There has been a debate raging on the internet for years as to whether or not “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie. If “Die Hard” is, in fact, a Christmas movie – which I believe it is – then this 80’s Flick deserves the same holiday movie label. A significant scene in the first act takes place at a Christmas tree farm, the soundtrack is packed with holiday carol classics, and the film ends with turkey dinner on Christmas day. With all that considered, break out the eggnog carton without a bullet hole, trim the tree you bought at the tree farm during a drug deal bust, and watch out for the “Shadow Company” and “Air America” as Tim Williams and guest co-host, Nicholas Pepin, discuss “Lethal Weapon” from 1987 on this episode of the 80’s Flick Flashback.
Here are some additional behind the scenes trivia we were unable to cover in this episode:
One of the hardest scenes to watch in the entire franchise is when Riggs attempts to take his own life. Riggs loads his piece and holds it to his head before finally putting it down. Richard Donner told Empire that this was the most difficult moment to shoot. Donner said they filmed the scene twice but "Mel wasn’t happy with it." Instead of making Gibson work it until they got what they wanted, the crew waited around the set "for weeks" until the actor finally said, "Hey, can we do that scene?" Donner told Empire: “The camera operator was sitting on the dolly, crying his eyes out. The camera’s shaking and I’m crying too. And then Mel started hitting himself on the head with the gun. I was worried about him, but I let him go.”
From the early pre-production stages, Richard Donner wanted the final fight sequence to be unique, yet also to make a strong statement about the characters involved. Coincidentally, assistant director Willie Simmons had an avid interest in unusual forms of martial arts, and he invited several practitioners to the set to demonstrate for Donner. The result was the hiring of three technical advisors, each a master of a particular martial arts style. Cedric Adams taught the actors the movements of Capoeira. A second technical advisor, Dennis Newsome, brought jailhouse rock to the fight sequence. The third technical advisor was Rorion Gracie, who specialized in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The filming was spread over four complete nights, shooting from dusk till dawn, resulting in an edited sequence that would last several minutes on-screen.
Wikipedia, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes
Intro & Outro Music: "Total Eclipse" by Nathaniel Wyver
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