Die Hard

Character mistake: In the infamous 'shoot the glass' scene, Alan Rickman, playing a German, commands to 'Schieß den Fenster', which is wrong in German because the 'Fenster', the window, has in fact the neutral article 'das' instead of the masculine 'den'. Also, it is not a window in German but a 'Fensterscheibe', a window pane. In German he would say 'Schieß auf das Fenster' ('Shoot at the window!') or 'Schieß auf die Scheiben' ('Shoot the window panes!'). (01:36:00 - 01:37:30)

Visible crew/equipment: In the first scene of the Christmas party when Takagi steps out of one the offices and greets a couple of his guests, the camera pans left to show the orchestra and other guests. A huge shadow of the camera and its operator is being shown on the back wall, then the stage light gets moved to light a different area and the shadow is gone. (00:02:20)

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Continuity mistake: After he climbs out of the air duct, John McClane's shirt goes from white to green. The dirt and grime from the air duct would cause discolouration only where the shirt comes in contact with the duct. However, his shirt is uniformly green including places that wouldn't make contact and it is impossible for all surfaces to make contact even in small areas. (00:23:05 - 00:56:30)

Ssiscool Premium member

Die Hard mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the terrorists launch the rocket at the RV, they break the same window of the building twice. (01:11:55)

Continuity mistake: When Hans takes Holly hostage, as she is sitting on the floor talking to Hans, as the camera goes from him to her, each time Holly's shirt is unbuttoned and open more so her bra and boobs are revealed.

Pjpodemski

Revealing mistake: When Hans discovers the first bad guy lying dead in the lift ("Now I have a gun - HO HO HO!") and pushes his head, the corpse is moving his head before he is hit (watch carefully). He also closes his eyes before Hans makes contact. (00:39:15)

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Other mistake: In the shot where we see all the terrorists (except Karl and Theo, who are upstairs) walking into the building from downstairs, they are about to walk through a doorway when the camera cuts out. Watch the terrorist on the left (he's the one who guards the door) - the way he's walking he's going to smack straight into the wall! The shot cuts a fraction of a second before he does, but that's not a remotely normal walk/position - it's clearly just because it makes for a cool looking shot. (00:18:15)

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Other mistake: When Bruce is looking on the touch-screen computer to find out where his wife is, he touches the name GENNARO, but when it changes colour it also corrects the spelling of his wife's name to GENNERO. (00:09:25)

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Revealing mistake: Bruce Willis wore fake feet during the movie to protect his own while shooting the film. They were like boots that slipped on over his. At the part where the FBI guy shoots at him from the helicopter and Bruce jumps to a lower level of the roof, you can see the tops of the fake feet that aren't tight around his ankles. (01:50:30)

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Continuity mistake: When the terrorists enter the building, they stream out of the rental truck. You don't see the large ambulance that emerges for their getaway at the end of the film. This is because the ambulance was a late addition to the script - the terrorists leaving the truck was originally a longer shot, but had to be cut down as short as possible to hide the lack of ambulance. More info in the trivia section. (00:18:00)

Continuity mistake: When Bruce Willis shoots Alan Rickman, Rickman falls through the window and grabs Bonnie Bedelia's arm to pull her with him. He has a good grasp on her arm because of her watch. When Bruce Willis is trying to release the clasp on her watch, you see blood on her face from his arm. The shot then cuts to Alan Rickman, and when the camera goes back to Bedelia and Willis, there is no longer any blood on her face. (01:57:15)

Other mistake: Powell says he has a desk job, but he is driving a cruiser. Cruisers are for cops on patrol. A cruiser would not be issued for a cop at a desk, especially not one who's on his way home, as Al says he is.

Factual error: Throughout the film, characters are able to break through on radio transmissions and speak to the other person talking, and the other person would hear them. In reality, they would have to wait until the first transmitter un-keyed the radio before any other discernable radio traffic could have be heard. (A good example of this is the scene where Ellis is giving up McClane.) (01:18:40)

Revealing mistake: When John and the terrorist fall down the stairs together, you can hear the snap of the terrorist's neck signifying his death but at the bottom you can see the terrorist's "corpse" is still breathing. (00:36:00)

BillyBlake

Other mistake: Near the start of the film, when John goes to meet his wife at the office block, there is a party going on and a small orchestra playing. When Gruber and his gang enter, the orchestra are still there. Gruber locks down the building, and takes the guests hostage. Where does the orchestra go after that? They are never seen again, even when the hostages are taken to the roof.

Other mistake: After Powell frantically radios in his distress call, other police cars converge on the street in front of Nakatomi Plaza, blocking off both sides of the street. But when McClane grapples down the building using the firehose, you can see traffic on the street below and none of them are police.

jbrbbt

Other mistake: In the computer room shoot-out the bad guys shoot out all the glass room dividers in a hail of bullets, but the glass windows on the exterior of the building (behind the dividers and in the path of the bullets) stay intact; they don't even get scratched.

Revealing mistake: When the hostages are running down the stairs after the C4 explosion, a large, fist sized chunk of concrete falls on an older man's head and he just runs straight on. (01:52:35)

Continuity mistake: After the terrorists blow the roof and Willis jumps off with the fire hose, he hits the window. After kicking the window for a while, he decides to shoot it. As he pushes off the window you can see that his gun is out and pointed at the window yet in the next scene he pulls the gun from his side and then starts shooting at the window. (01:52:00)

Continuity mistake: When Bruce Willis breaks through the window (as the roof is blown), he lands on his back, head pointing towards the window. However the next moment we see him catching his breath, lying on his stomach and feet aimed at the window as the firehose hanger falls past the window. (01:52:10)

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Trivia: Nakatomi Plaza, the setting of the film, is actually Fox Headquarters in Los Angeles.

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Question: Why didn't Hans Gruber simply place 5 hostages in a room and threaten to blow their brains out if John McClane doesn't hand himself in? John McClane is the good guy with a conscience and Hans Gruber is the ruthless killer that kills 2 people in a heartbeat, John would have been forced to hand himself in or be responsible for their deaths. Even if Hans didn't want to kill anyone, he could have pretended to shoot people one by one. John wouldn't know any better.

Answer: We don't know what John would have done in that circumstance. Obviously Hans was planning to kill everyone with the explosives anyway at the end. Perhaps John would have suspected that. Also, doing that would invite more police incursions.

Greg Dwyer

The fact that we don't know how John McClane would have acted doesn't remove the fact that it would most likely have been a good way to coax him out. Also, depending on when Hans Gruber would have decided do implement this strategy, John probably wouldn't have known about the explosives on the roof as he only finds out about them at the 3rd act break. As for the "more police incursions" part, I couldn't disagree more; Hans already killed two hostages - one on speaker with the police -, all the cops in LA seem to be there already, and don't forget that the involvement of the FBI is part of their plan anyway. This is definitely the one major plot hole of this otherwise perfect film.

It would have been, but plenty of movie plots don't pan out the "perfect" way without it being a plot hole. Killing Ellis is a reasonable first step, it doesn't work, and then the events of the plot pick up pace - Gruber goes to check the detonators, as that's a priority. He's hoping/assuming they can get through the rest of their plan by isolating McClane, or at least prevent him causing more chaos. They want the power shut off - they don't want to cause such massive carnage that the building is stormed before then. They need to get helicopters, blow the roof, and escape as planned. Hans doesn't want to derail things any more than they already have been.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Seems to me like they have all their bases covered; the police isn't even able to get in with a tank as he blows them up so I don't think the police "storming the building" is even a possibility in the reality of the film. Also, after blowing up that tank, that's two hostages and a bunch of cops dead so I would say the situation is pretty derailed. Everything is going as planned for Hans and his team, except for McClane, so he should be in damage control mode and this is an obvious solution. He doesn't even have to change his plans, just tell McClane he's gonna kill one hostage every 10 minutes until he shows up unarmed and tell one of his henchmen guarding the hostages to do it while they go along with the plan and maybe even try to find McClane at the same time. I think this is something Hans should have at least considered, but the screenwriters just didn't think about it/didn't want to address because they couldn't think of a good reason for him not to do it.

There are no cops dead, Hans says "Just wound them" and despite the awesome explosion, the APC isn't actually penetrated or destroyed. But Hans needed this to turn into a standoff, a show of force would prevent a SWAT raid from expediting the deadline, he needed to get all of the hostages up on the roof to make his getaway downstairs, and executing a bunch of them would bring suspicion onto how cooperative he is (His plan to blow up the roof relies heavily on the police sending in choppers) they cooperate with him, which they won't do if they think Hans is a crazed lunatic who's only interested in more and more carnage, if he wounds the cops and only shows he can defend himself, and that he was being reasonable. The cops would play ball, and they would believe he's willing to spare the hostages lives, plus he always planned on taking one hostage as a contingency, if they thought they were gonna be killed they'd become a liability. Patton Oswalt talks of a real plothole though lol.

John McClane would know they'd kill him as soon as he shows up, as soon as he heard "We'll have to tell Karl that his brother is dead" he knew that all bets were off, he lost his chance to end it civil, if they had no personal connection to the first terrorist John kills then maybe putting 5 people into a room and doing an Air Force One on them would work, but not when John knows he'll be body number 6. Al says it best "If he gave himself up they'd both be dead" with Ellis execution, John watched them take control of the hostages, watched them execute the Takagi, and when the first Terrorist thinks he's found John he shoots first after saying "I promise I won't hurt you" and then taking his bag and realizing how well financed and equipped, these guys weren't domestic terrorists, they used serious money, serious contacts, and serious planning to get themselves into this building on this night. He knew the only way to play ball with them was fists and elbows.

Hans thought Ellis was a good friend of John's and John still didn't give up when he was going to shoot him. If John wouldn't save his friend, why would he care about others. Plus Hans told Karl earlier he could stall the police but not if they heard gun shots. The police would have absolutely stormed the building if he started killing the hostages.

Zorz

Answer: Hans Gruber needed the last vault lock to open by cutting off the electricity, he didn't wanna escalate it further so that the FBI would start getting more aggressive, he needed them to play ball so he could make it seem like he's just a terrorist who martyr's himself and the hostages, and by the time they figured out him and his men aren't among the remains, they'll already have left in the basement with the ambulance. Shooting 5 people would have escalated it to the point that the FBI wouldn't play ball with him.

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