Is Die Hard Really A Christmas Movie? The Debate Has Been Settled

19 December 2023, 12:20 | Updated: 19 December 2023, 16:36

Die Hard stills including Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman
Die Hard has caused a Christmas debate for many decades. Picture: Alamy

By Zoe Adams

Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis, has a question mark above its Christmas movie status so what's the answer? Here's what the experts, cast and fans have said.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Christmas is upon us and while we're full of festive cheer with all the merry music and movies around us, there's only one question on everyone's mind - is Die Hard really a Christmas movie?

Up there as one of the December classics along with Love Actually, Elf and Home Alone, many consider this Bruce Willis favourite - where he rescues his estranged wife and her colleagues at their Christmas party - to be an essential watch for this time of year.

However, as there's no Santa, snow, or anything else very festive, many refuse to acknowledge it as Christmas movie.

So what is the answer? After being released in 1989, here's what everyone officially has to say about the 34-year-old debate.

Bruce Willis himself has an opinion on the Christmas movie debate
Bruce Willis himself has an opinion on the Christmas movie debate. Picture: Alamy

Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? The fans' version

It's an incredibly split decision when it comes to the answer as many are still convinced that its high action content takes away from the festivity. So what are fans of the film saying this year about it?

One wrote on X (formerly Twitter): "Die Hard is 100% a Xmas movie. Takes place on Xmas eve and Xmas is integral to the plot."

Another agreed: "Tis the season. Best Xmas movie ever! #DieHard."

But others think that despite it being set on Christmas Eve, there is nothing else festive about it.

"Just to be clear, no matter how they spin it, Die Hard is a movie set during xmas not a xmas movie nice try though," explained one.

Comparing it to Home Alone, another insisted: "Home Alone celebrates the time of year, it has the xmas atmosphere. Die Hard doesn't do that. Basically I win, Die Hard isn't a xmas movie."

Die Hard features Christmas references throughout
Die Hard features Christmas references throughout. Picture: Alamy

Do the cast and film makers think Die Hard is a Christmas movie?

If anyone should know, it would be those involved in making the film, right? Wrong. Even they're just as split!

Director John McTiernan and screenwriter Steven E. de Souza have both stated that Die Hard is unquestionably a Christmas movie. With lots of Christmas references, and the main concept being a family gathering for December 25th, what more do fans need?

However, John McLane/Bruce Willis himself disagrees. At the end of his Comedy Central Roast, Bruce Willis declared in epic fashion that "Die Hard is not a Christmas movie".

Die Hard (1988) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

So is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

Unfortunately, this is a festive debate that will go on for years to come. However, the fact that it's this time of year that everyone chooses to watch the Willis classic has to count for something right...

Listen live to Capital, and catch up on any shows you missed, on Global Player.