Die Hard

Die Hard (1988)

66 corrected entries

(30 votes)

Corrected entry: During the scene where agents Johnson and Johnson are flying in the helicopters, they are obviously flying in an AH-64 apache helicopter type of gunship. However when the terrorists blow up the Nakotomi roof top and one of the helicopters explodes, the helicopter used in that scene is noticably different, more like a Bell Huey type chopper.

Correction: At no stage are they seen in anything but a Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter. There are no Apache helicopters in this film.

Corrected entry: When John McClane fell down the ventilation shaft, that would have ended him. There is no way he could have caught and stopped himself like he did.


Correction: Why would that have "ended" him? I don't see any issue with the scene as shown that would lead to it being a mistake. Sure, the scene might require a slight bit of suspension of disbelief that he'd have the reflexes to catch the shaft as he fell and not break his fingers, but not enough that it'd constitute a mistake.


Another example generally is good guys getting shot and just carrying on. Yeah it requires a bit of fantasy but it's not an actual mistake.


The problem is that Hollywood has people believing if you fall you can just grab onto something and live. Not true. The force exerted on your arms, even if it were possible to hang on, would rip them off your body. It has happened in real life to too many people. : (.

Corrected entry: When Hans is holding onto Holly's watch, he pulls a gun and tries to shoot her. If he shot her, he definitely would've fallen.


Correction: McClane put at least one bullet through Hans. He is holding on with one hand to her watch. He knows he's doomed, he wants to take Holly or John or both with him if he can.

Grumpy Scot

Correction: Additionally, he might point the gun at John or Holly's head and demand he be pulled back inside.

Corrected entry: When Takagi is shot and killed, and John says "Argyle, please tell me you heard the shot" - not sure if he's saying it in jest or not, but if not, - there is no way that Argyle could have heard a single gunshot, with the music turned up, in the basement of a multi-story building, when they are 28-30 stories up.


Correction: There may be no way but that doesn't mean John can have wishful thinking, especially since he doesn't know the music is turned up.


Corrected entry: On the box for the VHS and DVD, it says, "Armed with only a service revolver and his cunning, McClane launches his own one-man war." His gun was a semi-automatic, not a revolver.


Correction: I don't think a mistake on the box-cover counts as a movie mistake. It would probably be better as trivia if anything.


Corrected entry: At the end of the film, Karl suddenly jumps up, gun in hand, from the trolley to try one last attempt to "get" John. Even though it was assumed he was dead (I guess no-one really checked that too well, either), why on earth would they have put the gun on the trolley with him?


Correction: Karl wasn't on a trolley - he's simply covered himself with a blanket or something (just as many of the hostages have in order to keep warm in the cold conditions), which allows him to conceal his gun while he attempts to get close to John.


Corrected entry: After Hans has initially introduced himself to the frightened Nakatomi employees, he proceeds to use his well-researched facts to identify Mr. Takagi in person. Surely with this much research, he could have also obtained a recent photograph of the chairman of the Nakatomi Corporation to save time.

Correction: He (or they) knew who Takagi was. Thats why Karl was conveniently standing right next to him when he revealed himself, to take him away. The point of the whole scene was to prove that they are not just simple hostage takers and that they are well organised and prepared.


Corrected entry: When agent Johnson calls for the helicopters to leave in 5 minutes to attack the terrorists at the end of the film, they are standing at Nakatomi Plaza. Five minutes later they are seen in the helicopter. How did they get from the tower to the helicopters for a long ride through LA?

Correction: Special Agent Johnson says "I want that air support ready to lift off in five minutes. Damn right, fully armed. We're on the way." He's not saying the helicopters will be at Nakatomi in five minutes, he's saying that he and Agent Johnson will be where the helicopters are in five minutes. The helicopters are on the ground somewhere within a five minute drive. Special Agent Johnson simply wants the choppers to be ready to take off as soon as he and Agent Johnson arrive. The "long ride through LA" is only about 30 seconds, which would make perfect sense if the helicopters were a five minute drive away from Nakatomi.


Corrected entry: When Hans, Theo, Karl and Takagi come to Takagi's office, Hans quotes that when 'Alexander the Great saw the size of his realm, he wept, for there was nothing left to conquer.' Actually, he did weep because he couldn't conquer more - but not because there was nothing left, instead because his men refused to go any further (they were homesick); and reluctantly, Alexander had to turn back.

Correction: Hans is quoting Plutarch. Whether the quote is actually true doesn't matter - this is not a movie mistake.


We would not judge here as a movie mistake the words of an ancient historian, obviously. Thing is, Gruber is saying something that is NOT what Plutarch said at all. Plutarch's passage had Alexander say: "Is it not worthy of tears that, when the number of worlds is infinite, we have not yet become lords of a single one?" The story as quoted by Gruber (not that he ever said it was Plutarch, mind you, how could he when Plutarch's story has the exact opposite wording?) is entirely made up, and therefore would qualify as a character mistake. It's like the "Helsinki syndrome": something this movie got wrong but that generated a misconception that still survives decades later.


Corrected entry: At the beginning of the film when Holly and Ellis are talking about their Christmas Eve plans, Holly calls him Harry instead of Ellis.

Correction: Harry is his first name. Harry Ellis.


Corrected entry: When John is first trying to get Al's attention, he hits the window several times with a chair without breaking it, but at the end, after John shoots Hans, he easily breaks a window by just staggering back into it.

Jack Kaltenbach

Correction: The bullet went through Hans, shattering it just as his body hit it.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: McClane is in the bathroom picking broken glass out of his feet, and the whole time he is having a conversation via radio with officer Powell. However, the radio is just sitting on the counter-top while the conversation continues. This is not possible since the key (talk) button needs to be depressed to transmit.

Correction: The radio has a switch to allow hands-free talk. We see him switch it before he sets the radio down.

Corrected entry: The electromagnet locking down the vault could not have simply deactivated if the power was cut. The steel used in the construction of the vault would have developed into a permanent magnet (remanence) thus preventing the vault from being opened. Removing this remanent magnetism is very difficult, one of the simpler ways is to heat the material to its curie point, which around 1500 degrees Fahrenheit (816 degrees Celsius) in 9.0% carbon steel, the terrorists did not do this or any other method to remove the remanent magnetism.

Correction: If the electromagnetic lock instantly turned the steel vault into a permanent magnet, then it would render the lock and the vault useless. No one could ever enter once the lock was activated. Electromagnetic locks are used in many high security areas and that is how they work: Turn off the power to the magnet and the door opens.


Corrected entry: John McClane opens the elevator doors and uses an axe to hold them open. Then he ties C4 explosives to a chair, uses a computer to hold it in place and pushes the makeshift bomb down the shaft. The explosion is so powerful that it takes out a good part of the torso of the building, but when the fireball gets to John the axe remains in place when it should have been blown away. (01:13:25)

Correction: Not necessarily. It would depend on how hard John wedged the axe in place. Also, the fireball would lose strength as it climbed, so the force at John's level was not as nearly as powerful as the force of the blast at the bottom.


Corrected entry: I can't understand why it takes ages for the police to find out that there really are a certain amount of hostages, who were having a Christmas party? There must be hundreds of relatives and friends who would have called the police, some of them even come in person to the scene and confirm McClane's information as correct after the newsbreak.


Correction: Not much time passes between the partygoers being taken hostage and the police finding out. Certainly not enough time for anyone to have decide that their loved one should be home by now and called the police. It was a party after all, and people sometimes come home late from parties.


Corrected entry: There is a scene, after the building is taken, where Hans gathers the hostages and asks which one of them is Tagaki. The would-be heist is obviously well-planned, well-financed, and well-scouted. He has no idea (through photos or surviellance) of what Tagaki looks like? Seems unlikely.

Correction: Hans is playing a mind game (and probably also trying to get a 'feel' for the people in the room). He knows who Takagi is; he finishes his little speech right in front of him and is looking at him when he does so. He just wants to impress upon the witnesses that he knows a LOT about Takagi, and potentially them if they get in his way. He also is trying to find the weak links in the group - who's willing to sell out the boss.


Corrected entry: There are actually 13 terrorists, though at more than one point it's said that there are 12.

Correction: But one of them's the computer expert, who's never seen by any other of the principal good guys.

Actually, the limo driver sees the computer expert in the parking garage, where he's disguised as a paramedic and is preparing an ambulance for the terrorists' getaway.

The limo driver isn't one of the principal good guys.

Corrected entry: As the terrorists enter the building, they slide a flashbang up to the guard which explodes, and then the man is shot by one of the terrorists. About a half hour later when Sgt. Powell is dispatched to check out the plaza, he walks in the first floor and right up near the same elevator area, supposedly sees nothing, then leaves. We can assume the terrorists got rid of the guard's body, but there must have been other obvious evidence of a shooting/explosion in that hallway area (blood, wall or floor damage, remnants of an explosion) which Powell would have noticed.

Correction: Except that seeing how well-prepared and thorough the terrorists are, it's not unlikely to assume they would have cleaned that up to keep up the guise of nothing out of the ordinary going on as long as they can.


Corrected entry: When McClane confronts Hans and Eddie in the vault, he shoots Hans and Eddie in quick succession with his 9mm handgun. One problem, a 9mm round wouldn't go straight through someone even at close range, so where did the bullet hole in the window behind Hans appear from?

Correction: This is opinion, not fact, and is highly disputable. If a 9mm round did not hit bone it could easily penetrate a human body. Since the bullet was taken from an assault rifle it could be an armour piercing round, for instance, in which case Han's body wouldn't even slow it down. There are dozens of explanations - only one of then is needed.

The bullets were taken from a Heckler and Koch MP5 sub machine gun, not an assault rifle. And the rounds are plain old 9mm Parabellum ball rounds anyway. A 9mm round will rarely over-penetrate the body even at close range.


Saying a 9mm round would "rarely" over-penetrate is incorrect. 9mm rounds frequently over-penetrate. Self-defense rounds from companies like Hornady are designed specifically to prevent this, as a standard 9mm round is very likely to go through walls, people, and objects. A standard full metal jacket round will very likely not be stopped in the body unless it hits bone.

An MP5 has a longer barrel. That means higher bullet velocity = higher penetration.

Corrected entry: The "hockey puck" flash bang used by Karl to blind the second guard will not work properly when lying on its top, as it does when he rolls it into the hallway.


Correction: I take it that "not work properly" would still mean it can still explode, causing a sparkling distraction and still let out smoke? I don't see how lying on its stop will prevent any of these things from happening.


Die Hard mistake picture

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)


More mistakes in Die Hard

John McClane: Oh, you're in charge. Well, I got news for you, Dwayne. From up here, it doesn't look like you're in charge of jack shit.
Dwayne Robinson: You listen to me, you little asshole.
John McClane: Asshole"? I'm not the one who just got butt-fucked on national TV, *Dwayne*.

More quotes from Die Hard

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

More trivia for Die Hard

Question: On the some versions (TV), when Al walks in the lobby to check it out, right before he gets to the elevators and then leaves, the camera pans to the left and you see a terrorist with a machine gun waiting for him. On other versions (VHS) you don't see this terrorist. Why? NOTE: I've seen both on the same TV set.

Answer: The most likely reason is that the two versions have been "panned and scanned" differently. In the original theater version, both things are on screen at the same time at opposite sides of the screen. In one version, the person who did the TV P&S (not someone associated with the making of the film) chose to move the view from one side of the original picture to the other, showing the terrorist, while the person who did the VHS P&S stayed focused on one side of the frame, only showing Al.


More questions & answers from Die Hard

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