Die Hard Movies

Die Hard Movies

Die Hard Movies
Die Hard Movies | Source

Die Hard Movies

Die Hard movies introduced us to John McClane, the quintessential wise-cracking anti-hero archetype that would go onto become a mainstay in cinema. Ever since Bruce Willis as John McClane donned a white tank top, took his shoes off and started killing terrorists, our movie heroes became increasingly flawed. The Die Hard movies showed us a hero that didn't want to be there but stayed anyway; a hero that was good at his job but had trouble with his superiors and a hero that had a string of personal problems. Since Die Hard premiered in 1988, these types of heroes have became increasingly popular.

Read on to find more about the Die Hard movies, including 'How many Die Hard movies are there?', what is in the 'Die Hard Collection' on DVD and Blu-Ray. This Die Hard Movies hub contains a summary and review of Die Hard (1987), Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) and Die Hard 4.0: Live Free or Die Hard.

There is also information about the Die Hard Soundtracks, Die Hard Cast and of course those unforgettable Die Hard movie quotes. Don't forget to vote for your favorite Die Hard movie and leave a comment about what you think about Die Hard.

Die Hard Movies

Bruce Willis as John McClane in the Die Hard movies
Bruce Willis as John McClane in the Die Hard movies

How many Die Hard movies are there?

There have been for four Die Hard movies with another due in 2013. Each movie has had a Die Hard soundtrack and there has been a number of video games based on the Die Hard movies. In 2009 there was also a Die Hard comic, featuring John McClane as a rookie cop. Eight editions of the the Die Hard comic were released by Boom! Studios.

Die Hard Movies in Order:

  1. Die Hard (1988)
  2. Die Hard 2 (1990)
  3. Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
  4. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

A fifth Die Hard movie, A Good Day to Die Hard, is planned for 2013.

Die Hard Collection

The Die Hard Collection consists of the first four Die Hard movies that were released between 1988 and 2007.

The Die Hard: Ultimate Collection on DVD has a two-disc DVD of each film, which means each film has a whole DVD of bonus footage and special editions. There is a total of 8 discs in this Die Hard Collection set. It was released by 20th Century Fox on the 13th of May, 2008 and has a total run time of 516 minutes.

The Blu-ray Die Hard Collection was released about 6 months earlier and only required 4 Blu-ray discs.

Die Hard Movie Video

Not for the faint of heart! Check out the below video of all the kills made by John McClane in the first four Die Hard Movies.

Montage of the Die Hard Movies

Nothing Lasts Forever: The Inspiration for the Die Hard Movies

The first of the Die Hard movies, Die Hard (1988) was based on 1979 thriller novel called Nothing Lasts Forever, written by Roderick Thorp. It was originally intended to be adapted into a sequel for Arnold Schwarzenegger's Commando. However, when that fell through it became a standalone movie called Die Hard.

There are a few differences between Die Hard and Nothing Lasts Forever. In particular, the protagonist, Joseph Leland, is retired and much older than John McClane. Instead of his wife, Leland is trying to save his daughter. Other than that, the premise is much the same. Much of the dialogue is taken from the novel, as are many of the other characters' names. For example, the lead terrorist is called Gruber and Leland is assisted by Al Powell, a police sergeant outside the building.

Die Hard Movies: Die Hard

Die Hard (1987)
Die Hard (1987)

Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard (1988) introduces us to NYPD Officer John McClane, played by Bruce Willis. It is widely considered to be one of the best action movies of all time, and certainly the most effective of the Die Hard movies. Die Hard was based on the 1979 thriller novel, Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp.

In Die Hard John Officer is visiting his estranged wife Holly at her work Christmas party at the fictional Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. Terrorists, led by Hans Gruber, take over the building and Holly and the rest of the staff are held hostage. McClane is able to elude the captors and begins a one-man guerrilla campaign against them.

As well as Bruce Willis as John McClane, Die Hard stars Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, the terrorist leader, McClane’s wife Holly Gennaro-McClane is played by Bonnie Bedelia. McClane is assisted by Reginald Vel Johnson as Sgt. Al Powell.

Die Hard was directed by John McTiernan and adapted from the Nothing Lasts Forever novel by Steve de Souza and Jeb Stuart.

Die Hard (1988) on Blu-ray

Die Hard (1988) on DVD

Die Hard Movie Trailer

Die Hard Movies: Die Hard 2

Die Hard 2
Die Hard 2

Die Hard 2: Die Harder

The second of the Die Hard movies, Die Hard 2: Die Harder was released in 1990, two years after the original Die Hard. DIe Hard 2 was adapted by the novel 58 Minutes by Walter Wager.

In this Die Hard movie, John McClane must stop terrorists who have taken over the air traffic control system at Washington Dulles International Airport. McClane's wife Holly is in one of the plane's circling the airport, running dangerously low on fuel and with no way of landing. John McClane must take on and outsmart the terrorists while being handicapped by the inept airport police and military response team.

In Die Hard 2, Bruce Willis as Lieutenant John McClane once again trying to rescue his wife Holly played by Bonnie Bedelia. Reginald VelJohnson briefly returns as Sergeant Al Powell. This time the terrorists are lead by a former U.S. Colonel, Colonel Stuart, played by William Sadler.

Renny Harlin directed the movie. As with Die Hard in 1988, Steven E. de Souza was involved with adapting the novel for this screen, this time partnered with Doug Richardson

Die Hard 2 on DVD

Die Hard 2 Movie Trailer

Die Hard Movies: Die Hard with a Vengeance

Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance
Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance

Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

The third of the Die Hard movies, Die Hard with a Vengeance was released in 1995, five years after Die Hard Two. Die Hard (1988) director John McTiernan returned to direct and produce. Once again, Bruce Willis dons the white vest as John McClane, the only surviving cast member of the first two Die Hard movies. However, the villain in this film is the brother of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), from the original Die Hard, who is briefly shown in a flashback.

Die Hard with a Vengeance was written by Jonathan Hensleigh and was the first and only one of the Die Hard movies to be based on original screenplay. However, the script was originally intended to be used in Lethal Weapon 3, but the characters were changed for use in the Die Hard franchise.

A prominent theme in the Die Hard movies is that as heroic and capable as John McClane is, he struggles in his personal life. When we first see him in Die Hard with a Vengeance he is separated from his wife, suspended from the NYPD and is probably an alcoholic.

In Die Hard with a Vengeance Hans Gruber's brother, Simon Peter (Jeremy Irons) takes McClane through a variety of tasks, partly as revenge for Han Gruber's death and partly as cover for a daring heist he is running simultaneously. Early in the movie McClane is joined by a shopkeeper named Zeus, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who comes to McClane's aid but is then forced by Simon to stay with McClane as they rush around New York solving tasks that keep getting harder and more deadly.

With over $360 million at the worldwide box office, Die Hard with a Vengeance was the highest grossing movie of 1995. Despite that, it would take twelve years for another Die Hard movie to be released.

Die Hard with a Vengeance on Blu-ray

Die Hard with a Vengeance on DVD

Die Hard with a Vengeance Movie Trailer

Die Hard Movies: Die Hard 4.0

Die Hard 4.0: Live Free or Die Hard
Die Hard 4.0: Live Free or Die Hard

Die Hard 4.0: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

The most recent of the Die Hard movies, Die Hard 4.0: Live Free or Die Hard was released in 2007, twelve years after Die Hard with a Vengeance. A screenplay was written by David Marconi, who was inspired by a Wired magazine article "A Farewell to Arms" by John Carlin. That project was put on hold due to the 9/11 attacks and a few years later it was made into the Die Hard 4.0. Marconi's screenplay was adapted into the Die Hard franchise by Doug Richardson then Mark Bomback.

Now a senior detective, Detective Lieutenant John McClane is still with the NYPD. He and his wife Holly are finally divorced and he is estranged from his daughter Lucy. Cyber terrorists, led by Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) initiate a 'fire sale', which attacks and disables a country's telecommunications, transportation, financial and utilities infrastructure systems. John McClane must take down the terrorists, assisted by Matt Farrell, a computer hacker played by Justin Long.

His situation is further exacerbated when he discovers the terrorists have his daughter, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free or Die Hard) on Blu-ray

Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4.0) Movie Trailer

Die Hard Movie Posters

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Die Hard Movies: Die HardDie Hard Movies: Die Hard 2 Die HarderDie Hard Movies: Die Hard 3 Die Hard With a Vengeance Die Hard Movies: Die Hard 4.0 Live Free or Die Hard
Die Hard Movies: Die Hard
Die Hard Movies: Die Hard
Die Hard Movies: Die Hard 2 Die Harder
Die Hard Movies: Die Hard 2 Die Harder
Die Hard Movies: Die Hard 3 Die Hard With a Vengeance
Die Hard Movies: Die Hard 3 Die Hard With a Vengeance
Die Hard Movies: Die Hard 4.0 Live Free or Die Hard
Die Hard Movies: Die Hard 4.0 Live Free or Die Hard

Die Hard Soundtrack

Die Hard Soundtrack

The Die Hard soundtracks are particularly effective and contribute a lot to the Die Hard movies. They typically call upon well known classical pieces that are then used as part of the score to great effect. The first Die Hard used Beethoven's distinctive “9th Symphony”. Jean Sibelius’ piece, “Finlandia” was used in Die Hard 2 and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, a civil war marching tune was used in the third Die Hard movie, Die Hard with a Vengeance. Michael Kamen, who died in 2003, composed the Die Hard soundtracks for those first three films. In 2007, Marco Beltrami took over for Live Free or Die Hard.

For more information, check out the Die Hard Soundtrack hub.

John McClane (Bruce Willis)

Bruce Willis as John McClane
Bruce Willis as John McClane

Die Hard Quotes

The best John McClane quotes from the Die Hard movies


All the Die Hard Movies:
John McClane: Yippie-kai-yay motherf@%ker.

Die Hard Movie Quotes

  • John McClane (Bruce Willis): Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.
  • Supervisor: Attention, whoever you are, this channel is reserved for emergency calls only.
    John McClane: No f@%king sh*t, lady. Does it sound like I'm ordering a pizza?
  • John McClane: "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..."
  • Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman): This time John Wayne does not walk off into the sunset with Grace Kelly.
    John McClane: That was Gary Cooper, asshole.
  • John McClane: Sister Teresa called me Mr. McClane in the third grade. My friends call me John, and you're neither, sh*t-head.
  • John McClane: Oh, you're in charge? Well, I got some bad news for you Dwayne, from up here it doesn't look like you're in charge of jack sh*t.
  • Dwayne T. Robinson: You listen to me, you little asshole, I'm...
    John McClane: Asshole? I'm not the one who just got butt-f@%ked on national TV, Dwayne. Now, you listen to me, jerk-off, if you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem. Quit being a part of the f@%king problem and put the other guy back on!
  • John McClane: Geronimo, Motherf@%ker!
  • John McClane: Happy trails, Hans.
  • John McClane: Oh, John, what the f@%k are you doing? How the f@%k did you get into this sh*t?
  • John McClane: But, all things being equal, I'd rather be in Philadelphia.

Die Hard 2 Movie Quotes

  • John McClane: Hey, Carmine, let me ask you something. What sets off the metal detectors first? The lead in your ass or the sh*t in your brains?
  • John McClane: Just once, I'd like a regular, normal Christmas. Eggnog, a f@%kin' Christmas tree, a little turkey. But, no. I gotta crawl around in this motherf@%kin' tin can.
  • Chopper Pilot: What's the matter, cowboy? Ride too rough?
    John McClane: I don't like to fly.
    Chopper Pilot: Then what are you doing here?
    John McClane: I don't like to lose either.
  • John McClane: Oh man, I can't f@%king believe this. Another basement, another elevator. How can the same sh*t happen to the same guy twice?
  • Grant: You're the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    John McClane: Story of my life.
  • Holly McClane: They told me there were terrorists at the airport.
    John McClane: Yeah, I heard that too.
  • John McClane: Oh, we are just up to our ass in terrorists again, John?
  • John McClane: Holly!... There's your fricken landing-light!

Die Hard with a Vengeance Movie Quotes:

  • Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson): So what's up with this L.A. thing? You famous or something?
    John McClane: Yeah, for about five minutes.
    Zeus: Don't tell me. Rodney King, right?
  • Zeus: Are you aiming for these people?
    John McClane: No. Well, maybe that mime.
  • Inspector Cobb: I can appreciate your feelings for McClane. But believe me, the jerk isn't worth it. He's stepped on so many toes in this department, by this time next month he's gonna be a security guard. His own wife wants nothing to do with him, and he's about two steps shy of becoming a full-blown alcoholic.
    John McClane: [whispering] One step, one step.
  • Inspector Cobb: Have you been drinking, McClane?
    John McClane: No, not since this morning.


Die Hard 4.0 Live Free or Die Movie Quotes:

  • Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant): On your tombstone it should read, "Always in the wrong place at the wrong time".
    John McClane: That's enough of this Kung-Fu sh*t.
  • John McClane: You know what you get for being a hero? Nothin'. You get shot at. You get a little pat on the back, blah, blah, blah, attaboy. You get divorced. Your wife can't remember your last name. Your kids don't want to talk to you. You get to eat a lot of meals by yourself. Trust me, kid, nobody wants to be that guy.
  • John McClane: I could come and find you, kick your ass and throw you out of your own party. What do you think about that, dickhead?
  • John McClane: But seriously, all that kicking aside, that skinny little ninja chick... she was smoking hot. A new one of those is going to be real hard to come by... right?
  • John McClane: Because there's nobody else to do it right now, that's why. Believe me, if there were somebody else to do it, I'd let them do it, but there's not. So we're doing it.

Die Hard Cast

Die Hard Cast: Holly Gennaro McClane played by Bonnie Bedelia and Hans Gruber played by Alan Rickman in Die Hard (1987)
Die Hard Cast: Holly Gennaro McClane played by Bonnie Bedelia and Hans Gruber played by Alan Rickman in Die Hard (1987)
Die Hard Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons and Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
Die Hard Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons and Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

Die Hard Cast

Even though Bruce Willis is the only Die Hard cast member to appear in all four Die Hard movies, the Die Hard cast plays a very important role in the success of the Die Hard movies.

The obvious contributions come from the memorable villains in DIe Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance, Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber and Jeremy Irons as his brother Simon. The chemistry betweem Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in Die Hard with a Vengeance is one of the reasons that film was so successful.

Less obvious, but equally important are the supporting actors whose characters get in the way of John McClane doing what he is good at. The frustration we feel is a key component of the Die Hard movies and why we love John McClane. Would McClane's wise cracks be as satisfying if we didn't buy-in to how incompetent Capt. Carmine Lorenzo, played by Dennis Franz, is in Die Hard 2? If we didn't hate Richard Thornburg, played by William Atherton, would we rejoice as much when he gets his comeuppance?

There's no doubt that Bruce Willis has created one of the most memorable and iconic action heroes in cinema. However, the Die Hard cast is filled with actors that contribute in making the Die Hard movies awesome!

For more information about the Die Hard cast, check out the Die Hard Cast hub!

Die Hard Movies

Die Hard Movie Poll

Which one of the Die Hard movies is your favorite?

  • Die Hard (1987)
  • Die Hard 2 (1990)
  • Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
  • Die Hard 4.0 (2007)
  • Don't know
See results without voting

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Comments about the Die Hard movies 2 comments

jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

I have watched all 4 Die Hard Movies. Each has a great story. I enjoyed all of them. I have watched each of the movies more than twice.

Great Hub with details. Thank you for sharing.


M A Williams profile image

M A Williams 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thanks for your comment jainismus. I love the Die Hard movies too and have seen each of them many times :)

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