After Die Hard was released in theaters in 1988, it became one of the biggest action movies of all time. And that still holds true today. Whether you watch it every Christmas or when you have a hankering to see Bruce Willis kick some ass, there’s no doubt that Die Hard never gets boring.
At the time, Bruce Willis was known for the TV series Moonlighting, but this film skyrocketed him into stardom.
Die Hard became so popular that it was followed by four sequels, and there may be one more in the works.
As great as the original Die Hard movie was, there is one moment that has perplexed many viewers for years.
It has to do with an actor that many didn’t know at the time, Alan Rickman. Rickman played the main bad guy, Hans Gruber and he was amazing.
McClane VS Gruber
Gruber is a German terrorist who takes over the Nakatomi building that McClane’s wife works in. The office is having a Christmas party that night so there are hostages involved in the terror plot.
McClane runs into Gruber early in the movie, but the villain passes himself off as one of the hostages, calling himself “Bill Clay,” speaking with a flawless American accent. Alan Rickman was so good that anyone would have believed him, that’s for sure.
While McClane does buy Gruber’s act at first, it doesn’t take him long to get wise to the con. They have some light banter, and McClane gives Clay a cigarette. Then he gives Clay a gun.
That’s when Gruber reveals his true identity and tries to shoot McClane.
When he fires, the gun isn’t loaded.
But how did McClane KNOW that he would try and shoot him?
For year’s that question plagued us, and no answers could be found on how the cop was able to know Gruber’s true identity, when we too, were fooled.
Now, screenwriter Steven E. de Souza, has revealed the truth- 29 years later.
The screenwriter revealed that the clues were in scenes that were later deleted from the movie.
“Originally, they get off the truck, the camera craned up, you saw them in a circle and Alan Rickman says, ‘Synchronize your watches,’” he said. “They all put their arms out in a circle with the camera moving down and they all had the same Tag Heuer watch.”
But there’s more!
“If you notice, the first guy Bruce kills almost by accident going down the steps, he searches the body, looks at the IDs.” But in a longer cut of that scene, “He looks at the watch, which gets another laugh because you’re thinking he might steal the watch. As he kills each guy, he notices they all had the same watch.”
Watching the Watch
“When he talks to Dwayne Robinson, he says, ‘I think these guys are professionals. Their IDs are too good. There’s no labels on their clothes and they all have the same watch’,” de Souza said.
So when McClane meets “Bill Clay”, he was supposed to originally notice the same watch on his wrist and that’s what would have tipped him off.
So why was it cut?
Well as it turns out the movie we watched had a different ending than was originally planned.
De Souza said that the scenes about the watch were cut after they came up with a new ending.
While they were filming, they added the part where the terrorists were supposed to escape in an ambulance parked in the garage.
This presented a problem.
In the “synchronize your watches” scene we mentioned earlier, you could see that there was no ambulance in the garage, when it would have had to be there the whole time.
This messed with the films whole continuity, so the scene was eventually cut.
So now we know. John McClane isn’t psychic, he just has a great eye for detail- even if the movie doesn’t exactly tell you what those details are.
What do you think of the reason? Share with us in the comments below.