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Unformatted text preview: Su (Susan) Kim Tuesday, April 17, 2011 Die Hard: An American Christmas Story The 1988 Hollywood Blockbuster, Die Hard mobilizes American ideologies primarily through the characterization of the protagonist, John McClane, his wife, Holly Gennero, and his enemy, Hans Gruber. Through the character contrasts between Gruber and McClane, the idea that high rank, success, and worldly sophistication impede morality is projected. The film also applauds the isolationist individual rather than championing collective action. Finally, the intersection of the internal and external plot provides a dual representation of the positive and negative attributes of a diehard personality. Through the character juxtaposition of Gruber and McClane, Die Hard mobilizes the idea that high rank and worldly sophistication do not guarantee moral goodness. Hans Gruber is a German thief turned terrorist. He boasts of a classical European education and of fancy European suits. In contrast, McClane is an American cop coming from a working class, blue-collar background. In his accented dialogue, Hans waxes eloquent on a bankrupt American culture, which makes him a perfect foil for McClane and his pop culture references and profanity-abundant language. Their radio conversation is a battle of style and substance: Hans knowledge from Time or Forbes or 60 Minutes pitted against McClanes references to Double Jeopardy and Roy Rogers. Although Hans is the more cultured individual, he is also an apathetic murderer without redeeming morals. He orders the hostages to the roof where they will be blown up. Dressed in his expensive suit, Gruber swaps fashion labels with Takagi before casually shooting him in the head. After the robbery has soured Hans grabs unto Holly's gold Rolex as he hangs from the window, reaching for sophistication even in his last moments of life. Through Hans gruesome death and McClanes triumphant victory, the film mobilizes the idea that wealth, knowledge of culture, and sophistication, however desirable, do not guarantee moral character. Embodying a childish playfulness, McClane manages to remain humorous throughout the...
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This note was uploaded on 01/29/2012 for the course GE CLUSTER HOMT taught by Professor Cooper during the Fall '11 term at UCLA.
- Fall '11