ACF Middlebrow #34: Die Hard Christmas


Friends, the ACF brings you Chris Wolfe for Christmas–we talk about Die Hard, the story of an unexpected redeemer coming to deliver us from temptation in winter’s peril. No, really–Chris argues that we should take Sgt. Al Powell as–well, ourselves, the audience, who root for John McClane, but are powerless to do anything ourselves, but yearn to help him–Sgt. Al redeems himself in the course of the movie, as is indeed America redeemed by withstanding the corruption foisted on us by elite institutions that arrogantly remove from us any self-government, all the while exposing us to violence and lawlessness…


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  1. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist

    I’m just here to complain about the graphic. Really?? Seems totally inappropriate for a time of year that is hard enough for a lot of people. Isn’t there another still from the movie that’s less bloody? Something less traumatizing for the Main Feed?

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  2. TallCon Coolidge

    Should have been Hans Gruber falling off the building.

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  3. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos

    Lots of good points made. 

    I especially enjoyed the notion of Hans Gruber as personification of elites, contemptuous of ordinary Americans, unable and unwilling to understand them.  Stunned to be done in by some cowboy-loving rube.

    As an aside, I think Alan Rickman’s performance will always rank as one of the best movie villains ever. (Similarly enjoyable character as villain in Quigley Down Under.) The richness of the contrast between McClane and Gruber is wonderful.


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  4. Jim Beck Inactive
    Jim Beck

    Morning Titus,

    In othe movies, like Caddy Shack,Ghost Busters, and the back to college movie, you discussed with others the similarity between certain characters and Trump.  Do you think there are intimations of our current political difficulties in this movie?  Are these intimations reflected in how the audience has responded, have the “official movie critics” (who are part of the elite) liked or disliked the movie?  Do these critics even see that they are part of what is being critiqued?  Do you think that we have left the movie world where the average man is shown as truly noble.  I am thinking that it has be a staple of Hollywoood for decades to have movie where the average guy is shown to be a true hero.  As always, it is a pleasure to hear you discuss with colleagues and friends movies in a way that adds to my understanding and interest.

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  5. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Hey, Jim! My thought is this, if you want to see John McClane for real in modern America, look at Richard Jewell, driven to an early grave by the deep state-media elites. The media has reacted to Eastwood’s movie as though the real crime is the movie claims the journalist woman had sex with a fed & got information. That the media destroyed a man is fine. So no, nobody can learn anything. Not if they’re in elite-land, in positions they want to hold on to…

    So Die Hard really was prophetic about our political crisis, including about the danger of obeying corrupt institutions too far. But I don’t want to reveal everything, since it would be shocking…

    I think you’re right, the average Joe stands no chance in the current situation when it comes to the movies, or even pop music, or public speeches more broadly. This is unfortunate & cannot lead to good things. But it will take time to be able again to speak about what is obvious in our society, how people behave & why, what we might do to improve & who we might need to help us with these things. Movies used to, & will again, state things that need stating & give advice that needs giving…

    Merry Christmas, Jim! All the best to the missus from us–from London!

    Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor and water

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  6. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor and water

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  7. Jim Beck Inactive
    Jim Beck

    Evening Titus,

    While you are in the UK, have you caught the drift of any Brexit talk.  A couple of months ago while talking with Mary’s sister from Banbury, she told us that Brexit would be hard on the economy and that many jobs in local manufacturing would be lost.  Mary and I were silent because we have been for Brexit.  The size of the win and the fact that all the conservatives who reneged on their promises were voted out was surprising to all, shouldn’t have been, but was.  The smart folks find it hard to believe that the folks they disdain don’t believe them.  So there is or was a pub in a village called Worminghole, owed by a Russian whose wife was a pastry chef, if you are near Oxford, it might be worth a visit.

    Merry Christmas, Love fro Mary and Jim

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