There are a lot of debates that may never be resolved because they’re based on people’s perceptions or opinions. Is “gif” pronounced with a g like “gift” or with a j like “jiffy”? Should toilet paper rolls be over or under? Is “the dress” black and blue or white and gold? One of the biggest ones for movie fans is: “Is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie? For the last one, I am firmly on the side that IT IS NOT A CHRISTMAS MOVIE!!!!
The main thing that people say is that “Die Hard” occurs on Christmas Eve during a Christmas party, so it’s a Christmas movie. Well, if that’s true then there are DOZENS of other movies that should be considered “Christmas” movies. The biggest example is “Die Hard 2”, which also happens on Christmas Eve at an airport filled with holiday travelers.
Also, the movie “Lethal Weapon” occurs around Christmas. One of the first scenes in that movie is on a Christmas tree lot and the final scenes happen on Christmas Day.
Not many are calling “Lethal Weapon” a Christmas movie although I did find a couple websites that have “Die Hard”, “Die Hard 2”, and “Lethal Weapon” on their list of Christmas action movies. I’m guessing they listed those movies because if they weren’t on the list, then it would just be the “Home Alone” movies, the recent release “Violent Night”, and a couple other movies.
Other examples of movies that happen around Christmas include “The Apartment” – one of the biggest scenes in the movie happens over Christmas weekend, “L. A. Confidential” – the first few scenes in the movie are on Christmas eve, and “Trading Places” – which has a few scenes towards the end of the movie on Christmas eve and Christmas morning. Most other lists of Christmas movies don’t include those movies.
The second reason that “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie is that, although it takes place on Christmas Eve, there’s very few references to Christmas in the movie. There is a Christmas tree in the lobby of the office building and in the room where the office party is happening, the limo driver plays a Christmas rap, a few people mention Christmas or say “Merry Christmas”, there’s a plastic figure of Santa Claus, and a dead body has “HO HO HO” written on it. Other than that, there’s no Christmas presents seen (unless you count the giant teddy bear that John McClaine (Bruce Willis) is carrying when he gets off the plane). There’s nobody dressed up as Santa Claus. There’s no Christmas music playing at the office party.
I think it wouldn’t be that difficult to remove all the references to Christmas in “Die Hard”. You just need to make a few edits, re-record some lines of dialogue, change the rap song that’s played, and some CGI to change “HO HO HO” to “HA HA HA”. If you remove the Christmas tree at the office party with editing (it’s not visible that much) or CGI, you can easily say the office party is for something else. In fact, the movie already says that the party is also for a large deal that was recently completed.
The biggest reason that “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie is because you can describe the plot without mentioning Christmas. A New York City cop visiting his wife and children in Los Angeles attends an office party that is taken over by a group of robbers. When the robbers lock down the building and keep all the employees hostage, he must fight all the robbers alone.
“Die Hard” is an iconic movie because it’s a perfect example of a genre of action movie – one good guy against a large group of bad guys – that has been done several different times in several different ways since that movie was released, and because it’s the movie that made Bruce Willis a movie star. It’s NOT a Christmas movie.