Arguably the best Christmas movie of all time.
Though it may not top everyone's favorite Christmas movies list, Die Hard is one of the sexiest movies set over the holiday season. And definitely the most badass. Here are 14 little known facts about the flick.
1. Bruce Willis was the sixth choice for John McClane. It originally went to Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Sylvester Stallone, then Burt Reynolds, then Richard Gere, then Harrison Ford, then Mel Gibson before Willis got it.
2. The producers decided to give Arnold a shout out in the film. When talking to Powell on CB, McClane tells him, "They have missiles, automatic weapons and enough plastic explosives to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger."
3. This movie, set during Christmas in Los Angeles, has the lead terrorist named Hans Gruber. The Christmas Carol "Silent Night" was composed in Salzburg, Austria by Franz Gruber, a school teacher and church organist who first performed the song in 1818.
4. The music cue when Powell shoots Karl at the end of the film was actually an unused track from James Horner's Academy award-nominated score for Aliens (1986), specifically when Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) battles with the alien queen on board the Sulaco.
5. Bruce Willis was also shooting Moonlighting (1985) concurrently, which is why nearly all of McClane's scenes take place at night. Willis would shoot his TV series during the day and then come to the Fox lot in the evening.
6. The Nakatomi tower is actually 20th Century Fox's headquarters. The company charged itself rent for the use of the then unfinished building.
7. The LAPD officer who gives medical attention to Sgt. Powell following the terrorists shooting up his car is actor Anthony Peck, who also plays NYPD Detective Ricky Walsh in Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995).
8. Because he hoped to star in an early 80's version, Clint Eastwood originally owned the rights to the novel "Nothing Lasts Forever" on which the film is based.
9. Bruce Willis received a then unheard of $5 million; a fee that was OK'd by Fox President Rupert Murdoch.
10. The scene where McClane falls down a shaft was a mistake by the stuntman, who was supposed to grab the first vent, as it originally was planned. He slipped and continued to fall, but the shot was used anyway.
11. In the making-of feature, director John McTiernan revealed that most of the exterior explosions of the building were real, full-scale explosions set off in and around the actual building.