Die Hard

Die Hard (1988)

64 corrected entries

(21 votes)

Corrected entry: Whenever he fires a gun, Alan Rickman's face is never seen. This is because he had an uncontrollable habit of flinching when the gun recoiled.

Correction: You can see Alan Rickman's face when he shoots Mr. Takagi and he does not flinch, however you do see the recoil effect of the shot on him.


Corrected entry: When Al gets his car shot up you hear him say "I'm at Nakatomi Plaza, I need back up assistance now." Later when Thornburg is listening on the police scanner we hear the same dialogue, only this time Al makes a comment about his car being turned into swiss cheese, which he didn't say originally. (00:55:10)

Correction: Al is on the police scanner still requesting for help. The reporter does not hear the replayed call for help, but an actual live call for help from Al as the reporter is listening to the scanner.


Corrected entry: McClane is sitting down and checking how many cigarettes he has left when the cops outside put on the searchlights. He's up on the 32nd floor (or similar) and is sitting below the windowsill, yet the light falls directly from above onto his cigarettes. (01:05:50)

Correction: The cigarettes are lit up by the powerful light, but it doesn't fall down on them directly. In the next shot McClain looks down the window and the light is coming from the ground (look at the shadows on his face).


Corrected entry: After the FBI shut down all the power to the grid that the building is located in, there is a scene of the news van rushing to the home of Holly and in the background you see the building and lights are on all around it.


Correction: It's not possible to know if we are even seeing the same building that has just lost power.


Corrected entry: When Argyle is in the limo in the basement, he's sitting in the back on the left hand side. Then he jumps to the front seat to listen to the CB radio, after which he looks at the huge teddy bear in the mirror and says something like "What are you looking at". The bear meanwhile has himself moved over to where Argyle had been sitting!

Correction: In between these two events, Argyle has been driving the limo around the car park desperately looking for a way out. We see a couple of shots where he's cornering fast so of course the bear will move.


Corrected entry: After Bruce Willis has thrown the terrorist on Al's car, plenty of backup arrives. An ambulance member starts to tend to the cut on the cop's head. If you look closely, he tries to put a pad on the 'blood' on the cop's head, but when he takes it off, there is no blood on the pad.

Correction: The mistake is wrong. The ambulance guy applies the pad once then looks at it then applies it a second time. We never see the side of the pad that is applied to Al's head so we don't know if there is blood on it or not.


Corrected entry: At one point McClane interrupts Hans on the walkie talkie while Hans has his transmit key down and Hans can hear what McClane is saying. You cannot hear anyone on a walkie talkie while your transmit key is pressed.

Correction: In the film, they are using CB radios, not normal walkie talkies. CB radios do in fact support duplex communication and therefore this mistake is incorrect.


Corrected entry: How does his shirt change from white to dark green as the movie goes on? The colour is too uniform to be just from dirt or blood.

Correction: The reason his shirt changes colour is because of the grime he picks up when he is crawling in the vent system - the space is so confined that nearly every part of his vest is touching a bit of the ventilation tube. Also notice how John himself has picked up grime from the vents, look at his face, arms, and elbows.


Corrected entry: At the end of the movie, when Karl attempts to kill McClane, (the fact he survived the explosion at the top also being slightly odd) he has the rifle he was using earlier. Didn't he lose it during the fight?

Correction: It was knocked to the ground only a few metres from where he was hanged. Not too difficult to find.


Corrected entry: When McClane is in the bathroom removing glass splinters from his bare feet, he is carrying on a conversation with Al via the walkie talkie. Although Al appears to press the transmit button each time he speaks, McClane carries on his conversation without even having his hands on the walkie-talkie as he is using both of his hands to remove the splinters. Do these walkie-talkies have a "hands-free" mode?

Correction: It looks as though McClane pushes a switch on the side that turns on a "hands free mode", just before he places the CB on the counter.

Sean M

Corrected entry: After being shot at by the terrorists through the window, Al puts the car in reverse and swerves around for safety. There is one shot where it shows the car backing through a wooden fence, but the next shot is of the car crashing into a steel gate.

Correction: After pausing the film to check it out, the gate he crashes into is NOT wooden. It's at an odd angle, and the light is making the red paint pretty bright, so it gives the impression that it's not wooden. However, you can see through the fence at a wooden pole and the walls beyond the gate with a reddish tinge.


Corrected entry: When Bruce Willis throws a dead terrorist onto the police car, he has to hit the window repeatedly before it breaks. Later, he jumps off the roof with a firehose tied around his waist and repeatedly kicks the window in an effort to get back in to the building. He eventually has to shoot the glass to do so. At the end of the movie, Alan Rickman is shot and breaks presumably the same glass simply by leaning against it.

Correction: There's a bullet hole in it already, hence weakening it


Corrected entry: When 'Argyle' crashes the limo through the gate at the end of the movie, we see sparks from the shattered battery, yet they drive off without any problems.

Correction: This is not true, car batteries do NOT need to be present for cars to run. Granted, after a short time without any current going to the distributor, the car would stall, but it can be run for short periods without the battery. Remember the primary purpose of a car battery is to provide current for STARTING the car.


Corrected entry: Shortly after the terrorist shoots at the police car, you see Al with a wound in the forehead. In the next shot, the wound is gone - there isn't even a scar.

Correction: Another policeman asks Al if that is his blood, and he responds no. Hence, no need for a wound or scar.


Corrected entry: McClane uses the terrorist's radio to talk to the police. It's very unlikely that they would all be using radios that could transmit on the same frequencies.

Correction: Perhaps the terrorists were using Citizen's Band (CB) Radio. Recall that Bruce Willis announced on the radio to any police monitoring CB channel 9. In America, that channel is monitored by police for private citizens reporting emergencies. For that matter, the stupid woman on the other end threatens him if he does not stop transmitting: that is what the channel is for - reporting emergencies!


Corrected entry: The police call in the FBI hostage situation experts, who cut power to the building, then call in two armed helicopters. How is this likely to help the situation? Cutting the power would do little to keep hostages alive and would be likely to cause anger among the terrorists and confusion among both the terrorists and hostages - two things that are most likely to get hostages killed. The police were also well aware that the terrorists were armed with rockets most likely capable of taking down a helicopter.

Correction: But they were expecting the terrorists to think the helicopters were there to transport them, not kill them - why would they shoot down their own transports?


Corrected entry: When John is on the roof trying to radio for help he connects with a woman from an emergency help line, why does the woman not believe him when he tells her about the huge emergency? Not in a million years would a person from the emergency help line not believe you when you call them with an emergency, even if it sounded like a child making a prank call ordering a fire-truck to his friend's house and they could hear the child giggling while he's saying it, they would still have to send someone out. John is screaming at the woman for help and she still doesn't believe him.

dan coakley..

Correction: As the other dispatcher stated at the beginning of the call, it came from the same building as the "false fire alarm." It got called off by the terrorists so the dispatchers believe it is a prank call. As far as they're concerned it's already been confirmed that there's no problem there.


There is another factor not being considered here: if memory serves, John is not on "911" but on the police band. Half of her stubbornness is telling this crazy civilian to get off this restricted channel.


I agree with the original poster. Prank or not, there was automatic weapon fire that caused her ears to ring, you would think that she would do something other than call for a 'black and white to do a drive-by'.

Corrected entry: German does not seem to be any of the terrorists mother tongue - they all have a terrible accent and sometimes what they are saying does not make any sense. E.g. when the terrorists hunt Bruce Willis on the roof and he escapes into the elevator shaft, one of the terrorists uses his CB-radio and says something like: "Wir sind im Heizenhaus, unter dem Dach". The word Heizenhaus does not exist. If you change it into "Heizhaus" it would translate into "boiler room" - a room that is not normally located right under the roof, is it?

Correction: When is it established that the terrorists are all German? We assume their leader Hans is, but that doesn't mean all of his men are. (We know some are American, for example.) The person speaking has poor spoken German. Not a mistake.

Corrected entry: When Bruce Willis throws the C4 (stuck with a chair and a computer screen) down the elevator shaft, the C4 explodes. C4 is very manageable and won't explode through physical force; even a bullet won't make it detonate. You'd need the blaster caps or some other explosion to set the C4 off. For more info on C4, read this: http://science.howstuffworks.com/c-42.htm.

Correction: My understanding of the scene was the monitor was there to ad weight to the chair and keep the C4 in place. The detonators set off the C4, not the computer monitor.


Corrected entry: It's been pointed out that McClane's shirt changes from white to green after he emerges from the vents; this is certainly a "cheat" by the wardrobe department to make him appear grimy and battle-worn. But notice, also, that toward the end of the film, the shirt switches back to white.


Correction: Towards the end of the film he's not wearing a shirt at all.

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)

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.

More questions & answers from Die Hard

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.