Americans have decided on one of the country’s most heated cinematic debates: “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie.
That’s the opinion of 62% of Americans who responded to a new Christmas-themed national poll of voters from Public Policy Polling. Only 13% of respondents believed Bruce Willis’ pivotal 1988 action movie can be considered a Christmas movie.
“Americans have spoken and have an emphatic message: Die Hard is not a Christmas movie,” PPP director Tom Jensen wrote.
Why this is even a debate: “Die Hard” is a popular, if slightly unconventional, pick around this time of year for Christmas-related viewing. It’s recommended over and over again alongside more obvious picks like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Home Alone.” Business Insider even put “Die Hard” on our list of the 12 best holiday movies ever.
The primary reason for this is that “Die Hard” takes place over Christmas. New York Police Department officer John McClane (Willis) tries to save his wife and others who are taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas office party.
Even though he admits the plotline doesn’t have that much more to do with the holiday, MovieFone writer Drew Taylor argued in his article, “
Why ‘Die Hard’ Is the Greatest Christmas Movie Ever Made,” that the film expresses certain notable Christmas motifs:
During the course of the movie, McClane is transformed. When he emerges, bloodied and burnt, at the end of the movie, his wife can barely recognise him. And how does she address him? “Jesus Christ,” the kid whose birth we’re ostensibly celebrating on Christmas Day. But his transformation is also spiritual. At the end of the movie, you get the sense that he’s recommitted to being a fully present parent (and there is some evidence to suggest that he followed through, at least in the second movie).
Maybe, as time passes, more people will come to see Taylor’s point and “Die Hard” will become widely accepted in the US as a Christmas classic like “A Christmas Carol” and “Miracle on 34th St.”
But for now, Americans are pretty clearly against categorising “Die Hard” as a Christmas movie.
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