Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie? – Sound and Fury


NoTicketSports has discussed this before. Today, they try – and fail – to nail down the definitive answer.

Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

Joe Bianchino: I don’t see how you can answer with anything but a resounding, definite yes. Christmas is the reason the movie exists.  It’s the reason McClane goes to L.A. – the reason he’s in the building, the reason he’s there to fight Hans.  Without Christmas, there is no Christmas party, there is no mistaken invitation to an estranged husband New York City cop, there is no resistance to Hans, and there is, indeed, no movie.

And Professor Snape gets away with it.

Pierce Brix: I have never seen Die Hard. Please be mature in your responses.

Junior: Have you been actively trying to avoid Die Hard?  Doesn’t TBS have a contractual obligation to air that film weekly in the Saturday afternoon hangover slot?

Joe Bianchino: You’re a monster, Pierce.  And that’s coming from a guy who’s psyched for the forthcoming Pretty Little Liars Christmas special.  Try to sleep at night with that in your brain.

Doc: I dunno, man.  If it was a stand alone movie, I’d give it to you.  But in the series, Christmas is not a recurring theme.  Home Alone?  Christmas movie.  Die Hard?  Perhaps not.  Moreover, Christmas is NOT the underlying theme of the movie.  American Psycho has a Christmas party too, but you don’t hear anyone saying that’s a Christmas movie.

Joe Bianchino: Well, you could argue that Christmas isn’t the theme of Home Alone, either.  In fact, I’d contend that Southern justice is more the theme of that particular franchise.  “You come in my house, I’m going to retaliate with vicious prejudice.

But here’s the larger point.  American Psycho may have a Christmas scene – plenty of movies do – but Christmas isn’t the entire setting of the film the way it is in Die Hard, and Christmas imagery isn’t displayed throughout the film the way it is in Die Hard, also – decorations, trees, etc.  Home Alone isn’t a Christmas movie because Kevin drops a tool chest on the Wet Bandits, it’s a Christmas movie because it’s set at Christmas, certain important plot points revolve around that fact, and the Christmas season is prevalent throughout the entire film.

Those are the criteria, and they’re met by Die Hard, too.

Doc: They use Christmas to set up certain plot points but the movie isn’t about Christmas.  The Santa Clause takes place over the entire year but it’s about Christmas.  Terrorists attack every day of the year – sometimes it happens to be December 25th.

Junior: They weren’t terrorists.  Hans Gruber was a thief.  “An exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane.”

Doc: … I’ve never seen Die Hard.

Joe Bianchino: Dear God, what kind of monsters are contributing to this site?

I’ll ignore the mistakes you and Brix have obviously made in your life and simply respond to the thrust of your argument thusly, Doc: Is Home Alone about Christmas? Or is the movie just set in Christmas?  Could you set the movie around a normal family vacation in February and make it work?

I’ll answer for you, because I no longer trust you having never seen Die Hard.  Yes, yes you can.

Doc:  Ok, so what about this example: Is Gremlins a Christmas movie?  If not, what separates Die Hard from Gremlins?

Jeffrey Simpson Day: Within 10 minutes of the movie starting, John McClane is in a limo with Argyle listening to Run DMC’s Christmas In Hollis. These are the facts and they are beyond dispute.

Doc: The opening scene of Gremlins is a man shopping for a Christmas gift for his son.  Is Gremlins a Christmas movie or not?

Jeffrey Simpson Day: Don’t ask me, I don’t have a horse in this race. I just thought it was important to acknowledge Christmas In Hollis. First mainstream rap Christmas carol.

I can tell you with 100% certainty, though, that neither of them are Chanukah nor Kwanzaa movies.

Joe Bianchino: Jeff is right.  Gremlins is not a Hanukah – or Chanukkah – or Kwanza movie.  But, to answer your query, Doc, it is, indeed, a Christmas movie.

Submitted for your approval:

  • Die Hard: Is Christmas critical to the plot? Yes, it is the reason John McLane goes to L.A.  Is Christmas present throughout the film?  Yes, Christmas is mentioned throughout, and Christmas imagery is scene throughout.
  • Gremlins: Is Christmas critical to the plot? Yes, it is the reason the boy is first given Mogawi and sets the whole film in motion.  Is Christmas present throughout the film? Yes, certainly.

Both criteria are met.  Proving that both Gremlins, and Die Hard, are, in fact, Christmas movies.

Brixy: I believe the preferred nomenclature would be “holiday movie.”

Don’t be exclusionary. Jesus wasn’t.

Joe Bianchino: You’re the worst, dude.

Doc: I’m not sure I’m comfortable with what we’ve done today.  Maybe Christmas is just in the eye of the beholder.

Happy Festivus, ya’ll.

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing – Shakespeare

Author: Staff

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