Director John McTiernan has finally given his opinion on whether he believes Die Hard is actually a Christmas movie or not. The topic has been an ongoing debate ever since the film came out in 1988. Many people have argued that since the movie takes place during Christmas Eve, it is indeed a Christmas movie. However, others have argued that since the movie does not contain any particular holiday themes and was released on July 15, 1988, it isn’t actually a Christmas movie. This ongoing debate has even extended to Die Hard 2, with that film being questioned on if the it is a Christmas movie or not since it also takes place during the holiday despite it being released on June 29, 1990.

McTiernan decided to voice his opinion on the debate. During a behind the scenes interview for the film with AFI, McTiernan claimed that his original intent was not to make Die Hard a Christmas movie, but have the character John McClane (Bruce Willis) contrast against the themes of authoritarianism and capitalism when fighting off Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and the group of terrorists. However, McTiernan is nonetheless thrilled that people now see it as a Christmas movie, and voiced his approval of that particular viewpoint.

“Other people started to catch on that this was a movie where the hero was a real human being and the people of authority, all of the important folks, were all portrayed as kind of foolish,” McTiernan said. “Everybody, as they came to work on the movie, began to get that, as I said, this movie is an escapee [from the Hollywood machine], and there was a joy in it. We hadn’t intended it to be a Christmas movie but the joy that came from it is what turned it into a Christmas movie.”

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