Die Hard 2

Die Hard 2 (1990)

52 corrected entries

Corrected entry: Just before McClane drops down from the vent to rescue the guy that's about to be killed from be the terrorist dressed as a painter, he fires 9 shots, and then he drops down and proceeds to shoot 14 more shots in the process of killing other terrorists, without reloading. His gun could not have held that many rounds.

xx:xx:xx

smd9

Correction: There's nothing to suggest he didn't reload. Later when we do see him reload, it takes him less than 3 seconds (including pulling out the new magazine). After he dropped down, he's off camera for more than 3 seconds.

Bishop73

Corrected entry: At the end of the film when John and Holly get driven away on the back of what resembles a golf cart, the long shot of them clearly shows two dummies that nearly fall off when the cart sets off.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: They are real, they just move due to the cart accelerating as any normal person in the back of one would, if it took off too fast. I saw no evidence of them being dummies.

manthabeat

Corrected entry: In the fight scene at the luggage machine McClane pulls a golf club from a golf bag. But a golf bag would never be sent as luggage without being wrapped tightly up. Otherwise the clubs could fall out or be damaged on the way.

xx:xx:xx

Jacob La Cour

Correction: I travel with a guy who does exactly this. He puts the rain hood on and nothing else, and sends it into the hold, so far without damage or incident. Hence it is not beyond the realms of possibility that McClane would find clubs in this state.

Corrected entry: When Esperanza shoots the pilot of his plane the sound of the engine changes its pitch immediately. Why does it do that? It is not as if the pilot's foot slid off the accelerator when he died.

xx:xx:xx

Jacob La Cour

Correction: When the pilot was shot, he leaned forward on the control column, which would've started the plane into a dive. When Esperanza pulls him off the controls, the sound returns to normal, consistent with the plane leveling off again.

Corrected entry: At least half a dozen planes landed at the end of the movie, yet hardly any passengers are seen moving around during the closing credits.

jbrbbt

Correction: Since the passengers were no longer in imminent danger once on the ground, the respective crews were likely instructed to hold passengers on the aircraft until the NEA flight passengers had been cleared out, so as to not overload available resources, and given the freezing weather outside.

Corrected entry: The terrorists some how raise the elevation of the airport in relation to the ILS (instrument landing system). This causes one of the jets to crash. The ILS glide slope is broadcast from a fixed antenna beside the runway, 1000 feet from the approach end. The glide slope is fixed at (usually) 3 degrees. Even if someone changed the slope (ie, degrees of slant), it would still terminate on the runway at the touchdown zone. Besides, the pilots have charts that give all pertinent information about the ILS and also have altimeters, radar altimeters, ground proximity warning systems (GPWS), and brains (duh). All of those systems listed are on board the aircraft, independent of the ground based systems. They would not have descended into the ground even if the terrorists had tampered with the ILS.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: The terrorists didn't tamper with the approach angle, but rather set the effective ground level at -200 ft. An older plane like the Windsor Air DC-8 likely didn't have a GPWS system in 1990 as they weren't required yet by the FAA, and you can hear Col. Stewart (impersonating ATC) giving them an altimeter reading that would've calibrated the altimeters incorrectly. Add to that the fact that the pilots were unable to fly visual due to the snowstorm, and you have them relying on faulty instruments and not able to realize they were too close until it was too late.

Corrected entry: Colonel Stewart and his men arrive at the airport in a helicopter. So, where do they get the Army truck they drive around in?

Correction: Colonel Stewart did not arrive in a helicopter, Major Grant did.

Corrected entry: Apparently, Colonel Stewart had anticipated quite a few casualties among his own men - he only provided for 5 snowmobiles to make their escape.

goofyfoot

Correction: This is not a plot hole. He planned to need 5 snowmobiles. His other men may have been intended to use another route to escape or to remain behind and ensure the escape succeeds.

Corrected entry: At the end of the film when the planes begin landing there is no reason for the planes to deploy emergency chutes and send the passengers outside into the snow. All aircraft landed safely without incident. They were simply low on fuel. Planes only evacuate if there is impending danger to passengers by remaining on board.

Andy in Wasaga

Correction: There are plenty of reason to do so. (1) The planes were low on fuel and the landing area is a distance from the airport. So they might not have enough fuel to move back to the airport. (2) They are all now in deep snow. The planes might not be able to get out on their own power. (3) It is the middle of the night. The people on board wouldn't want to wait till they can get ladders out there.

XIII

Corrected entry: When McClane's wife is thinking about using the phone to call, there is a shot of the phone. Behind the phone, you can see a circular staircase. The aircraft she is on, an L1011 TriStar, has only one passenger deck.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: The L-1011 was originally designed with a lower deck, configures either as a passenger lounge/bar or as a galley; just not all airlines bought the option.

Corrected entry: Look at the people carefully when they run out of the airport. They don't seem to have any hurry or rush. You have to watch single people to see it.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: With the exception of elderly people, every person is running for their lives.

Knever

Corrected entry: In the first shot of McClane on the snowmobile his breath can be seen in the air in front of his face. But he's driving so fast that that would be impossible.

xx:xx:xx

Jacob La Cour

Correction: It's not shown in front of his face, it's to right of his face, and he goes past it quite quickly. There's nothing impossible about it. I have a snowmobile myself and witness this just about every time I go out on it.

Knever

Corrected entry: When John McClain sends Officer Powell the fax of the fingerprints, notice the direction he feeds the page into the fax. The middle two fingers' prints are the first two prints to go across the scanner, followed by the outer two fingers' prints. With a fax, the first thing scanned is the first thing printed.Therefore, when Powell received the fax, the middle two prints should be at the bottom of the page with the outer two prints higher up on the page. You can see when Powell removes the page out of the machine that this is not the case.

xx:xx:xx

Tormoni

Correction: Faxes are not "streamed" live; in other words, the data is not being printed by one machine while it's scanned by the other. Instead, the machine scans the image and creates a file. That file is transmitted to another machine, which then prints the image according to its system preferences. So it's entirely conceivable for one machine to scan from "top" to "bottom" and another to print from "bottom" to "top."

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: After Col. Stewart has crashed the Windsor flight, he communicates with the control tower with the radio handset he used to contact the plane, every other time he uses a separate phone handset.

barryween23

Correction: So he chose to use a different handset at one point. That is not a mistake, but a character decision.

Twotall

Corrected entry: The interior of the plane which is deliberately crashed by the terrorists is of a BAC 1/11. I do not know any airline in the world which would choose to send a BAC 1/11 over the Atlantic from Europe due to it only being able to carry a limited number of passengers and short range capabilities.

Jordan Hare

Correction: It would be helpful to know what about the interior gives this plane away as a 1/11, as the exterior is a DC-8. Many early jets have similar or identical seating layouts and cabin appointments. I have not seen anything that obviously distinguishes this plane as a 1/11.

Corrected entry: The last scene shows the bad guys in their plane ready to take off - driving down the runway. Then Bruce gets from the helicopter to the plane's wing, fights with each bad guy, falls off, and the plane begins to take off - again. At no time did the plane turn to circle to another runway. It seems this runway was about 2 to 3 times as long as it should have been.

Jack's Revenge

Correction: Have a closer look. As the 747 begins its takeoff run, it can be seen just completing a right-hand turn onto the runway.

Corrected entry: When McClain is arguing with Lorenzo in the police station, McClain shoots the gun at him with the blanks in it to make his point. Lorenzo walks over to the phone, picks it up, and says, "This is Chief Lorenzo." It has been established throughout the movie that Lorenzo holds the rank of Captain.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: Rank and title are often used interchangably. In many naval services, as an example, the CO of vessel is often referred to as the captain, whether or not s/he actually holds the rank of Captain. If Lorenzo is the highest ranking officer serving in the airport, it would be appropriate to call him Chief, regardless of his rank.

Corrected entry: When McClane says 'damn it, I hate it when I'm right' during the crawl through the ventilation duct, it is clear that this line has been dubbed.

xx:xx:xx

Daz

Correction: This is most likely a network TV alteration, rather than a mistake. Most US networks either edit out or re-dub scenes with expletive language to make them more family-friendly.

Corrected entry: It is not possible that a Heckler & Koch MP5 repeats with blank rounds as seen during the fight at the church. An automatic weapon, such as an MP5, repeats with gas pressure, which only is strong enough when a bullet is in the barrel.

Correction: There are different types of blanks, that do allow for the firearm to operate. The 5-in-1 style of blank, designed to cycle through firearm actions and fit a variety of firearm chambers, is also commonly used in real firearms for dramatic effect.

pross79

Corrected entry: Early in the film, McClane describes Cochrane's pistol to Lorenzo as a "Glock 7" which is made in Germany. While the model could easily be made up for the movie (there's no real Glock 7, and even the mostly non-metal models are easily detected), Glocks are Austrian, not German.

Correction: McClane is a detective in the LAPD, he is not an international arms dealer or sales rep from Glock. He doesn't know the country of origin of every type of weapon on the planet. He may not even distinguish Austria from Germany.

Corrected entry: On the plane, Holly informs the air hostess that Dick Thornberg filed a restraining order against her. She then goes on to say that this is because she knocked two of his teeth out. In the first "Die Hard" film, Holly punches Dick in the nose, not the mouth.

Correction: Because of the camera angle, we can't see the location of impact of Holly's punch. The fact that Thornburg only holds his nose doesn't preclude the possibility that the injury might've been more extensive. Also, given Thornburg's reputation and character, it wouldn't have been beyond him to have been lying about knocked out teeth when he filed the restraining order. Holly didn't stick around to see the results, so from her perspective that might've been what happened.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When McClane is about to attach the church he notes that the guard is walking over his own footsteps. But there are some cars between him and the church so he can't see the guard's feet.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: He is just pointing out that the guard is walking back and forth, like he is guarding something or on an outlook, not that the guard literally is walking over his own footsteps.

Mortug

Corrected entry: The only reason the terrorist's plot can work is that the airports around Dulles are all closed to landings because of the violent snowstorm. If there were no storm, the pilots of the airliners in the holding pattern would simply divert to nearby airports when they started running low on fuel. If they were able to do that, the whole plot would simply fall apart. How were the terrorists able to count on the storm happening on the very day General Esperanza's flight was due to land? They didn't have any influence over the date of his flight. How did they know the storm would be so bad that all airports would be closed - except Dulles? I don't think they had any way of predicting the weather quite that accurately.

Correction: The terrorists in the film planned extensively for this operation, but the storm occurring may have just been a coincidence for them. They may also have had the plan waiting for a perfect opportunity, like a snowstorm. In the beginning of the movie, there's a news story on while the Colonel is exercising nude. The story says Esperanza's extradition has been long and drawn out, until a phone call from..." and he cuts the TV off. Given his connections, Colonel Stewart may well have been able to arrange a State Department call the week of a predicted snow storm. Esperanza's adherents may also have been able. Another scenario they may have had is to take the Air Traffic Controllers hostage (as they did) and have the other aircraft diverted for a supposed emergency, but the snowstorm worked out. Whatever the case, that element of the plot is an interesting discussion, not a mistake.

Corrected entry: In the scene where McClain lights the trail of jet fuel, and the fire catches up with the wing of the airplane, for 11 seconds there are several shots of the wing explosion showing fire moving from the rear to the front, engulfing the bad guys. In the very next shot, there is a side view of an airplane exploding from the front to the rear.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: Precisely. The flames engulf the "still intact" body of the plane from back to front, burning up the bad guys. Then the plane explodes from front to back. If the shot of the flames inside the "still intact" cabin was meant to be the same shot as the explosion, the cabin itself would not still be intact, but rather blown up as well.

Jazetopher

Corrected entry: When the aircraft start landing at the end, they all come in one after another, and we see them all parked at the end of the runway, (we don't see any of them turn off the runway onto the taxiways). That would never happen with commercial passenger aircraft. What if one of them had skidded on the ice and slammed into the rest? One would not land until the runway ahead was clear.

Correction: It was a desperate time, all the planes where running on fumes and could have crashed at any moment. The main priority was to get them down, even if that meant taking some risks.

Cybermoose

Corrected entry: In the beginning when the terrorists enter the baggage area they go in, in civilian attire with nary a blink from anyone. 1st off, I don't care how lax security is, someone would have noticed. In fact, when McClane approaches the door, a ramp worker is right beside it. Was he asleep a minute ago? 2nd, they seemed to open the door with no problem but when Bruce Willis tries, the door is locked. 3rd, why is there not a soul in the baggage area beside 3 men shooting guns?

Correction: Incorrect on most fronts. The door is in a quiet corner of the airport, it's quite possible that they would have gone unnoticed. When McClane approaches the door, a ramp worker is seen but he is busy with something and has his back to the door, so he would not have noticed the terrorists. Secondly, Cochrane uses a key to get in to the baggage area, so that would explain why it was locked afterwards. The third point is probably valid though, I would suggest re-submitting it on its own.

Corrected entry: When Willis is trapped in the plane by the terrorists he escapes by using the ejector seat - however the plane is a C-132 (at least the body of a C-123, with studio-designed wings) and these planes don't have ejector seats.

Correction: If it has studio designed wings, why can't it have studio designed ejector seats? It's a fictional aircraft, it just looks a bit like a C-123.

Corrected entry: At the start of the film when Bruce Willis is getting his car towed, he says says to the police officer 'Come on, cut me some slack, will you. Look, I used to be a cop in New York city. I only moved to LA because my wife took a job there. Come on, what do you say. Here we are, in Washington DC. The heart of democracy' it was meant to be Dallas International Airport in Texas?

Correction: Dallas is indeed in Texas. But Die Hard 2 is set in Washington Dulles International Airport, just like the signs on the building say, along with the actors.

Soylent Purple

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the fight scene on the 747 wing, the door swings opens as if on simple hinges like a screen door. Boeing uses plug doors, a design where the entire door has to move inwards several inches before moving outwards.

Correction: They actually used a real 747 when filming. I doubt they would waste their time to modifey the aircraft door to open incorrectly. It's more likely we don't see the enter door opening procedure and therefore it only looks like they just push the door out. (FYI. all doors on all pressurised aircraft must first open inwards. They are designed this way so cabin pressure will help seat the doors against the door seals and door franme, rather than risk cabin pressure blowing the door off.).

Corrected entry: Bruce Willis takes two torches out on the runway to try and save the plane that the terrorists are crashing on purpose. He is waving his arms back and forth in a fanning motion. When Dennis Franz and Fred Thompson see him from the tower, the orange lights that are supposed to be Willis are simply flashing on and off.

Correction: The lights look like they are only flashing on and off because Willis is so far away from the camera that his beacons are only visible when they cross above his head. He is, however, still waving them back and forth exactly as he was in the closer shot.

Corrected entry: Someone says the planes only have an hour. They could get to New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Hartford, and maybe even Pittsburgh, Buffalo or Toronto - to name a few places.

Correction: One possible explanation for the fact that nothing got rerouted is because of the two storms. One storm already knocked out at least one airport, it is possible that between the two storms the other airports were shut down or at least operating at reduced capacity.

Corrected entry: A major plot element is that the terrorists have taken over the airport's radio system and that the hero's can't communicate with the planes overhead. The characters go to extraordinary (fatal) lengths to attempt to gain access to a radio that they can use to talk to the airplanes. The problem with this is that there are airplanes at airports. Every airplane has multiple radios that could communicate with other airplanes. All the vehicles that drive around the airport have radios. People carry handhelds. There are desktop units all over an airport.

Correction: The problem isn't the absence of radios. It's the terrorists' use and monitoring of the airport frequency. Radio frequencies are assigned to given airports, and it is this that approaching aircraft would expect to use. Any attempt to use another radio at the airport (vehicle, aircraft, etc) would still have to be broadcast on the frequency the planes are listening to - even if they wanted to use a different frequency, they would have no way to get word out to the circling aircraft first. They can only use the system they end up using because it's the only other frequency the planes are listening to.

Corrected entry: When the terrorists are about to take off, McClane, before falling off the wing, releases a fuel valve, yet Stuart does not notice. However, the General flying the plane does not notice either. Since the stream of fuel is considerably strong, wouldn't there be a warning indicator in the cockpit?

Correction: Not necessarily. It's not reasonable to assume that there would be sensors throughout the entire fuel system to detect leaks. Fuel levels are monitored by the guages, which would obviously indicate higher than normal fuel flow. However, when you consider how many thousands of gallons of fuel a 747 carries, an awful lot of fuel would have to leak out before the loss would be noticeable. For reference, and Air Transat Airbus developed a fuel leak at cruising altitude due to an improperly installed engine part (24 August 2001), but the crew was only alerted to the problem when the engines began to fail due to fuel starvation.

Corrected entry: Throughout the film the exceptionally poor visibility is repeatedly refered to. In the scene where McClane is trying to prevent the aircraft crashing by waving flaming torches in the air the Controller can recognise him from the Control Tower through a small set of binoculars despite the facts that 1) it is dark, 2) it is snowing, 3) they have only met once before and 4) McClane is wearing a borrowed Airport coat. Even from the end of the runway where McClane is standing at its closest point to the Tower this would be impossible.

Correction: Ok. The make-shift torches light up John as he is waving the torches about. You can see two small "lights" from the tower point of view. The guy uses a pair of binoculars to look at these small lights and makes it out to be John. There is poor visibility for planes to see the runways if they try to land. This is becuase the planes are a few thousand feet up in the air and it would be impossible for them to line up their approaches let alone land on a runway. At the end of the movie we see how is it possible to land the planes, they just needed a guide to where the runways were.

XIII

Corrected entry: when John, the airport police captain and his brother are in the car about to go to the hanger the car pulls out and hits the cab there is an external shot of the crash you see that the wind screen shatters but when the camera goes to the bonnet the wind screen is still intact.

Correction: It's not the windscreen shattering, it's snow from the roof of the car being shot forward onto the bonnet due to the crash impact.

Corrected entry: Bruce calls his wife and finds out that she should be landing soon. We then see the journalist from the first film making a huge fuss about being moved from first class, where he has been sitting for the entire journey. He hadn't been in Holly's compartment before due to his reaction when he first sees her. Why did they only just move him when the plane was about to land? He was sitting in first class the whole journey with no problem. Surely ten more minutes wouldn't hurt?

Correction: Holly IS in the first class, the left and the right rows have only 2 passanger seats, the middle one has 3. When the journalist goes to his assistant in the other compartment to ask him about the radio, it is clear that the side rows there have 3 seats and the middle one has 4.

Corrected entry: John Amos plays an Army Major, and says that he taught William Sadler's Colonel Stuart "everything he knows." Well, this doesn't make any sense, especially if they are both from Special Forces units. Unless Stuart went through SF selection late in his career, he would not be getting instructed by someone two grades below him.

Correction: Colonel Stuart doesn't have to go through SF selection later in his career, he simply could have been promoted later on. Instructors don't advance in ranks very fast.

Corrected entry: The noise of the big English aircraft exploding should be heard far from the point of its explosion. But why didn't the waiting passengers in the hall hear it and panic? If it was too far, how McClane can arrive to Esperanza's aeroplane so quickly?

Correction: First, airport buildings are made extra soundproof. Besides, if the wind blows away from the airport and is strong (there is a snowstorm)it is possible to overhear the explosion. The people in the hall whould have felt the vibrations though.

Corrected entry: When fighting on the wing, Bruce Willis is pushed near the opening of the jet engine that is running - there is an eight foot radius around the front of those engines that would have sucked both of them in. (I used to work on 747's, I ain't kidding about that radius).

Correction: That radius does not exist when the engines are at idle or at taxi speed. And it was so, since Esperonza pushes the throttles up later, after the aeleron has been retracted.

Corrected entry: You cannot fire 'blanks' and 'live' ammunition from the same weapon without fitting a BFA (blank firing attachment). When a live round is fired, the bullet moving up the barrel seals the barrel. The exploding gas pushes in two directions. One - forcing the bullet out the end and two - pushing the working parts back. The working parts then move forward and pick up a new round. The BFA seals the top of the barrel, as a live round would do. If a live round is fired through a BFA you would be lucky not to blow the barrel.

Correction: Yes, you can It is a standard police and military practice to have a bullet "sandwich", the first 2 rounds are blank - for the warning shots.

Corrected entry: When Willis is in the pilot's seat of Esperanza's plane, he ejects when grenades are thrown in by the terrorists. First of all, those aircraft are sealed tight and have no canopy or hatches to blow off for an ejection. In that case, ejection seats would be useless. Also in that scene, multiple grenades are thrown in the cockpit, yet it takes 23 seconds before any of them blow. The type of grenades they were using, which were US issue, have a fuse no longer than 7-8 seconds upon release.

Correction: Some C-123 Sherpa (Esperanza's plane type)transport aircrafts are equipped with ejection seats. The V-22 Osprey's model is so equipped for example.

Corrected entry: The British plane which the terrorists crash is Windsor 114. Windsor is the surname of the British Royal family, and it is forbidden for companies to use it as their name, therefore the airline cannot be called this.

David Mercier

Correction: This is incorrect. There are hundreds of businesses called 'Windsor' in the UK - just take a look in the Yellow Pages. It is forbidden for firms to claim Royal patronage or approval, but using the name is perfectly acceptable.

Corrected entry: In the scene where John McClane fights the terrorist near the annex, you can see a terrorist on scaffolding reach over the deck to shoot John, yet he still manages to make holes in what he was reaching over.

Correction: The bullets are tearing through a lower level of the scaffolding.

Corrected entry: The error most fatal to this silly plot is the notion that shutting down the airport's communications will mean that no one can contact inbound aircraft. All one would have to do is go to any plane on the ground or use a handheld radio set to the tower frequency to advise inbound traffic of the problem. During the infamous blackout of 1965 that affected the entire northeastern U.S. for several hours, over 200 commercial aircraft landed safely at JFK airport in New York, in the dark, with no ILS, no runway lights, and no radio communication except radios working on aircraft sitting on the ground.

Correction: Part of the plot is that no planes can land there and they are not to communicate with the planes that are inbound. That is implicitly spoken.

Corrected entry: When the major is fighting John on the plane wing there is a white spiral in the middle of the engine, but when the Major falls into the engine there is no spiral.

Correction: Yes, there is. The turbine blades are now spinning, and the turbine boss or 'hub' is, too, which blurs the painted pattern so that it looks like a solid colour.

Corrected entry: If the terrorists had sailed off in the 747 in the end, what then? They had no way of protecting themselves from fighter planes, which would certainly have been on their tails. So what could their next move have been?

Correction: This isn't a plot hole. The characters may have had a plan, but they just didn't get that far.

Corrected entry: McClane's fireman's jacket gets progressively bloodier throughout the film, but around the time when he is fighting the terrorists on the plane's wing, it is miraculously clean again.

Correction: It is clean because he is not wearing it, he took it off to jam the wing ailerons to stop the plane taking off, later Col. Stuart retrieves it and throws it away.

Corrected entry: When the plane explodes at the end of the film all the planes circling can now tell where the ground is and start landing. Why did they not do this earlier when the Windsor (British) plane crashed?

Correction: They couldn't tell where the runway started. The bad guy's plane left a long trail of burning fuel.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: The plane crashes into the runway because they think they are higher than they really are, but the runway lights are never turned on. I'm no pilot, but I don't think a pilot would try to land a plane on an unlit runway.

Correction: A pilot got in touch with me about this: If necessary we will land a plane without runway lights - there is this thing called an ILS (instrument landing system) which they used to land the plane. If not tampered with you would be able to land the plane safely. On the other hand with that much snow on the runway, no plane would be able to land, not enough space to stop the planes. Another thing there is is a safe altitude and approach slope warning that would have went off no matter what the ILS was telling them.

Corrected entry: Forget BWI, why couldn't they just light up the runway with gasoline in the beginning?

Correction: If the terrorists had seen them do it, they might have started shooting people - someone pointed out that there were no terrorists in the airport, they were all in the church. However, another relevant point is that the police didn't know there were no terrorists in the airport.

Corrected entry: Bruce Willis, on the wing of the terrorists' getaway plane, unscrews the gas cap. The gas cap cannot be unscrewed on a plane unless a lever is pulled in the cockpit.

Correction: Further to this comment: 1. There is no fuel cap on a B747 engine pylon.
2. Fuel used is JET A-1 (kerosene) which is not readily flammable.
3. As it is not so easily lighted, there is no way it could have burned on the ground (covered with snow!!) and eventually caused the aircraft to explode.
There is no lever in the cockpit to open a fuel cap. The only equipment in the cockpit is for a fuel dump from the wing tips in case of an emergency.

Corrected entry: Now, I've never been to IAD (Dulles) or LAX but I've been in several airports and have never, ever seen a control tower in such close proximity to the terminal area that one can take an elevator to, let alone be so unsecure that civilians and reporters and camera crews can go into unmolested.

Correction: Go to the Dulles Airport official website. You'll see that the control tower is in the main terminal building, rising 193 feet above it. It is easily accessible with public restrooms right at its base! Dulles was designed in the late 1950s and opened in 1962. At the time, airports were designed for beauty, not security. Secure, stand alone towers were not the norm. Even in 1990 when this film was made, security was not what it is (or should be) now.

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Quotes

Gen. Esperanza: Freedom.
[John McClane appears and punches him in the face.]
John McClane: Not yet.

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Mistakes

In circling over Washington Dulles, a plane would fly over several airports that they could land at with perfect communication, including Richmond, Baltimore, Andrews AFB, etc. Also, there is no communication from the airport to the plane but the plane would be in range of no fewer than 15 transmitting stations that could have relayed messages.

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Trivia

The film is based on a book called "58 Minutes" by Walter Wager. In the book, it is the hero's young daughter, not his wife, that is on one of the planes.

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