This New Years, I’m taking on a challenge:
Trying to glean something new from a film we’ve all seen like a bajillion times.
I can start with some trivia:
- John McTiernan, who directed, was supposed to make Commando 2. Schwarzenegger turned it down, so it became this film.
- The script is from a Roderick Thorp novel, a sequel to “The Detective,” which was a 1968 movie starring Frank Sinatra. Because of a clause in his contract, Sinatra had the right to reprise his role, so Fox had to offer him the opportunity to play John McClane…even though he was 73 at the time!
- Bruce Willis was way down the list to play John McClane – after Sinatra, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Nolte, Tom Berenger, Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Richard Gere, Harrison Ford, and Mel Gibson.
- Coincidentally, Bruce Willis’ film debut was in The First Deadly Sin, walking out of a bar as Frank Sinatra walks in.
Although Die Hard’s opening weekend (July 15, 1988) didn’t come close to covering its budget (estimated US $28 million), its worldwide gross was almost five times that budget.
Die Hard is part of our cultural vocabulary still, over twenty years later.
What you can learn from an NYPD detective, an LAPD admin officer, European terrorists, and an over-zealous news reporter after the break.
- The secret to air travel is that after you get to your destination, you take off your shoes and your socks and walk around on the rug barefoot, making fists with your toes. No, really, I’ve tried it and it works.
- The bear that John McClane brings to Los Angeles for his daughter is the same bear that Jack Ryan brings home at the end of The Hunt for Red October, also directed by John McTiernan.
- No, it’s not actually legal for a police officer to wear a concealed firearm on a cross-country flight while off-duty.
- Pearl Harbor didn’t work out the way the Japanese planned, so they got us with tape decks.
- But, all things being equal, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.
- In real life, the guy you kill or knock out probably doesn’t wear the same size clothes, or shoes, that you do.
- No plan survives first contact with the enemy intact.
- Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…
- Who are you? Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he’s John Wayne? Rambo? Marshal Dillon?
- Machine guns make the best Christmas gifts.
- Gary Cooper walked off into the sunset with Grace Kelly, not John Wayne
- There is no Helsinki Syndrome. He means Stockholm Syndrome, which really is in Sweden. Never trust “experts.”
- Ruthless terrorist with a gun beats coked-up marketing exec, every time.
- Determined, resourceful, husband beats ruthless terrorist…especially when the husband is an NYPD detective with the only loaded pistol.
- It’s not just cops. No training covers how to live with a mistake.
- When you steal 600 million, they will find you, unless they think you’re already dead.
- If this is their idea of Christmas, I *gotta* be here for New Year’s.
Happy New Year, fellow movie geeks.