Just last week, the director of the 1988 cult classic “Die Hard” publicly stated that he felt his movie was technically considered a Christmas movie, ending years of speculation and debate. Despite being released in July of 1988, the action classic was set during a Christmas party in Los Angeles, providing a holiday-type feel for the film. Of course the good cheer was rudely and murderously interrupted by a band of West German terrorists, led by Hans Gruber, perfectly portrayed by Alan Rickman, who spent the better part of two hours of screen time chasing Bruce Willis’ John McClane.
The 34-story Fox Plaza skyscraper that played the fictional Nakatomi Plaza in the movie is still an iconic fixture of the Century City skyline in West Los Angeles. It sits at 2121 Avenue of the Stars, less than a mile from the Fox Studios lot, which is one of the main reasons the building was chosen for the film. It was convenient.
The building was the scene of the majority of the film, and the production team even used several floors that were still under construction at the time.
The epic conclusion featured the top floors of the building being blown up. What kind of Hollywood magic made that seem real? The film crew built a scale model for the final fiery scenes.
Oh, and speaking of the climax of the movie, if you watch it again this holiday season, pay attention to the paper falling from the sky. It was supposed to be “$640 million in negotiable bearer bonds,” which is what the terrorists were after, but in actuality, as you can clearly see, it was blank sheets of white paper.
Other than that, the movie delivers for action fans, comedy fans and holiday-film fans.