I’m not going to have the “is DIE HARD a Christmas movie” debate because there is no debate.
DIE HARD IS 100% A CHRISTMAS MOVIE.
Controversy arises because purists think Christmas needs to factor into the plot for a movie to count. To then, only movies that are actually about Christmas (like MIRACLE ON 34th STREET, THE SANTA CLAUSE, ELF) qualify, and movies that merely use the holiday as a backdrop (every Shane Black movie) don’t.
But DIE HARD occupies a grey area: it isn’t about Christmas, but I believe there is more than enough Christmas in it to qualify.
1) It takes place on Christmas Eve
2) John McClane is only at Nakatomi Plaza to attend his wife’s company’s festive Christmas party
3) Christmas-based items play an important role throughout the movie: a Santa costume features in a key scene (along with the “ho ho ho” catchphrase), John uses Christmas-themed gift tape to hide his gun at the end, etc.
4) Christmas music is playing throughout the movie: Winter Wonderland is on the soundtrack, Argyle blasts “Christmas in Hollis,” and Al actually sings “Let It Snow”
5) Ellis LOVES snow
6) McClane’s wife is named Holly
7) The movie ends w “Let It Snow” playing over the credits as snow(-like debris) falls
You disagree? Then I guess IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE isn’t a Christmas movie either!
That’s right, one of the most universally beloved Christmas movies of all time is not only darker than Bruce Willis’s genre-defining action movie, it’s even less about Christmas!
The only things that tie the classic Capra flick to the holiday are the fact that it climaxes on Christmas Eve, it has a general “be kind” message, and there’s an angel. Most of the movie is told via flashbacks that take place nowhere near the holiday, and it ends w a New Year’s Eve song! What?!
If DIE HARD isn’t a Christmas movie then neither is IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE!
Are you okay with that? I am.
These are two of the greatest movies ever made and I will continue to watch them every holiday season, whether they win your janky Best Christmas Movie tourney or not!
Because watching them has become a Christmas tradition, and that’s all that matters.