Die Hard

Character mistake: An unloaded automatic pistol is much lighter and balanced differently than a loaded one. When McClane hands "Bill Clay" (Gruber) the empty pistol, a terrorist of Gruber's credentials should pick up on the odd balance (I notice that difference, and I very rarely even pick up a gun).

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Suggested correction: This presumes that a person can notice the difference between a fully-loaded pistol versus a pistol that is empty, which makes sense. However, it would be much more difficult for a person to tell that a gun is completely empty versus one that only has one or two bullets loaded. Since Gruber has no way of knowing his ruse didn't work, he doesn't believe McClane would have given him a completely empty gun. He obviously believes there is at the very least one bullet in the gun. He's not planning on getting into a shootout with McClane, he is just planning to threaten him and he certainly doesn't need a fully loaded gun to do that.

BaconIsMyBFF

Suggested correction: It's easy to tell the different between the weight of a loaded vs. unloaded pistol, but given Hans had never held the pistol before, he had no way to compare the weight. Unless he regularly handled that particular model of pistol (unlikely, given his pistol is a completely different make and model) he would have no point of reference.

Jason Hoffman

Most likely scenario. Different models will weigh differently as as stated, unless you got the point of reference how would you know?

Ssiscool Premium member

Character mistake: After the police scanner broadcasts the shooting at Nakatomi Plaza, reporter Richard Thornburg starts begging the station producer/director for a van and cameraman. This is as the evening news is about to go on the air. The floor manager is counting down, "We are on the air in, four, three, two, one...." as he is giving the hand signals to the news anchors. On a real television set, the verbal count would end at three and the mikes would go live. In this case, the floor managers "two, one" and all other words spoken after "three" would be heard by the "at home" audience. (00:58:45)

Character mistake: The psychologist on the TV news is talking about the "Helsinki syndrome", the news anchor comments that Helsinki is in Sweden (before being corrected). There is no such thing as a Helsinki syndrome. However there is a thing called the "Stockholm syndrome". This refers to an actual hostage situation in 1973 in Stockholm, Sweden, when bank robbers held the staff in a bank hostage for several days. During the time in the vault, the hostage and the bank robbers developed a strange kind of friendship, and this is called "the Stockholm syndrome".

Character mistake: A waiter offers John champagne but instead gives him what looks like red wine.

MikeH

Character mistake: When John is informing the police about the terrorists, Franco tells Han "we have to find him and shut him up, he's telling them everything" and Hans says that they will, but then incorrectly refers to him as Fritz. Fritz is the long red haired terrorist.

Joey221995

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)

More mistakes in Die Hard

John McClane: A hundred million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.

More quotes from Die Hard

Trivia: During filming, Alan Rickman was found proficient at mimicking American accents; the scene in which McClane and Hans Gruber meet was then inserted.

More trivia for Die Hard

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
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