For us, there is no debate. Die Hard IS a Christmas movie. Here's why:
1. It takes place on Christmas Eve
Now just because a movie is set AT Christmas means it's a Christmas Film - few would argue that Rocky IV, L.A. Confidential, or In Bruges qualify. However, a Christmas movie still needs to be set at Christmas, and Die Hard passes the first test by being set on Christmas Eve.
2. John McClane's wife is called Holly
The surname of John McClane's wife is a key bookend plot point at the heart of the movie. However, this distracts from the significance of her FIRST name, which is Holly - the most Christmassy name she could possibly have (unless she was called Rudolph).
3. It's set at the office Christmas party
Christmas setting part 2: You could argue that the film is actually about how an office Christmas party is ruined by a bunch of crashers. And given the story unfolds in the same office, perhaps the whole movie is set in an office Christmas party gone very wrong…
4. It's full of Christmas music
A Christmas movie should have Christmas music, and Die Hard has a healthy dusting of Christmas classics, from the crooning Let it Snow to Run DMC's Christmas in Hollis. There's also Bruce Willis whistling Jingle Bells, while the score (by Michael Kamen) often uses actual jingling bells to provide that seasonal vibe. Even Ode to Joy - used as a refrain throughout, but notably when the vault is opened - is a bit Christmassy, especially in Japan which is also home of the fictional Nakatomi Corporation.
5. It has a Christmassy family story
A dad struggling to be reunited with his family on Christmas eve is as Christmassy as it gets.
6. "Now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho"
McClane taunts the gang by staging a Christmas gag with the body of the "terrorist" he's just killed. A key moment of the film that could only occur at Christmas.
Continue reading 12 Reasons Why Die Hard IS A Christmas Movie.