Every holiday season the debate sparks up once again whether or not the action thriller Die Hard can be classified as a Christmas movie. Usually suggested by your dad, Christmas seems like the perfect time to rewatch Bruce Willis’s breakout hit as that’s when the movie itself takes place.
Die Hard takes place in 1998 where a New York cop goes in solo to confront German bank robbers who are holding his wife and her colleagues hostage. The movie is critically acclaimed and spawned a series of sequels that were also greatly received by fans.
There are arguments both for and against the film belonging on within Christmas movie marathons but in this article, we’ll be sharing our take on the age-old debate once and for all.
Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
Short answer, No. The film does take place during the holiday season, however, Christmas isn’t integral to the plot of the movie nor does it prominently feature in the film. In fact, Santa, the most synonymous figure with the holiday doesn’t pop up at any point in the movie.
With traditional Christmas films, the story is centered around the season of giving or particular Christmas figures themselves. Unfortunately for die heart Die Hard fans, a bank robbery doesn’t quite meet this criterion. Usually, a Christmas film will use holiday-specific imagery in its advertising and that’s something we don’t see within any of the promotional material for Die Hard. You can also note that in the synopsis present on its poster the holiday isn’t mentioned at all.
While McLane’s wife and her colleagues were at a Christmas party when the robbery took place, this could have easily be substituted for any other gathering of work colleagues and the story could function almost identically.
The most damning evidence of all for Die Hard not being a Christmas movie is that the film was first released in July 1988, months removed from the holiday itself.
Despite not technically being a Christmas movie, there is no reason why you can’t watch Die Hard in the holiday season as it still remains one of the greatest action thriller films of all time.