Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Every year (well, usually a few times a year but specifically on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve) I sit down and re-watch one of the greatest Christmas movies ever made.


I can't remember when that tradition started, but it's been going strong for at least a decade and probably a bit longer. Not sure where this movie would rank in my list of "Top 25 of All Time" because I don't think I could actually make one of those, but it's on there.

It's definitely on the list of "Movies I will watch whenever it's on TV, no matter how far in it is" along with THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE FUGITIVE, THAT THING YOU DO, APOLLO 13 and THE BIG LEBOWSKI.

I love everything about DIE HARD, so I figured in the spirit of Christmas sharing, here are a few things you might not know about it.

Originally, John McTiernan was hired to direct COMMANDO 2. While that was being prepped, Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked to reprise his role. He turned it down, so they scrapped the sequel and moved on to an adaptation of a novel called Nothing Lasts Forever. That book was actually a sequel to another novel that had been turned into a film in 1968 called THE DETECTIVE. The lead actor in that film had a clause in his contract that gave him first option of reprising his role should a sequel ever be made, so because they had to, the first actor asked to play John McClane was 73-year-old Frank Sinatra.

Fortunately, he turned it down and paved the way for a score of other actors to follow his lead.

Because McTiernan was actually tasked with making COMMANDO 2, his first official choice (after Old Blue Eyes, anyway) was Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he said "No" to this one too. So did Tom Berenger, Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Don Johnson, Richard Dean Anderson, Robert DeNiro and Nick Nolte.

Eventually Bruce Willis landed the part, but since he was still filming MOONLIGHTING he could only work on DIE HARD at night after he was done filming on the set of his day job.

The teddy bear that never makes it out of the limo is the same bear that Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) takes home at the end of McTiernan's follow-up movie THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER.

There's more, but these are the best ones. Besides, what are you doing on the Internet? Get back to your new toys.

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