Die Hard

Continuity mistake: When he's climbing down the vents, the strap unties, and Bruce Willis falls. He misses the vent he was reaching for, and falls past the next one, so we assume he catches the third one down. However, after he flicks off his lighter, the camera pans up from the lit vent to Karl, and we can see that he somehow grabbed and climbed into the vent he definitely fell right past in the shot from above. (00:48:30)

Jon Sandys Premium member

Die Hard mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Takagi is sitting on the chair facing the door of the room when he is shot. In the next scene, the same door is splattered with blood, yet the glass structure which should be splattered with blood should be the glass window behind Takagi, not the door which he is facing. (00:30:15)

Die Hard mistake picture

Continuity mistake: At the start in the limo, when Argyle is listing all the features of the car, the bear is dead centre of the back seats. The very next shot is in the rear view mirror, and the bear's now over by the window. (00:06:00)

Jon Sandys Premium member

Continuity mistake: When the terrorist Karl is about to kill the man in the front desk, his fringe changes from neat and combed to slightly messy from one frame to the other.

Sacha Premium member

Die Hard mistake picture

Revealing mistake: John McClane stands in a little pool when the helicopter falling from the roof explodes outside and the windows shatter. In a short shot you see that this man is definitely not Bruce Willis. (01:52:50)

Factual error: The cops try to get in the building by cutting some metal part of the door, it might be the lock. All they have to do is break the glass. SWAT teams aren't going to worry about a bit of property damage with hostages' lives on the line.

Continuity mistake: When Powell's police cruiser is first fired on, he accelerates in reverse quickly. The first obstacle he hits completely destroys the right-hand side tail light assembly. Subsequnt shots of the car show the tail-light to be totally intact again. (00:55:05)

Die Hard mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When Al goes into the lobby of the building, he walks over to a large reflective marble counter. If you look at this counter you can very plainly see the reflection of a large metal stage lamp hanging right over the actors' heads. (00:52:25)

Factual error: A few of Gruber's henchmen set up the rocket-launcher to blast the armored police vehicle. As one of them swings the legs of the launcher down, another uses a 'Hilti' gun to anchor the leg in place. A 'Hilti' gun is a construction device that uses gunpowder (usually a .22 shot) to 'blast' a nail into very hard material such as concrete. With the model they're using, the nail has to be manually loaded into the front of the gun for each shot before it can be used, however the guy using the gun never loads a nail into the gun. As it is, the result would be worthless.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Hilti sells powder actuated fastening guns with collated fasteners and gunpowder shots lined up. Usually one can fire 10 rounds in a magazine. The gang would have probably selected such a model for this feature.

blackbeltjeff

But that specific collated gun was not the one they were using.

Visible crew/equipment: Everyone is surprised when Karl is alive at the end of the movie because he appeared to be dead when hanging by the chain that McClane had wrapped around his neck. However, if you look at the back of Karl's head during the entire scene, you can see the safety wire coming out of the back of his shirt that holds him up. No wonder he survived. (01:48:45)

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Continuity mistake: When Powell is driving his cruiser in reverse to get away from the bad guys shooting at him, several shots show a full roll-cage in the car which is not there in any other scene or close-up of the interior. (00:55:10)

Plot hole: After they shoot the glass and McClane escapes, the terrorists all just leave. There are limited ways out of the room, there must be a blood trail over the glass, he's moving slowly...and they let him go.

Jon Sandys 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)

Audio problem: Just after Hans addresses McClane by his name over the radio, we can hear Powell say, "Better get ahold of someone at dispatch," but his mouth movements don't match what we hear. (01:18:50)

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Al asks John if he has any kids of his own, John pulls out his wallet with a picture of his family. He is holding the radio and the wallet, but when it cuts to John's "Jungle Gym" comment, both his hands are on the wallet. It then cuts to John again holding the radio and the wallet. (01:16:35)

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Factual error: When Willis kills the terrorist and throws him out the window onto the police car, the body lands on the windshield, and it shatters into little bits. The windshields on 80's cars were double paned with a thin, strong plastic between each pane, to keep them from breaking into little bits in accidents. Only the side and back windows would shatter like that. (00:54:45)

Factual error: The rocket-launcher used to destroy the LAPD Armoured car appears to be a French 'MISTRAL' infra-red homing, man-portable surface-to-air missile that is meant for shooting down aircraft and is not designed for a surface target role. Even if the missile seeker could acquire a surface target like the armored car as a correct infra-red signature (required before it will fire), its flight profile would not be suitable for attack and it would probably not even arm the missile warhead at such a close distance. The missile is also not re-loadable in the manner shown.

Visible crew/equipment: When McClane is crawling under the long table to get closer to hear the terrorists' conversation, you can see the reflection of the camera operator's legs following along with him on the table base. (00:29:15)

Factual error: Bruce Willis arrives in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve around 6 p.m. There is no way we would see that beautiful golden sunset we see. During that time of the year, the sun would have set more than an hour earlier. (00:07:50)

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

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

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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