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‘Die Hard’ Screenwriter Explains That Plot Hole (Hint: It Has to Do With Alan Rickman’s Watch)

A delete scene fills in the gaps, says Steven E. de Souza.


As you may have heard from literally everybody on the internet, “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie. It’s also a much-scrutinized classic, meaning that one of its key scenes has been pointed to as plot hole by fans over the years. Said moment involves John McClane (Bruce Willis) being suspicious of the villainous Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) as soon as he encounters him despite there being no apparent reason for doing so.

According to screenwriter Steven E. de Souza, there’s a perfectly good reason for McClane’s suspicion — it just didn’t make it into the film.

“Originally, they get off the truck, the camera craned up, you saw them in a circle and Alan Rickman says, ‘Synchronize your watches,’” de Souza said at a recent screening of “The Running Man.” “They all put their arms out in a circle with the camera moving down and they all had the same Tag Heuer watch. If you notice, the first guy Bruce kills almost by accident going down the steps, he searches the body, looks at the IDs. He steals the cigarettes, which is a laugh.”

“He looks at the watch which gets another laugh because you’re thinking he might steal the watch. As he kills each guy, he notices they all had the same watch. When he talks to Dwayne Robinson, he says, ‘I think these guys are professionals. Their IDs are too good. There’s no labels on their clothes and they all have the same watch.’”

That scene was eventually cut, hence the confusion. Still, keen observes will note that McClane glances at Gruber’s watch when they first meet.

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