It's Christmas time in L.A., and there's an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation building. The revelry comes to a violent end when the partygoers are taken hostage by a group of terrorists headed by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), who plan to steal the 600 million dollars locked in Nakatomi's high-tech safe. In truth, Gruber and his henchmen are only pretending to be politically motivated to throw the authorities off track; also in truth, Gruber has no intention of allowing anyone to get out of the building alive. Meanwhile, New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) has come to L.A. to visit his estranged wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who happens to be one of the hostages. Disregarding the orders of the authorities surrounding the building, McClane, who fears nothing (except heights), takes on the villains, armed with one handgun and plenty of chutzpah. Until Die Hard came along, Bruce Willis was merely that wisecracking guy on Moonlighting. After the film's profits started rolling in, Willis found himself one of the highest-paid and most sought-after leading men in Hollywood.

    Bruce Willis - John McClane
    Alan Rickman - Hans Gruber
    Bonnie Bedelia - Holly Gennero McClane
    Alexander Godunov - Karl
    Reginald VelJohnson - Sgt. Al Powell
    William Atherton - Thornburg
    Paul Gleason - Dwayne T. Robinson
    De'Voreaux White - Argyle
    Hart Bochner - Ellis
    James Shigeta - Takagi
    Robert Davi - Big Johnson
    Grand L. Bush - Little Johnson
    Clarence Gilyard, Jr. - Theo
    Fred Lerner - Guard
    Bruce P. Schultz - Cameraman
    Richard Parker - Man
    David Ursin - Harvey Johnson
    Mary Ellen Trainor - Gail Wallens
    Carmine Zozzora - Rivers
    Andreas Wisniewski - Tony
    Wilhelm von Homburg - James
    Dustyn Taylor - Ginny
    Shelley Pogoda - Dispatcher
    Bob A. Jennings - Cameraman
    Shanna Higgins - Hostage
    Jon E. Greene - Boy at Airport
    Noah Land - John Jr.
    Bill Margolin - Producer
    Gary Roberts - Heinrich
    Hans Buhringer - Fritz
    Scot Bennett - Hostage
    Kate Finlayson - Hostage
    Rick Cicetti - Guard
    Terri Lynn Doss - Girl at Airport
    Kip Waldo - Convenience Store Clerk
    Bruno Doyon - Franco
    George Christy - Hasseldorf
    Betty Carvalho - Paulina
    Rick Ducommun - City Worker
    Taylor Fry - Lucy McClane
    Mark Goldstein - Station Manager
    Cheryl Baker - Woman
    Selma Archerd - Hostage
    Lorenzo Caccialanza - Marco
    Rebecca Broussard - Hostage
    Gerard Bonn - Kristoff
    P. Randall Bowers - Kissing Man
    Tracy Reiner - Thornburg's Assistant
    Bill Marcus - City Engineer
    Kym Malin - Hostage
    Robert Lesser - Businessman
    Tony Peck - Young Cop
    Joey Plewa - Alexander
    Stella Hall - Stewardess
    Diana James - Supervisor
    Dennis Hayden - Eddie
    Al Leong - Uli
    Michele Laybourn - Girl in Window
    David Katz - Soundman
    Matt Landers - Capt. Mitchell