A December 2017 survey listed action movie "Die Hard" as the US's seventh-favorite Christmas film. The film's scriptwriter Steven E. de Souza offered a light-hearted perspective on its merits as a seasonal classic via Twitter.
Mall hostage rescue story "Die Hard" is one of the US's favorite Christmas movies, according to a late December poll run by political news site Axios in conjunction with SurveyMonkey.
Ranked seventh with a combined seven percent percentage point tally, the 1988 Bruce Willis movie directed by John McTiernan ("Predator") sees an off-duty police officer tackle a terrorist plot in a glitzy shopping mall in Los Angeles.
The antagonist, Hans Gruber, was played by Alan Rickman, later seen in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" as the devious Sheriff of Nottingham, and in the "Harry Potter" franchise as one of Harry's mentors, Professor Snape.
Based on a novel by Roderick Thorp, "Die Hard" takes place at Christmas. This, among other reasons, might make it a better Christmas movie than the 1954 Bing Crosby musical "White Christmas," one of its scriptwriters playfully suggests.
The entirety of the film is set during Christmas, Steven E. de Souza noted through his Twitter account – during a Christmas party, in fact.
By contrast, "White Christmas" waits until its final reel to usher in the festive event.
As for its soundtrack, "Die Hard" contains three Christmas songs -- "Let It Snow," "Winter Wonderland," and "Christmas in Hollis" -- while "White Christmas" has only its title track in addition to "Snow."
What the two movies have in common is party venues in jeopardy, a media personality character with a hidden agenda, a German antagonist, and government incompetence.
Souza also mischievously suggests that both have moments of "Christ-like sacrifice," as John McClane runs barefoot through shards of broken glass in "Die Hard" while Danny Kaye upgrades Vera Ellen's train ticket in "White Christmas."
"You be the judge," he offers at the end of his checklist.
On Christmas Eve, he joined the seasonal debate in proposing that "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie because "the studio rejected the Purim draft," referencing the Jewish holiday, and that "a woman about to give birth features prominently."
Ahead of "Die Hard" in the Axios and SurveyMonkey poll were "Miracle on 34th Street" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (both at nine percent,) "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Elf" (both 11 percent,) "It's a Wonderful Life" (14 percent) and "A Christmas Story" (16 percent.)
Most top-ranking movies gained votes across gender lines, but "Die Hard" was the favorite for 12 percent of men and only three percent of women; "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" got seven percent of men's votes compared to 14 percent of women's.