The 1988 movie shows people coming together for a Christmas party. Terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) then holds the guests as hostages and John McClane (Willis) comes in to save them. One of the hostages is the police officer’s wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia).
Die Hard is full of action given it follows the police officer sneaking around to take out the terrorists in creative ways. But many argue it is a Christmas movie because it takes place at an event celebrating the holiday on Christmas Eve, we hear Christmas music like “Jingle Bells” in the movie, and it’s focused on a character trying to get back to his family.
Still many fans would argue it’s just an action or thriller movie. Willis did give his opinion many years after the movie was released.
Many fans would argue that the action movie is also a Christmas movie. But the star doesn’t agree.
He was the subject of a Comedy Central roast. He took the time to weigh in on the long-running debate. “Die Hard is not a Christmas movie!” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly.
But not everyone who helped make the movie agrees. The movie’s co-writer Steven E. de Souza was asked this question on Twitter and tweeted, “Yes, because the studio rejected the Purim draft #DieHardIsAChristmasMovie.”
Willis isn’t alone with his opinion. The movie’s cinematographer, Jan de Bont also doesn’t believe it belongs into the holiday genre.
“I’m not sure if the spirit of Christmas is fully embraced by that movie, to be honest,” Bont told Yahoo Entertainment. “To really call that a Christmas movie — it’s a little far-fetched.”
He did say that the filming of the movie did happen around the holiday season. “We were filming around Christmastime in the winter, and it was freezing cold,” he said.
The cinematographer admitted things like the use of Christmas songs does help the opposite argument. “I totally get it — it’s so funny,” he said.
Although the movie was filmed in the winter, Die Hard was released in July making it perfect for those who like to enjoy Christmas in the summer month. But it looks like Willis doesn’t think it’s a Christmas movie. That doesn’t stop his fans from arguing the opposite, and them making it part of their holiday traditions.