighthearted, albeit dark in retrospect, family movie, while the other one is a mega violent, vulgar action movie with gore and intense scenes. It's not even close to compare the two at all.

Your better argument is lethal weapon or gremlins. Gremlins is closer to a christmas movie, but I still wouldn't recommend that in the genre either. If all of these are christmas movies, then why don't we talk about eyes wide shut?
 

Inigo Montoya

Member
Nov 6, 2017
600
I don't see how anybody can say this. The entire soundtrack and score is built around christmas music, he makes a christmas wish to lose his family and then makes a christmas wish to get them back, and the entire payoff is that his christmas wish came true and that the best gift of all is family. The entire tone is built around family hijinks not around a badass cop taking on terrorists. Also one is a lighthearted, albeit dark in retrospect, family movie, while the other one is a mega violent, vulgar action movie with gore and intense scenes. It's not even close to compare the two at all.

Your better argument is lethal weapon or gremlins. Gremlins is closer to a christmas movie, but I still wouldn't recommend that in the genre either. If all of these are christmas movies, then why don't we talk about eyes wide shut?
The main argument I see against Die Hard not being a Christmas movie is it could take place any time of the year. The same can be true for Home Alone. In fact that is even more true for Home Alone as it could easily happen at Easter or Thanksgiving or any other time like a family wedding or whatever. Die Hard needs to happen at Christmas as that is the only time office parties happen.
 

Merv

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,234
Idk, just felt like sharing my opinion on an Internet forum. Why post in my thread?
I posted to ask a question. I thought it was pretty obvious.

Edit: I haven't read the whole thread, but I'm at least the second person you have responded to with "Why are you posting in my thread". Did you not want people to respond?
 
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never

Member
Oct 28, 2017
174
We watched Die Hard at my company christmas party and everyone was really excited about it and I've never in my real life ever met anyone who didn't consider Die Hard a christmas movie, so this entire thread is pretty weird to me.
 

Bio

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
2,538
Denver, Colorado
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.
 

Hagi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,248
It's a film set during the christmas period, take place during a christmas party and I usually watch it around the christmas season. It's a christmas film.
 

msdstc

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,620
The main argument I see against Die Hard not being a Christmas movie is it could take place any time of the year. The same can be true for Home Alone. In fact that is even more true for Home Alone as it could easily happen at Easter or Thanksgiving or any other time like a family wedding or whatever. Die Hard needs to happen at Christmas as that is the only time office parties happen.
That's not the argument I literally just made. Also office gatherings absolutely do happen outside of christmas. Either way an office gathering is not inherently christmassy and is simply a plot device. In home alone it's a plot device in a way to get his family traveling, but again the christmas season plays a role in basically everything that happens in the first in second one, which again the overall message being "material things are fun, but the best gift of all is family". They are straight up light hearted family movies, again vs. a top tier action movie complete with gore and vulgarity.
 

Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,468
The party is a Christmas party:


Carl Winslow would not be in this movie if it wasn't a Christmas movie:

Also, there'd be more cops around if it wasn't Christmas, so it would have been handled differently.

Even a GERMAN references Christmas:


Also, the "ho ho ho" bit.
 
Oct 28, 2017
8,182
Of course its a Christmas movie.


If you take out every single action scene and made the movie about what was left, you would have a boring ass Christmas movie, but a Christmas movie nonetheless.
 

Hidden Lemon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,227
Why are so many people in this thread trying to rewrite history and claim that “Die hard is a Christmas movie” is some new bandwagon people are jumping on? I’m in my 30s and it’s been considered a Christmas movie since I was a kid. If anything, the argument that it’s not a Christmas movie is something I’ve only really seen popping up in the last few years.
 

nekkid

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,149
Lol don't mean to be a scrooge, again I'm a pretty cynical person. It's just pretty clear what you're going for. It's like when you say goodnight to someone past midnight and they're like "ooo you mean good morning right!?" If you look at the conversation objectively it's clear why arguing against it is different than arguing for it. You're allowed to argue however you want, but in this particular debate I always see the same exact gotcha arguments and sort of "you just don't get it" tone.
“It’s a Christmas movie”
“Well, ackchewally...”

I feel like I’m on the right side of this argument tbh!
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,409
Not in the context of “Saying Die Hard is a Christmas movie is just a tired meme”.
I'll say this. I remember I first heard someone call Die Hard a Christmas movie back in high school, possibly junior high around 20 years ago. It was a joke then. No one took it seriously. It was a meme then that's taken on a weird serious life of its own.
 

Froyo Love

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,021
Since the question hinges on there being a difference between a Christmas movie proper and a movie set around Christmas, it seems that a Christmas movie proper is a film that has some thematic element of Christmas as a central part of its story, while also linking this theme with the Christmas holiday itself. For instance, generosity and kindness are Christmas themes, but a film is not a Christmas movie for featuring them, only if they are linked with the Christmas season (otherwise something like “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” would be considered a Christmas movie).

So a Christmas movie is a movie specifically about Christmas and the related ideas of love, generosity, family, and so on. “Miracle on 34th Street” is a Christmas movie, not only because it is set during Christmas and features Santa Claus, but because it is all about putting innocence, generosity, and kindness ahead of modern cynicism and consumerism. It would be going too far to say that “Die Hard” has the same moral premise as “Miracle on 34th Street,” but it wouldn’t be wholly inaccurate either, because “Die Hard” is all about the clash between love and materialism.

The film, as most of us well know, follows New York cop John McClane as he flies out to Los Angeles to visit his family for Christmas. He is separated from his wife, Holly, who moved to LA to take a lucrative job with the Nakatomi Corporation. Soon after he meets her at the company Christmas party, the building is taken over by terrorists led by the intimidating Hans Gruber, who are looking to rob the high-tech vault of half a billion dollars.

One of the perennial temptations of the Christmas season is losing sight of the actual meaning of the holiday and becoming too preoccupied by the materialistic desire for gain (Black Friday gives us yearly examples of this sort of thing in action). The celebration of Christmas, and even visits with family and friends, turn into rote, mechanical exchanges, in which we simply go through the motions, without considering any deeper purpose to the holiday. “Die Hard,” in its own way, is all about this phenomenon, about losing sight of what is truly important amid the commercial, the material, and the automated.

This theme is established from the start of the film. John and Holly McClane’s marriage is on shaky grounds because neither is willing to compromise on their careers for the sake of their family. Holly moved across country and even adopted her maiden name (“Gennaro,” evoking “generic”) to pursue her corporate job, while John accepted the separation to continue his job as a cop in New York. John is understandably angry with her for dropping his name, yet he thinks nothing of eying attractive strangers, showing that neither puts a high priority on their marriage.

The Nakatomi Corporation itself is likewise thoroughly commercial, although not necessarily in a heartless way. Holly’s genial boss, Mr. Takagi, jokes, “Pearl Harbor didn’t work, so we got you with tape decks,” while cheerfully saying that they’re celebrating Christmas as “opportunists.” For the company, it’s all about profit, and while this doesn’t make them the bad guys by any stretch (Takagi is a thoroughly sympathetic character), it helps to set the stage.

This same pattern plays out in the police, FBI, and press. It takes a long time for the police to even understand that John’s frantic calls for help are genuine, and when they do show up the arrogant police chief mindlessly throws expensive, hi-tech, and obviously unsuitable equipment at the problem. Later, the FBI agents simply follow the anti-terrorist playbook and callously shrug off the possibility of losing a fair percentage of the hostages. All the while, the press is only too happy to commoditize the disaster with sensationalist coverage, like interviews with a self-promoting and hilariously inaccurate “expert,” and forcing the McClane children into a live interview.

None of these characters (except John’s contact, Al) seem particularly concerned with their ostensible duties. The police and FBI show little concern for the hostages they are supposedly sworn to protect, instead showing more concern for their careers and egos. The same is true of the press, who don’t care about informing the public, but about what they can get out of the situation.

It’s just like how John and Holly McClane each selfishly pursue their careers at the expense of their family. This is a world where everything from family and marriage to the law to Christmas itself is automated and commoditized, not done from real passion or principle, but for what can be gotten out of it.

This very fact, much more than their weaponry, is what gives Hans and his men so much power. Hans knows full well how both the police and the corporation think and how to exploit them. Time and again the authorities fall into his traps because they simply follow mindless routines, just as he expects them too. His whole plan, in fact, depends upon the authorities being “regular as clockwork,” just as it depends on the building being largely automated.

The end goal is the same as Nakatomi corporation’s: money. Hans disguises his greed by playing the role of an ideological terrorist (something the film implies he once was) to throw off the police. He is thus commoditizing his once-sincerely held principles in order to make a profit. In other words, he’s doing exactly what so much of the modern world does to Christmas itself.

That brings us to the other side of the equation. Against these forces of entrenched materialism are the more basic and meaningful factors of good and evil, family, love, and devotion. John McClane is established early on to be out of step with the modern, techno-corporate world. He doesn’t like flying and doesn’t know how to use the building computer, nor does he appreciate the fancy drink a waiter offers him at the party (he’s the only man not in a suit and tie).

All this is to signal that John is not quite like the other characters, because at the end of the day, and in spite of his rough edges, he is a principled man. This is definitively demonstrated in an early scene where he gets the drop on one of the terrorists and, despite the man being armed and uncooperative, John refrains from shooting him, opting to try to subdue him physically instead. This comes shortly after a scene where Hans cold-bloodedly murders an unarmed man, highlighting the difference between the two characters.

John, unlike Hans, the police, the media, and the corporation, has not lost sight of his principles. This means that when the fighting starts, he isn’t wedded to a mechanical formula. He is working towards one specific goal after another— to summon help, evade capture, and stop Hans’s plan, all with the guiding end of saving his family. That John is working for a principle rather than a routine allows him to see past the obvious and improvise solutions on the fly, as demonstrated by how he works his way up to more and more unconventional methods of summoning the authorities.

Over the course of the crisis, both John and Holly come to understand what they really value and how superficial and unimportant their argument is. Hans essentially forces the question upon them by putting both characters in a situation where the questions of life and death and love and hate are unmistakably real, and the fact of their marriage is inescapable. Both also express disgust when they learn Hans is “nothing but a common thief.” Having realized what truly matters, his materialistic goals seem ridiculously petty to them.

In summary, we have a story where one man is after pure material gain, using once-sincere beliefs as a disguise to get what he wants, while another man opposes him, fighting for his family and his principles. The bad guy depends upon people following routines because they’ve lost sight of their actual principles, while the hero succeeds because he hasn’t lost sight of them, and it all takes place on Christmas Eve. That sure sounds like a Christmas movie to me.
This is an excellent analysis that I agree with. Die Hard is about love and the desire for family togetherness overcoming greed/materialism. The arguments against Die Hard as a Christmas movie stop dead at the surface level of violence, and "it's just set during Christmas" ignores the obvious follow-up exploration of why a Christmastime setting was chosen and constantly referenced throughout the film (hint: amplifying themes).
 

Hidden Lemon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,227
I'll say this. I remember I first heard someone call Die Hard a Christmas movie back in high school, possibly junior high around 20 years ago. It was a joke then. No one took it seriously. It was a meme then that's taken on a weird serious life of its own.
It wasn’t a meme then. In the UK for at least the last 20 years it’s shown every Christmas on terrestrial television, multiple times usually during that 2 week period, but never at any other time of year. Someone saying it as a joke doesn’t mean it hasn’t widely been considered and accepted as a Christmas movie for decades now.

Ultimately I really don’t care who does or doesn’t consider a Christmas movie because what constitutes a Christmas movie is entirely subjective. I just hate this narrative that calling it a Christmas movie is some new meme when it’s been considered a Christmas movie by many for basically as long as it has existed.
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,409
It wasn’t a meme then. In the UK for at least the last 20 years it’s shown every Christmas on terrestrial television, multiple times usually during that 2 week period, but never at any other time of year. Someone saying it as a joke doesn’t mean it hasn’t widely been considered and accepted as a Christmas movie for decades now.

Ultimately I really don’t care who does or doesn’t consider a Christmas movie because what constitutes a Christmas movie is entirely subjective. I just hate this narrative that calling it a Christmas movie is some new meme when it’s been considered a Christmas movie by many for basically as long as it has existed.
No one's calling it new and it's not widely accepted as a Christmas movie as pointed out by a poll posted earlier in this thread.
 
Jun 17, 2019
249
Here's the thing, is the theme of the movie about Christmas, or is the theme about something else. You can set a movie around christmas, but if the theme doesn't make it where the theme has a connection to the holiday, then no, it's not a christmas movie.

Home Alone covers the idea of family and togetherness, things that connect to the holiday. Die Hard is about saving people not so much about the idea of loving your neighbor and spreading hope and peace between people. (Edit: Points for the whole materialism/greed aspect) You could have had this for the New Years eve party, or the Anniversery of the company or the 4th of July. I don't even think the book took place during Christmas, did it?

This is like the dumb argument of "Is Nightmare before Christmas a Halloween movie or a Christmas one?" It's clearly a Christmas movie the whole story revolves around the Holiday, it came out roughly a few weeks before Christmas, etc.
 

Hidden Lemon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,227
No one's calling it new and it's not widely accepted as a Christmas movie as pointed out by a poll posted earlier in this thread.
There are definitely people in this thread trying to pass it off as a recent thing, and that poll suggest that 25% of people thought it was. 25% of a population would be considered “many”.
 

Randubik

Member
Jan 4, 2019
11
Because it is, but personally I see it more as a one of the best movies about architecture. The Nakatomi Plaza as a setting is the real star, and seeing all the inner workings of a modern skyscraper is fascinating.
 
OP
OP
Ballpoint Ren

Ballpoint Ren

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
474
Canada
I posted to ask a question. I thought it was pretty obvious.

Edit: I haven't read the whole thread, but I'm at least the second person you have responded to with "Why are you posting in my thread". Did you not want people to respond?
I mean, you asked why argue against it my dude. If you think it’s something not worth discussing then what are you doing?
 

shaneo632

Member
Oct 29, 2017
12,914
Essex, UK
Just saw it on the big screen in the UK. The musical score literally has sleigh bells in it, it's about a man trying to get home for Christmas to see his family.
 

Opto

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,918
Takes place on christmas eve and it's about reconciliation of family. It's a christmas movie. Also the Yakuza games are mostly Christmas games