Tag Archives: Die Hard

Ten Great Crime Stories Set During the Holidays

For The Strand Magazine, I wrote about Ten Great Crime Stories Set During the Holidays. Have a read, and see why It’s a Wonderful Life is noir to the core and How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic heist story.

Yes, Die Hard is on the list. OF COURSE.

Die Hard for the holidays

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During this festive season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, the Summer Solstice, Boxing Day, Hogmanay, Saturnalia, all of the above, or merely waking up in the morning, please be sure to enjoy that great holiday tradition: Die Hard. 

Yes, it’s the best action movie ever made. Yes, it’s a Christmas movie. Yes, because of this movie, my son once went to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party wearing a gray sweatshirt on which he’d scrawled, “NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN HO-HO-HO,” which prompted someone to tell me I was a disgusting mother.

If you’re a thriller writer, watch Die Hard to see how it’s done. If you’re not, watch it to enjoy the story, the dialogue, the gutsy snark of Bruce Willis, and the gleaming, urbane menace of Alan Rickman.


The Christmas sweater: my work as a parent is complete

Die Hard sweater

My son had friends over for a Christmas party. To get in the festive spirit, he made a Christmas sweater. He decorated it with dialogue from our family’s favorite holiday movie, Die Hard.

I am so proud.

Considering how my other kids reacted — by rattling off lines from the movie — our next family project will be to hand craft Christmas cards featuring Die Hard dialogue. “Schnell! Schnell!” “Karl, shoot the glass!” “Welcome to the party, pal.” “And the quarterback is toast!”

The spirit of the season is upon us.

Well, this’ll end up in a book

On the subject of Write What You Know, here’s a first: I’ve had the opportunity to climb out of a stuck elevator after another passenger hauled the doors open. I suspect this is as close as I’ll ever come to being in Die Hard.

For the record, I wasn’t stuck for long. Just long enough to figure out that pushing the HELP button didn’t connect us to help but to an answering machine. Just long enough to wonder what the other passenger and I were going to talk about for endless hours until somebody found us. But the doors proved surprisingly easy to pull apart. Luckily, we only had to jump down about a foot. I didn’t even have to write out Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho.

Think I’ll take the stairs for a while.

If you’re going to yell

Dear Guy Screaming Obscenities in the Elevator:

  1. Your voice echoes up the shaft. Go on, stare blankly when the doors open. We heard you.
  2. If you’re going to pretend you weren’t the one yelling, then wait until you get off before you start yelling again.
  3. If you’re going to shout, “F***, f***, f***,” at least add, “Yippee-kay-ay,” and climb out the ceiling like John McClane in Die Hard.

Thank you.

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