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July 13, 2018

Open Thread: Die Hard Turns 30

Interesting piece about the novel Die Hard was based on. Nothing Lasts Forever was a sequel to The Detective, which itself was made into a movie starring Frank Sinatra as the titular detective.

The sequel was literally dreamed up when the writer fell asleep while watching the Towering Inferno. Sinatra was too old to reprise the role by then, so the name was changed from "John Leland" to "John McClane" and offered to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who turned it down.

A bit of trivia you probably already know: the scene where Hans, pretending to be "Bill Clay," meets John McClane wasn't in the original script. They only wrote that sequence after hearing Rickman's version of an American accent. And maybe after realizing that it's, what's the word, insane to never have the hero meet the villain face-to-face until the final confrontation.

I've seen them talk about Rickman's "American accent;" they claimed it was "great." I guess they mean it was hilariously bad? Seriously, he does not sound American at all. I guess it's funny but it kind of makes McClane look pretty dumb for even pretending along with this nonsense.

Regarding Die Hard With a Vengeance: You probably know this, but the reason the ending of that film was choppy and look like it was a rush-job filmed only an afterthought is because it was a rush-job filmed only as an afterthought. In the original version of the movie, "Simon" actually escapes after the cargo ship detonation. Only three years later would we see McClane finally track down Simon and confront him.

That original ending can be seen here.

It's not good. So both endings of that otherwise-good movie are bad.

One important legacy of Die Hard: A young British author was inspired by the sight of McClane's barefoot heroics to write his own story of barefoot heroics. That author? JRR Tolkien. "The Hobbit" was conceived as "Reverse Die Hard in a Mountain," another "siege" action-thriller, with the dwarven crew of thieves as the heroes and the dragon, a scaly Mr. Nakatomi trying to guard his loot, as the villain.

"The Hobbit" was also made into a movie, cashing in on the popularity of Die Hard.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 07:39 PM

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