Die Hard

Primary Creator
Director John McTiernan
Actor Bruce Willis
Actor Alan Rickman
Screenplay Steven de Souza
Screenplay Jeb Stuart
Duration131 minutes
Name of WorkDie Hard
Production Date1988 July 15
Production Location

Current Location

General Notes

Beethoven's Ninth symphony is featured in the film in various scenes, by film composer Kamen.


A LA detective is caught in a building when it is taken over by terrorists (who are actually there to steal money). The detective manages to slowly destroy the plans of the killing thieves, though time after time his life is near its end. The lead terrorist/thief is portrayed as a monster who will kill without compunction, and the detective returns this trait by being uncompromising in destroying the team of thieves.


Giving up in life is not an option.

Emotional Sum or Sense-of-life

The way to beat evil is to give no quarter, no compromise. Life is hard, but fighting for the right is rewarded.

Context Information

First of the critically acclaimed and financially successful series of films.


Discussion: Die Hard

American Spirit

In his fight for what he loves (his wife), his determination, fortitude, unremitting creativity, unwillingness to give up, and insouciant attitude are specifically tied to the American Spirit with a cowboy theme.

"Yippee ay oh kay ay" is his reply to the villains' threats and blustering. Called a Cowboy by the criminals, he represents the classic lone Western figure who battles against overwhelming odds - and wins.