Their view: Once and for all, ‘Die Hard’ is a Christmas movie

Jay Caruso - Guest Columnist | December 23rd, 2017 6:09 am

It may not be a winter wonderland in the Dallas, Texas, area, but multiple houses with Christmas lights, Christmas music on the radio and jam-packed parking lots at retail stores and malls make it clear that it’s the Christmas season.

More importantly, one of the most significant Christmas debates has resurfaced, pitting friends against friends and family members against family members: Is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie?

The answer, of course, is yes.

For this particular exercise, rather than go through the numerous reasons to prove “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie, I am going to respond to several of the more prominent arguments made against classifying it as such. Think of it as an instructional guide. This way, when your heathen friends raise their objections, you’ll be able to refute their feeble attempts without cracking a sweat.

Argument 1: It had a summer release date, not a Christmas season release. Yes, the movie had a release date of July 15 — the middle of summer. This is a sneaky argument but easy to push back on. If release dates determine movie themes, “The Last Jedi” is a Christmas movie. But don’t stop there. The Christmas movie classic “Miracle on 34th Street” had a release date of May 4. Argument over.

Argument 2: Christmas is not germane to the plot. This is one of the more common excuses made — and one of the weakest. The reality is, the movie would not exist were it not Christmas. The holiday is critical. A subset of the opposition argument claims they could have used any holiday. Hogwash. NYPD Detective John McClane wouldn’t travel from New York to California on Labor Day to see his kids and attempt to reconcile with his wife. Nobody has Thanksgiving or Memorial Day office parties (Office-based Christmas parties were common in the 1980s). Villain Hans Gruber and crew required a hostage situation so the FBI would kill the power, thereby opening the vault.

Argument 3: There are no Christmas themes in the movie. People who make this argument deserve placement on Santa’s naughty list because it’s a scurrilous lie. Christmas themes run throughout the film. Some examples include:

Music The movie opens with Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” and closes with “Let It, Snow.” Sgt. Art Powell sings, “Winter Wonderland.” The song used in the trailer and the closing credits is Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

Family: John McClane visits California to see his estranged wife and their two children. Powell wants his shift to end so he can go home to be with his pregnant wife.

Redemption: Powell finishes off the last terrorist saving both John and his wife, Holly. It happened despite Powell living with the mistake of having shot a kid who he thought was armed but was only holding a toy gun.

There are other Christmas references sprinkled throughout the movie, including one attached to a dead terrorist to serve as a warning to Hans Gruber: “Now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho.”

The science, as they say, is settled. “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie. Memorize these rebuttals, and you’ll always win the argument with your counterparts.

In the words of John McClane, “Yippee-ki-yay …”

Well, you know the rest.

Merry Christmas!

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Jay Caruso

Guest Columnist

Jay Caruso is a member of the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News. Readers may email him at [email protected].


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