based on the novel
Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorpe
WITH REVISION #1 (Blue) WITH REVISION #5 (Goldenrod)
November 2, 1987 November 5, 1987
WITH REVISION #2 (Pink) WITH REVISION #6 (Salmon)
November 4, 1987 November 17, 1987
WITH REVISION #3 (Green) WITH REVISION #7 (Blue)
November 4, 1987 November 23, 1987
WITH REVISION #4 (Yellow) WITH REVISION #8 (Pink)
November 5, 1987 November 30, 1987
SECOND REVISED DRAFT
October 2, 1987
A Gordon Company/Silver Pictures Production
1 405 FREEWAY – LOS ANGELES – EARLY EVENING 1
Christmas tinsel on the light poles. We ARE LOOKING east past
Inglewood INTO the orange grid of L.A. at night when suddenly
we TILT UP TO CATCH the huge belly of a landing 747 — the
noise is deafening.
2 INT. 747 – PASSENGERS – SAME 2
The usual moment just after landing when you let out that sigh
of relief that you’ve made it in one piece. As the plane TAXIS
to its gate, they stir, gather personal belongings.
3 ON JOHN MCCLANE 3
mid-thirties, good-looking, athletic and tired from his trip.
He sits by the window. His relief on landing is subtle, but
we NOTICE. Suddenly, he hears —
You don’t like flying, do you?
McClane turns, looks at the Babbit clone next to him. Caught,
he tenses, holds his armrests in exaggerated fear.
No, no, where’d you get that idea?
Ya wanna know the secret of successful
air travel? After you get where you’re
going, ya take off your shoes and socks.
Then ya walk around on the rug barefoot
and make fists with your toes.
Fists with your toes.
Maybe it’s not a fist when it’s your
toes…I mean like this…work out
that time zone tension.
Better’n a cup of coffee and a hot
shower for the old jet lag. I know
it sounds crazy. Trust me. I’ve
been doing it for nine years.
The plane stops. Passengers rise, start to take down overhead
luggage. McClane does this, but as he opens the door above,
the businessman BLANCHES seeing:
3-A HIS P.O.V. – MCCLANE’S BARETTA PISTOL 3-A
Peeking out from his jacket.
3-B BACK TO SCENE 3-B
Recognizing the look, McClane smiles reassuringly.
I’m a cop.
Trust me. I’ve been doing it for
The businessman relaxes, moves off. McClane now wrestles down
the biggest Teddy Bear FAO Schwartz had to offer. Balancing
this, he moves down to another overhead, takes out a topcoat
and an overnighter. Barely managing all this, he turns,
3-C A PRETTY STEWARDESS 3-C
She bumps noses with the bear, gives a look.
(smiling, about the bear)
Maybe you should have bought her a
He scrutinizes the nether regions of the bear, shrugs.
She doesn’t complain.
Neither would I.
McClane smiles, with just enough of a sigh to know he’s as
wistful about things-that-might-have-been as she is…moves
down the aisle.
4 INT. THE NAKATOMI BUILDING (LOS ANGELES) – EVENING 4
CLOSE ON A bottle of Dom Perignon as the cork explodes across
a large office floor decorated for Christmas. A Japanese man,
mid-fifties standing on a desk holds up the bottle triumphantly
and looks out at an adoring audience of junior executives and
office personnel. He is JOSEPH TAKAGI, Sr V.P. of Sales for
Nakatomi, a multinational corporation.
Ladies and gentlemen…I congratulate
each and every one of you for making
this one of the greatest days in the
history of the Nakatomi corporation…
In the b.g., obviously still at work, an attractive BUSINESSWOMAN
in her mid-thirties, studying a computer printout, heads toward
her office. Falling into step with her is HARRY ELLIS,
thirty-seven, V.P. of Sales. Well-dressed, with stylish,
slicked-back hair, he looks and acts very smooth.
What about dinner?
Harry, it’s Christmas Eve. Families…
Frosty…those things ring a bell?
She turns into:
5 HER OFFICE 5
Her name is HOLLY GENNARO MCCLANE, though the nameplate on her
door stops after the first two. She puts the printout down
on her secretary’s desk.
I was thinking more of roaring
fireplaces…mulled wine and a nice
Holly ignores the come-on, turns to her secretary.
Ginny, it’s 6:40, you’re making me
feel like Ebeneezer Scrooge. Go on,
join the party, have some champagne.
Ginny slowly manipulates herself out of her seat. She is
Thanks Ms. Gennaro.
Do you think the baby can handle
a little sip?
Ginny, that baby’s ready to tend bar.
(not giving up)
How about tomorrow night?
Holly just points to the door. He follows Ginny out, clearly
not giving up. Just then the party on Holly’s phone picks up
6 INT. NICE HOUSE IN SANTA MONICA 6
where a five-year old LUCY MCCLANE races her YOUNGER BROTHER
to the phone, winsthe wrestling match, and answers with a sense
of importance. An Xmas tree is in the b.g.
McClane residence. Lucy McClane
Holly suddenly smiles. It is the first time we’ve seen her
smile and it speaks volumes about the person hidden under a
tough business exterior.
Hello, Lucy McClane. This is your
She looks up and watches Ellis leave. He “shoots” her with a
“catch ya later” wink.
Mommy! When are you coming home?!
Soon. You’ll be in bed when I get
Will you come say ‘good night’?
Don’t I always, you goose?
(enjoying Lucy’s giggle)
Now put Paulina on the line, and
no searching the house for presents!
I didn’t look in the front closet
under the steps! Is Daddy coming
home with you?
(hearing this, jumping up
Yeah! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!
(on second thought)
And a Captain Power!
(a little tightly)
Well, we’ll see what Santa and Mommy
can do. Goose, put Paulina on, okay?
Lucy hands the phone to a young Salvadorian woman, PAULINA,
Hello, Mrs. Holly. You coming home
I’m working on it.
Did Mr. McClane call? *
Holly hides a trace of disappointment.
Well…maybe there wasn’t time before *
the flight. You should probably make
up the spare room just in case.
Yes, Mrs. Holly. I do that already. *
Holly’s smile comes through again.
7 INT. LAX – EVENING 7
McClane, wearing his wool topcoat and carrying the biggest
stuffed animal FAO Schwartz had in stock and his hangup bag,
comes down the American Airlines ramp and into the terminal.
He avoids one near-collision involving his stuffed animal, an
act which drives him into another fender bender with a CUTE
GIRL who looks like she’s ready for high tide at Zuma. As she
smiles, weaves onward, McClane looks at his own Arctic gear
and then the girl as she kisses a similarly garbed boyfriend.
(sotto, to himself)
He looks around the terminal at:
7-A HIS P.O.V. – TERMINAL 7-A
FAMILY REUNIONS are going on all around his as grandparents
greet grown children and their children, YOUNG WIVES greet
uniformed SOLDIERS, our Babbit businessman greets a pleasant
wife and two pleasant kids. It’s all very traditional, very
touching and not the least bit corny.
7-B BACK TO SCENE 7-B
McClane watches, moved by the sight, then looks around the
waiting area, just on the chance his family might be waiting.
Instead he spots a thin, gangling black kid, ARGYLE, in an
ill-fitting chauffeur’s uniform. As he waits he beats out a
rhythmn on a “Nakatomi Corporation” card with J. McCLANE written
on it in magic marker. McClane pauses in front of him, unsure.
I’m John McClane.
Argyle. I’m your limo driver. Hey,
He turns and starts walking. McClane paces him, still juggling
bag and giant animal.
Argyle. Don’t you take this stuff?
Do I? I’m sorry. You’re gonna have to
help me, man. This is my first time
driving a limo.
That’s okay. This is my first time
riding in one.
8 WITH THE LIMO – DUSK 8
TILT UP from the Lincoln emblem on the car.
Both Argyle and McClane are in the front seat.
Just kick back and relax, man. We
got everything you need: CD, CB,
TV, VHS, telephone, full bar.
He looks in the back seat, which is occupied by the bear.
If your friend is hot to trot…I
know a couple of mama bears.
(turning to McClane)
…Or is he married?
McClane tries to get comfortable, scowls as a RUSTLING NOISE
reveals wrappers and styrofoam from Taco Bell. He scowls at
The girl was off today. Hey, I
didn’t expect you to sit up front.
(back to the topic)
So, your lady live out here?
The past six months.
(thinking about that)
Meanwhile, you still live in
You’re nosey, you know that, Argyle?
Hey, I’m sorry. When I was a
cabdriver, see, people expected a little
chit chat, a little eccentricity and
comaraderie, I forgot how stuck up you
limo guys were, so excuse me.
It’s okay, it’s okay.
So, you divorced of what?
McClane gives up.
She had a good job, it turned into
a great career.
But meant her moving here.
Closer to Japan. You’re fast.
So, why didn’t you come?
‘Cause I’m a New York cop who used
to be a New York kid, and I got six
months backlog of New York scumbags
I’m still trying to put behind bars.
I don’t just get up and move.
(to the point)
You mean you thought she wouldn’t
make it out here and she’d come
crawling on back, so why bother to
McClane grins, he like Argyle even if he is direct.
Like I said, Argyle…you’re fast.
(popping in a cassette)
Mind if I play some tunes?
A hard RAP SONG blasts from the speakers.
How ’bout some Christmas music?
That is Christmas music.
And damned it if isn’t, the Fat Boys of Run DMC doing a
revisionist number on WHITE CHRISTMAS or something. McClane
gives up, looks out the window.
9 HIS P.O.V. 9
Convertibles with Christmas trees in their back seats,
Time/Temperature signs which reads: 69 degrees, palm trees
trimmed in Christmas lights, intermittent West side token
“Happy Chanukahs”…it is clear that Christmas L.A. style has
its own unique style.
10- OUT OUT 10-
11-A THE LIMO – CENTURY CITY 11-A
TILT DOWN FROM one of the stars of this film, the well-lit,
impressive and spanking-new NAKATOMI BUILDING. The limo pulls
up, parks, and Argyle gets out. McClane lets himself out,
which is fine because Argyle doesn’t remember he’s supposed to
do it. They both go to the rear of the vehicle.
12 EXT. NAKATOMI BUILDING – NIGHT 12
Argyle climbs out of the limo and stops by the trunk.
So, you go on upstairs to the party,
your lady sees you, you run into each
other’s arms. Music comes up, you
live happily ever after, that it?
It’s corny, but I could live with it.
What is it don’t work out that way?
Where you gonna stay?
I’ll find someplace.
He looks up at the highrise lit by huge spotlights, then
back at Argyle who’s made no attempt to open the trunk.
Tell you what. I’ll pull into the
parking garage and wait. You score
with your wife give me a call on the
car phone and I’ll leave your bags
inside at the desk. You strike out…
I’ll get you to a hotel.
He hands McClane a business card with the number on it.
(taking the number)
You’re all right, Argyle.
Just remember that when you sign
for the tip.
(pointing to the
They’re paying for it, so don’t be
McClane grins, heads inside.
13 INT. NAKATOMI LOBBY – NIGHT 13
Beautiful and — on first glance — deserted. Finally a
SOUND in the sterile lobby reveals the presence of a
SECURITY GUARD hidden until now behind a massive desk.
McClane goes there, signs in.
The Guard points to a prominent touch screen computer console.
Just type it in there.
McClane is confused for a moment, then he moves to the screen.
He gives the Guard a look…the Guard raises his eyebrows as
if to say give it a try.
13-A SCREEN – CLOSER 13-A
McClane types, “McClane, Holly”. Pause. The screen replies,
NO SUCH EMPLOYEE LISTED.
13-B MCCLANE 13-B
Frowns…thinks. Simultaneously inspired and suspicious, he
13-C THE SCREEN 13-C
McClane types, GENNERO, HOLLY. This time the screen CHANGES,
shows an elevation of the building and then a floor plan of the
30th floor with Holly’s office BLINKING. *
13-D BACK TO SCENE 13-D
Yeah. When you have to take a leak
it’ll help you find your zipper.
Thirtieth floor… *
Take the express elevator and get
off at the noise.
McClane nods, moves off. He moves to the elevators, and as he
does his experienced eye takes in:
13-E ANOTHER SECURITY GUARD 13-E
Patrolling a different area.
13-F SEVERAL HI-TECH CAMERAS AND SENSORS 13-F
which are cleverly worked into the decor of the lobby.
13-G BACK TO SCENE 13-G
McClane reacts with bored professionalism, NODS to the guard.
Lots of hardware…
The guard shrugs. McClane gets in the elevator.
14 INT. ELEVATOR – NIGHT 14
McClane hits “30” and REACTS to the hyper-powered SPEED with
which he rises. He rotates his head, getting out the travel
As he approaches the 30th floor we hear a tremendous THUMPING,
THROBBING NOISE. McClane stops and listens before he
realizes — it’s the party. As the doors open the noise
15 30TH FLOOR – SAME 15
McClane moves around the edge of the party, gradually
spiraling inward. He grabs a glass of Mimosa champagne punch
from a passing tray, sips…scowls. Spotting open beers in
an ice bucket, he tosses the punch into a potted plant, even
burying the plastic glass. Sipping the beer, he moves through
the dense party. People he doesn’t know throw streamers over
A WOMAN kisses him. He grins. A MAN kisses him.
(to himself, shaking
Finally he queries a DANCING WOMAN. The MUSIC drowns out their
words but she nods, points off in some generic direction.
McClane heads that way, cuts around a Christmas tree, loses
his bearings. He sees:
15-A TAKAGI 15-A
who has an air of authority. McClane goes up to him.
Excuse me, I’m looking for —
Yeah. How’d you know?
I’ve spent half my life on airplanes, *
I can recognize someone who just
got off one.
I’m Joe Takagi, Mr. McClane. I have
…something to do with this company.
So I’ve heard.
Takagi smiles, leads the way. As they approach Holly’s office
door, McClane notices the name there is — again — “Gennero”.
Holly went to the Vault room to FAX
some documents…she should be back
16 HOLLY’S OFFICE 16
Ellis is behind the desk. He’s SNIFFLING and just as they
come in he SWEEPS the back of the slick desktop with his hand.
Both McClane and Takagi catch on…but Takagi tries to hide
Ah…hi…I just had to make a quick
call, and this was the nearest phone…
(as Ellis rises)
Ellis, this is John McClane…
Ellis is in charge of International
(shaking hands with Ellis)
That explains the recent deal with
Ellis REACTS, runs a checking finger under his nose.
Relax, Ellis. I’m off duty.
(eager to change the
subject, to McClane)
Can I get you anything? Food? Cake?
Watered down champagne punch?
(looking through the
You throw quite a party. I didn’t
know they had Christmas in Japan.
Hey, we’re flexible. Pearl Harbor
didn’t work out, we got you with
McClane laughs. He likes this guy.
Actually, it’s kind of a double celebration. *
We closed a pretty big deal today and a lot
of it was due to Holly.
The door OPENS. Holly comes inside.
All set, Joe. The contracts went
over the wire, and —
16-A MCCLANE AND HOLLY 16-A
A moment. Does the sound of the party stop for him? We know
- For her? It’s more cryptic. We sure hope so.
I was hoping you made that flight.
I was hoping you were hoping that.
She laughs, kisses him on the cheek. Ellis notes the awkwardness.
You wife’s made for this business.
She know how to drive a hard bargain.
Yeah. I remember our first date.
Show him the watch.
As she hesitates:
Go on, show him. What’re you,
A little token of our appreciation
for all her work.
He takes Holly’s wrist, holds it up. McClane smoothly takes
the wrist away from Ellis, looks at the watch.
Nice, but one of us is three hours
out of sync. I think it’s me.
(to Holly, pointedly)
Is there a place I can wash up?
(happy for the excuse)
Sure. Follow me.
They go out. Alone, Takagi’s look at Ellis shows his
disapproval of certain snow at Christmas.
17 EXT. NAKATOMI – NIGHT 17
An Emory freight truck turns off Olympic into the underground
parking garage of Nakatomi.
18 INT. PARKING GARAGE 18
It goes down the ramp and passes Argyle’s black limo. The
driver’s seat is EMPTY.
19 INT. LIMO – SAME 19
Argyle sits in the back seat hidden from the outside world by
the tinted rear windows. He is making a drink from the bar
with the TV on and his rap music blasting from the cassette
player, oblivious to the truck passing behind him.
20 INT. PARKING GARAGE – SAME 20
The Emory truck stops in front of the service elevator on the
next level down. As the truck idles, the uniformed driver
makes a note on his clipboard.
21 INT. ELLIS’ OFFICE – NIGHT 21
TILT UP FROM McClane’s BARE FEET. He is clenching and
unclenching his toes.
(surprised, actually feeling
Son-of-a-bitch. It works.
Holly sits on the desk here, watches him remove his jacket, tie
shirt, etc. Begin to wash up in the private bath.
What are you doing?
It’s a long story. You know, I
think that Ellis has his eye on you.
… I have an eye on his private
McClane’s face shows his relief (or rather, his attempt not
to show any).
So, where are you staying? This *
all happened so fast I didn’t even
ask you on the phone.
McClane finishes drying his face and steps to the bath doorway.
Well, Cappy Roberts retired out
here a couple years ago. He said I
could bunk with him.
Oh…Where does he live?
Ramona…no, Pomona, that’s it.
Pomona! You’ll be in the car the
whole time…Look, let’s make this
easy. I have a spare bedroom. It’s
not huge, but the kids would love to
have you at the house.
McClane fixes her with a look.
They would, huh?
I would too.
They lock eyes for a moment, but it’s an intense moment that
says a lot about how they still feel about each other.
Just then a man and a woman, both a little tipsy, open the
door to the office, see that it’s occupied and beat a hasty
retreat. The interruption temporarily dents the mood. Holly
tries to smile. But for McClane it’s the last frustration.
…I’ve missed you. *
Especially my name. You must miss
it every time you write a check. When
did you start calling yourself
This is a Japanese company, you know?
They figure a married woman, she’s on
the way out the door…
Sure. It’s unnerving. I remember
this one particular married woman,
she went out the door so fast there
was practically a jetwash…I mean,
talk about your wind chill factor…
Didn’t we have this same conversation
in July? Damn it, John, there was
an opportunity out here — I had to
take it —
No matter what it did to our marriage — ?
My job and my title and my salary did
nothing to our marriage except change
your idea of what it should be.
Oh, here it comes. One of those
‘meaningful relationship conversations.’
I never should’ve let you get those
magazine subscriptions —
You want to know my idea of a marriage?
It’s a partnership where people help
each other over the rough spots —
console each other when there’s a
down…and when there’s an up, well,
hell, a little Goddamn applause or
an attaboy wouldn’t be too bad.
I needed that, John.
I deserved that.
There’s a clumsy pause as if she’s almost challenging him to
say…something but he sets his jaw, says nothing. Just then
the door opens and Ginny leans inside.
Miz Gennero? Mr. Takagi is looking
for you…he wants you to say something
to the troops…
Thanks, Ginny. I’ll be a second.
Oh, this is —
(mock bright ‘radio’ voice)
Hi. John Gennero here. I’m the
sensitive and supportive man of the
Ginny looks puzzled, goes out. Holly sighs, moves to the
I’ll be a few minutes. Wait here —
Don’t I always?
She’s gone. Immediately, he slaps his forehead, contrite.
22- OUT OUT 22-
24 INT. BUILDING LOBBY – SAME TIME 24
The Guard at the front desk notices the Emory truck on his
monitor. The Guard continues to watch the Emory truck and
only half notices as a Mercedes pulls up in front of the
building and two extremely well-dressed BUSINESSMAN (late
twenties) climb out and start up the stairs for the door. As
they cross the lobby to the Guard’s table to sign in, we hear
MAN #1 (THEO)
…So, Kareem rebounds — listen,
this is a great play — feeds Worthy
on the break, over to A.C., to Magic,
back to Worthy in the lane and —
Suddenly the other man pulls out a Walther pistol with a
silencer and aims it at the Guard’s forehead. Before the
Guard can react he pulls the trigger.
(The speed with which the murder takes place sets the tone
for the rest of the action.) The killer moves behind the
desk, stepping over a small pool of blood from the Guard.
His name is KYLE, big, with long blond hair like a rock
drummer. Karl takes off the silencer and looks at the video
monitor of the Emory truck. The first man, Theo, opens his
briefcase, takes out a portable CB radio and speaks into it.
25 ON THE SCREEN 25
the driver nods at the security camera as several men climb out of
the rear of the van and begin unloading wooden crates by the
26 INT. ELLIS’ OFFICE – NIGHT 26
McClane looks at all the lavishness around him and picks up a
phone by the toilet. He opens his wallet and takes out the
phone number Argyle have him. A photo of his children stops
It’s of Holly, the two children and himself in happier days:
Six months ago, before Nakatomi came calling to Holly’s door.
McClane flips it over. On the back in crude but painstaking
hand of a five-year-old it says: WE MISS YOU, DADDY. LOVE
LUCY (and in more primitive letters) JOHN.
McClane returns the photo to his wallet, dials the number.
26 INT. BUILDING OPERATIONS CONTROL ROOM 26
Theo enters the small control room and comfortably sits behind
a maintenance keyboard. Whistling a vaguely familiar tune, he
TYPES in some commands and locks down the passenger elevators
up to the 30th floor. Then with several more computer commands,
27 THE HEAVY STEEL GATES TO THE PARKING GARAGE CLOSE 27
28 THE ESCALATORS TO THE GARAGE COME TO A STOP 28
29 OUT OUT 29
30 CONTROL ROOM – SAME 30
Theo finishes typing and disconnects the keyboard and pulls out
the wires from beneath the panel.
31 INT. LOBBY – SAME 31
The doors to a service elevator open TO REVEAL HANS GRUBER,
impeccably dressed, lean and handsome, he steps out into the
lobby like he owns the building — and in a way he does.
Theo steps to the door of the control room and tosses Hans a
Hans goes to the front door, waves the card over a magnetic
plate. An LED BLINKS and the door LOCKS with a THUD.
Hans looks out at the street. Appropriately enough, “not a
creature is stirring.” Century City is quiet.
32- OUT OUT 32-
35-A LOBBY – QUICK CUTS 35-A
An elevator opens REVEALING TEN MORE MEN, all armed with
Kalashnikov machine guns are carrying canvas kit bags. One
of them, EDDIE, a rugged American in his twenties, goes to
the dead guard and immediately begins changing into his cloths.
- A) Karl takes a tool case from the elevator and joins his
brother TONY, first playfully grabbing him. They head
for the basement stairwell;
- B) Theo leaves the control room and nods to Hans.
- C) Eddie finished adjusting buttons and snaps on his
pilfered uniform, takes his position behind the front desk.
36 HANS 36
looks at his watch and seems pleased. He steps into the service
elevator with the others and presses the button for the 30th
floor. The entire sequence has taken maybe sixty seconds.
37 INT. ELLIS’ BATHROOM – 30th FLOOR – SAME 37
McClane is still barefoot, his pant legs now rolled up above
his ankles. He stretches his toes again. Damn, it works. He
lights up a new Marlboro, dials a number on the (bathroom)
38 INT. BUILDING BASEMENT – PHONE ROOM 38
A large sign says: PACIFIC BELL EMPLOYEES ONLY. Inside Tony
stands in front of an intimidating matrix of phone lines — but
what he has in mind won’t require a doctorate in Electrical
Engineering. Karl comes over, gives his an elder brother’s
punch on the arm, points out what to do. Together they focus
on four CPV plastic conduits which run out of the main panel
over their heads. Tony nods. Opens a case REVEALING a
compact electric chainsaw.
39 INT. ELLIS’ BATHROOM – RESUME 39
40 INT. LIMO 40
Argyle is reclining on the seat. The music is on so loud that
it is nearly impossible to hear.
Hey, John, what’s the word on you
and your lady?
The vote’s not in yet.
41 INT. PHONE ROOM – SAME 41
Karl cuts through the four tubes one at a time.
42 INT. ELLIS’ BATHROOM – SAME 42
McClane on the phone.
‘Vote’s not in yet?’ What’s that
supposed to mean.
What do you want, ‘All My Children’?
We’re making progress. After I get my
foot out of my mouth, we’ll really be
cooking, and then I can —
He stops and gently taps the phone cradle. No dial tone.
43 INT. LIMO 43
Argyle looks at the phone.
What?…Mr. Mac, you there?
He turns down the music but there is on one on the line.
Well, call me back, John. You got
He hangs up and turns the volume back up.
44 ELLIS’ OFFICE 44
McClane hangs up the original phone and then tries the other
one on the desk. It, too, is dead.
45 INT. SERVICE ELEVATOR 45
Hans and the others approaching the 30th floor. As they grow
closer, we hear the noise of the speakers growing louder and
louder. The men cock their weapons and brace themselves as the
car stops and the elevator doors open. ON THE SOUND OF GUNSHOTS
AND SCREAMS WE:
46 INT. ELLIS’ OFFICE 46
McClane grabs his shoulder harness off the back of the chair,
moves quickly to the doorway. He looks down the hall.
47 MCCLANE’S P.O.V. 47
Two terrorists, FRANCE and FRITZ, armed with M-5 machine guns
searching the offices on the hall one by one. They open a door,
look in from the hallway, and move on quickly to the next.
They are four offices away and moving fast.
McClane looks across the corridor and sees the stairwell door
— too far to reach without being seen.
48 MCCLANE 48
steps back, throws off the safety on his Beretta and braces
himself. He opens the door, peers through a crack at:
49 HALLWAY – FRANCE AND FRITZ 49
QUICK CUTS as McClane’s eyes SCAN their weapons…he’s totally
outgunned, and he knows it.
Franco and Fritz reach the office just before Ellis’ and throw
open the door REVEALING the man and woman who interrupted Holly
and McClane a few minutes before, now in the throes of
passionate lovemaking on the desk. The two terrorists smile
at each other, then enter the office.
A moment later the man, (trying desperately to pull up his
pants) and the woman (buttoning her blouse) are pushed out
into the hall and toward the larger group by Fritz. The other
terrorist, Franco, goes to Ellis’ office and opens the door.
50 INT. STAIRWELL – SAME 50
CLOSE ON McClane’s bare feet padding quickly up the concrete
stairs, two at a time. We FOLLOW him up, then out onto the:
50-A 31th FLOOR 50-A
This is the mezzanine floor immediately above the main
Nakatomi lobby. McClane sees Theo and KRISTOFF wheeling carts
of equipment. McClane ducks back into the stairwell, he runs
up another flight and out onto:
51 UNFINISHED FLOOR 51
Eventually it will be one large secretarial pool, but only a
portion is completed. Half-finished partitions and office
furniture in its original plastic wrappings are everywhere.
One end has a few lonely finished working areas.
McClane moves quickly to a desk and picks up a phone. It’s
He looks out the window at:
51-A NEIGHBORING BUILDING – MCCLANE’S P.O.V. 51-A
A high-rise apartment building a half-block away sparkles with
lights. McClane stares at a PRETTY GIRL in her bedroom. She’s
wearing drop dead underwear right out of the Victoria’s Secret
catalog. As we watch, she flops down on her bed, and with
one long leg in the air, effortlessly dials
a call on her high-tech phone. It seems so easy.
51-B BACK TO SCENE 51-B
Frustrated, he watches this, knits his brow.
52 INT. 30th FLOOR (HOSTAGE FLOOR) – SAME 52
The employees have been herded to the center of the room where
the desks have been pulled back. Many people are whimpering.
52-A HOLLY 52-A
She looks around the room for McClane. She’s so intent on
this that she doesn’t see one TERRORIST waving her forward.
Exasperated, he SHOVES her. Her glare at him shows us her
52-B WIDER 52-B
As the employees are bunched together, Ellis seeks out Holly.
He’s clearly scared but trying to fake courage. He pats her
Hans steps up on top of a desk and looks over the group. He
reaches into a pocket…several people CRINGE…but what he
comes out with is a Bottega Venata pocket notebook. He checks
his own scribblings like a dais speaker.
(soothing, in control)
Ladies and gentlemen, due to the
Nakatomi Corporation’s legacy of
greed around the globe, it is about
to be taught a lesson on real power.
You…will be witnesses.
If our demands are not met, however —
— You may become participants instead.
(beat, checking notes)
Now, where is…’Takagi’? Where is
the man who…
…used to be in charge here?
Takagi is shoved forward. He’s worried but far from cowed.
Hans steps towards him. Extends a hand.
Mr. Takagi. How do you do. My
name is Hans Gruber.
Takagi is confused by his charm. Hans waves politely in the
direction of an elevator and with an armed escort takes the
executive away. CAMERA ADJUSTS to show Holly, concerned.
56 INT. STAIRWELL – 33rd FLOOR – SAME 56
McClane pauses outside the stairwell door to the 33rd floor,
he presses the handle and cracks the door open TO REVEAL a
computer floor. The computer machinery drones on under the
lights behind plate glass windows. McClane quietly closes
the door and moves to another floor.
(mumbling to himself)
32 construction…33 computers…
57- OUT OUT 57-
59 INT. SERVICE ELEVATOR – NIGHT 59
Hans, Takagi, Karl and Tony. Riding silently. Hans alone
seems relaxed. He whistles. We recognize it as a snatch of
Nice suit. John Philips…London?
Takagi stares at him, speechless.
I have two myself.
(beat, as he exits:)
I’m told Arafat shops there too…
60 INT. STAIRWELL 60
McClane starts to open the stairwell door to the Machine Floor
when a NOISE above him gets his attention. He moves silently
up one flight to the roof. Quietly, he cracks the door and
looks out onto a Machine Floor on the lower level of the roof.
61 MCCLANE’S P.O.V. 61
Three terrorist, JAMES, ULI and HEINRICH, are unpacking the
wooden crates we saw in the garage from the service elevator.
It’s not clear what they’re doing but it seems very military
like and ominously defensive. Heinrich POINTS up to the
ceiling and says something in German. The others nod. Heinrich
starts to turn towards the CAMERA and:
62 MCCLANE 62
closes the door and slips back down the stairs.
63 INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – BOARD ROOM FLOOR – NIGHT 63
Hands enters, looks around. *
And when Alexander saw the breadth
of his domain, he wept. For there
were no more worlds to conquer.
The benefits of a classical education.
Hans admired a scale model of a bridge. Behind him are *
photographs of the gorge where the bridge will be constructed.
Karl and Tony listen. Takagi watches.
It’s beautiful. I always enjoyed
models as a boy. The exactness, the
attention to every foreseeable detail…
This is what this is about? Out
building project in Indonesia?
Contrary to what you people think,
we’re going to develop that region…
not ‘exploit’ it.
Hans straightens, looks hard at Takagi.
I believe you.
I read the article in Forbes. *
Takagi looks confused. Hans puts a friendly arm around Takagi’s
shoulders and guides him into the adjacent board room where
Theo types in commands onto a built-in computer console.
Mr. Takagi, we could discuss
industrialization of men’s fashions
all day, but I’m afraid my associate,
Mr. Theo, has some questions for you.
Sort of fill-in-the blanks questions
64 A COMPUTER SCREEN SPITS OUT: 64
ENTER CENTRAL COMPUTER CODE KEY _ _ _ _.
65 THEO 65
sits fingers poised over the keyboard. Hans sits opposite.
Takagi stands like the accused at the foot of the table, has
just read the screen, blurts:
I don’t have that code…!
(beat; to Hans)
You broke in here to access out
computer?!? Any information you
could get — they wake up in Tokyo
in the morning, they’ll change it!
You won’t be able to blackmail our
executives or threaten —
Hans barks him to silence:
Takagi complies. Hans is abruptly compassionate and quiet.
Mr. Takagi…I’m not interested in your
I’m interested in the 640 million dollars
in negotiable bearer bonds you have in
ON Takagi’s reaction.
Yes…I know about them. The code
key is a necessary step in accessing
You want…money? What kind of
terrorists are you?
Who said we were terrorists?
65-A MCCLANE – ENTERING THIS FLOOR 65-A
He tiptoes along, gun held ready. He can HEAR the MUMBLE of
voices from the conference room, moves slowly towards it.
65-B CONFERENCE ROOM – RESUME 65-B
Hans slowly takes out his Walther and his silencer. He feels
his silencer a moment, as if making a decision, then slips it
back into his coat pocket.
(weighing the gun)
The code key, please…?
It’s useless to you! There’s seven
safeguards on our vault, and the
code key is only one of them! You’ll
never get it open!
Hans lifts the gun.
Then there’s no reason not to tell
it to us.
(aside to Karl)
I told you…
It’s not over…
Hans gives them both a look like an annoyed schoolmaster,
turns back to Takagi.
This is too nice a suit to ruin,
Mr. Takagi. I’m going to count
to three. There will not be a
four. Give me the code.
He cocks the gun:
I don’t know it! get on a Goddamn
jet to Tokyo and ask the chairman!
I’m telling you! You’re just going
to have to kill me —
BANG!! He pulls the trigger:
66 OUT IN THE MUSEUM – MCCLANE 66 *
reacts as if shot.
A66-A HIS P.O.V. A66-A *
The glass doors to the boardroom are splattered red and
66-A INSIDE 66-A
Takagi is still seated, but the chair in flat on its back,
blood flowing out into the carpet.
Hans springs to his feet:
We do it the hard way! Tony, see if
you can dispose of that. (the body)
Karl, you’d better check Heinrich’s
work up on the machine floor.
Karl, in the midst of handing Theo a fifty dollar bill, nods.
67 OUTSIDE – MCCLANE 67
stunned, sees Hans move and tries to retreat. But his gun
bumps the underside of the table:
68 INSIDE – HANS 68
hears it. Karl is the first to move:
69 KARL 69
springs through the door, finds nothing. He checks two
adjoining rooms, the first is deserted. The second…is
70 KARL 70
returns to Hans.
See to Heinrich…
Now…you can break the code key…?
You didn’t bring me along for my
As he heads for the elevator.
(under his breath)
‘Though you could have…
Hans smiles, confident in his team, and follows. CAMERA
SETTLES ON the door that Karl found locked.
71 INSIDE THE SUPPLY CLOSET – MCCLANE 71
slowly lets out a breath, praying softly:
Argyle. Tell me you heard the shot.
Tell me you heard the shot and you’re
calling the police right now…
72 INT. LIMO – PARKING GARAGE 72
Argyle is on the car phone. The music is playing.
I’m working, honey. Working hard.
‘Course I’ll be by later to pick you
up, have I ever lies to you? My boss?
He thinks I’m cruising to Palm Springs…
72-A MACHINE LEVEL – TIGHT ON CEILING 72-A
Heinrich PRESSES something into a niche here, scrambles like
a monkey to a new position. Helped by one of his men, he
JUMPS down, moves to another area, climbs up again, removing
something from his shoulder bag.
73 VAULT ROOM – 31ST FLOOR 73
Hans and Theo enter the safe room. The huge corporate safe
looms in front of them. Theo places three kit bags onto a
table and rolls up his sleeves. He swivels a computer console
into handy reach, sits down.
Thirty minutes to break the code…
Two hours for the five mechanicals.
The seventh lock…that’s out of
If out plan works…the FBI will
get rid of it for us.
Theo grins, begins typing.
73-A HIS SCREEN 73-A
He types BEGIN ALGORITHM CODE PROGRAM. RANDOM NUMBERS AND
LETTERS begin going by: AAAAA; 11111; AAAAB; 11112.
74 32ND FLOOR 74
McClane moves out onto the 31st floor, angry at himself.
Why the fuck didn’t you stop him?
Because, you ignorant sonofabitch,
you’d be dead, too. Think…think,
Suddenly he looks up at the ceiling and sees a sprinkler head.
His look drops to the wall and focuses on a small red fire alarm
switch by the door.
75 INT. MAIN FLOOR – L.A. FIRE STATION – NIGHT 75
An ALARM sounds. Quickly firemen move to their machines as a
voice of a 911 DISPATCHER drones.
Main Wilshire units. Two alarm fire
at Nakatomi Plaza —
The voice continues as the station doors open and we:
76 INT. NAKATOMI – GROUND FLOOR OPERATIONS ROOM – SAME 76
A fire alarm indicator light showing which floor has sounded the
fire alarm — suddenly begins flashing, emitting short, loud
beeps. Eddie, the terrorist in the guard’s uniform and manning
the station, immediately picks up his CB.
77 32ND FLOOR – SAME 77
McClane stands at windows looking Northward for fire trucks.
Suddenly we SEE the flashing red lights of FOUR ENGINES in
traffic two miles away.
C’mon, baby…come to Papa. I’m
gonna kiss your Goddamn dalmatian.
78 INT. SERVICE ELEVATOR – ON HANS – SAME 78
He rides the elevator back to the 30th floor with Tony.
(calmly, to Eddie
Call 911, give them the name and
badge number on your uniform and
cancel the alarm…then disable
(looks across at
Tony, presses talk
Eddie? What floor did the alarm
78-A MACHINE FLOOR 78-A
They’ve heard the alarm here, too. Heinrich, Marco and *
Uli HEAR the alarm and continue their mysterious work.
79 UNFINISHED FLOOR – SAME 79
McClane stands silhouetted against the window. In the distance
he can see another fire truck swing off Santa Monica onto
Avenue of the Stars.
Suddenly the red light on the first truck goes out, then on the
second. McClane watches in disbelief. The trucks slow and
turn down separate side streets, heading for home.
Son of a bitch…
Just then the elevator bell rings and we HEAR the ELEVATOR DOORS
OPEN. A figure (Tony) slips into the shadows — his machine
gun drawn. We MOVE WITH HIM FROM the elevator area until he
reaches the light switch and throws it illuminating the entire
floor. McClane is gone.
80 ON MCCLANE 80
under a desk. He takes in his options.
81 HIS P.O.V. 81
The feet of Tony. They move slowly in his direction. McClane
Looks down the aisle next to the windows. It leads to a series
of cubicles at the other end of the floor and is a clear path
if he can make it past Tony.
82 TONY 82
He moves steadily toward the area where we saw McClane.
The fire has been called off, my
friend. No one is coming to help
you. You might as well come out
and join the others.
(fingers the trigger
of his machine gun)
I promise not to hurt you.
Moving more confidently, he steps up to McClane’s desk, then
around it and fires a blast into the space. It is empty. As
the SOUND OF THE MACHINE GUN FADES he listens and hears another
SOUND — a NOISE coming from the other end of the room near
Tony heads toward the noise. Sensing a trap, he moves past
each cubicle carefully, checking each office until he reaches
the doorway of the last one. The sound is just around the
partition. He tenses, then spins into the cubicle.
83 TONY’S P.O.V. 83
A radial arm saw spins noisily.
84 TONY 84
grins at his nervousness. He moves to turn it off, not
realizing the sound has buried the soft rustle of McClane,
steps INTO FRAME behind him, McClane shoves his pistol barrel
against Tony’s temple.
Freeze, Police…don’t move or name
Tony doesn’t. McClane cocks his Beretta. Tony watches him
You won’t hurt me.
Yeah? Why not?
Because you are a policeman. There
are rules for policemen.
Yeah. My Captain keeps telling
me the same thing.
McClane suddenly PISTOL WHIPS Tony across the head. Tony
REELS, then swallows, worried for the first time.
Suddenly Tony spins to the side and McClane FIRES, but the
big man’s momentum slams McClane into a filing cabinet and sends
his pistol into the hall.
Tony fires his machine gun, but McClane kicks him into the desk.
He locks his arms around the big man’s neck in a hold that
sends Tony reeling into the hall. McClane holds on as they
slam through several plastic board partitions. They careen
across the hall into the stairwell door, opening it, and crash
85 STAIRWELL LANDING 85
then down the concrete steps into the wall on the landing below.
For a moment, both men lie still. McClane, still holding onto
Tony’s neck, releases it and the man’s head flops sickeningly
to the side.
For a moment McClane just looks at the dead man. Then, slowly,
methodically, he begins to SEARCH HIM. He turns all his pockets
inside out, looks at his clothing labels, stares long and very
hard at a California driver’s license with Tony’s picture on
- He expertly examines the machine gun when a HISSING SOUND
coming from somewhere attracts his attention.
He rises, moves cautiously to the source.
85-A NEW ANGLE 85-A
It’s Tony’s CB, which has fallen from the dead man’s waist during
the struggle. McClane stares at it, formulating a plan.
86 INT. 32ND FLOOR – NIGHT 86
PAN FROM Tony’s now shoeless feet TO McClane, who sits on the
floor near the body hurriedly lacing up the dead terrorist’s
boots on his own feet. He ties the last lace and tries to take
a couple of steps.
He winces in pain, goes off balance. Quickly he starts taking
the boots off.
A million terrorists in the world
and I kill the one with feet
smaller than my sister.
He yanks off the boots and tosses them into the garbage. Then
he pulls the body up and sets it down on a secretary’s chair.
He starts to push it along when he gets an idea and moves to:
86-A A DESK 86-A
Where he scribbles a note we cannot read on a piece of paper.
Then his eyes fall on some Xmas decorations nearby. He smiles
86-B IN THE ELEVATOR – UNFINISHED FLOOR 86-B
TIGHT ON McClane’s back as he pushes Tony’s body on swivel
chair into the elevator. (NOTE: WE CANNOT SEE TONY’S HEAD)
CAMERA ADJUSTS as McClane pushes the buttons for the 31th and
We notice he’s got the dead man’s machine gun and that a wooden
desk ruler protrudes from McClane’s back pocket.
The elevator doors close and the car starts down. After it’s
dropped only half a floor, McClane forces the doors open with
his fingers — stopping the car between floors.
Using the ruler he blocks open the inside doors, then opens the
outside doors of the floor above (31st) with his fingers and
pulls himself up onto the carpeted floor, then up onto the roof
of the car. Once on the roof of the car he reaches over the
edge and removes the ruler, closing the inside doors and setting
the car in motion again.
86-C HOSTAGE FLOOR 86-C
The hostages have been gathered together in a group in the center
of the open floor, guards flanking them. The elevators are
barely visible from the edge of the group, which is where Ginny
and Holly are sitting. Ginny winces, uncomfortable on the floor.
Holly soothes her. Hans stands in front of them like a stern
camp counselor in front of the assembled bunk.
I wanted this to be professional,
efficient, adult, cooperative. Not
a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi
did not see it that way…
So he won’t be joining us for the
rest of his life.
(as that sinks in)
We are prepared to go any way you
make us. When we have achieved our
aims you can walk out of here…
or be carried out. Decide now, each
of you. But remember that we have
planned everything to the last detail.
We are completely in change.
A “DING” attracts his attention. He turns.
87 NEW ANGLE 87
The elevator doors OPEN and Fritz, guarding the area. WHIRLS,
gun held ready. His jaw drop as he sees:
87-A TONY’S BODY – HIS P.O.V. 87-A
Still and dead, flopped in a swivel chair, a red Santa hat
gaily placed on his head.
87-B HANS 87-B
(indicating the hostages)
Get them over there. Schnell!
The guards quickly hustle the hostages away as Hans crosses to
the elevator, but for before.
87-C HOLLY 87-C
Sees the body…and REACTS. She knows her husband’s abilities…
not to mention his twisted sense of humor.
87-D NEAR THE ELEVATOR 87-D
As Fritz stands there, confused, Hans comes to the elevator with
Franco, lifts Tony’s chin and sees that his neck has been
snapped. He sees a folded piece of paper in Tony’s collar,
takes it out.
87-E INSERT – THE NOTE 87-E
It reads, “Now I have a machine gun. HO-HO-HO.”
87-F BACK TO SCENE 87-E
Perhaps a security guard we
Hans lifts Tony’s chin again, lets the head flop over.
Security guard? They’re usually
tired and burned out old policemen growing *
fat on a pension…This is…
87-G ROOF OF ELEVATOR – SAME TIME 87-G
McClane is staring through a tiny crack at the scene below him.
CAMERA ADJUSTS from Fritz in the b.g. to Hans and France just
McClane is WRITING in his weather-beaten cop’s notebook. The
first notation is NUMBER OF HOSTAGES: HOLLY + 30 — odd. Then
it says, NUMBER OF TERRORISTS? As we watch, he adds “3 ? 1
87-H in Lobby (?) and 2+ with hostages?? Plus ones on 87-H
We have to do something, Hans.
Yes…we have to tell Karl his brother
is dead. Tell him to come down.
Now McClane writes “HANS=LEADER. Karl=BROTHER. USE THIS?”
As Fritz calls Karl on his CB, Hans looks at Franco.
Franco, you and Fritz take the body
upstairs and out of sight. I don’t
want the hostages to think too
88 INT. ELEVATOR SHAFT – CAR ROOF – ON MCCLANE – SAME 88
On top of the car, listening to the conversation below. Franco
and Fritz step into the car and the doors on the elevator close.
The car accelerates upward and McClane grabs onto the heavy,
grease-coated cables to keep his balance. Already his clothes
are soiled; his face and feet, arms and hair are dark from the
dirt and sweat. The car speeds up the shaft — passing the car
bringing Karl down to the hostage floor — and stops at the
machine floor. The doors open and McClane hears them roll the
chair with the body off the car. McClane looks up.
89 MCCLANE’S P.O.V. 89
A metal catwalk runs around the inside of the elevator shaft.
90 MCCLANE 90
pulls himself up onto it. As he moves along the catwalk looking
for a way out, he passes an unmarked metal door, 2’x3′. McClane
pushes it open and looks in.
91 MCCLANE’S P.O.V. 91
92 MCCLANE 92
takes out a coin. A quarter. He stops, switches to a nickel.
Throws it into the void. It is a full four seconds until we
HEAR it “CHING” and bounce on concrete far below. You don’t
have to be a mathematics whiz to know it’s a long drop.
He moves cautiously around a corner and we SEE a metal ladder
leading up to a door marked PUMP ROOM. Opening the door
McClane enters a darkened:
93 PUMP ROOM 93
damp and full of pipes and goes to another door. He cracks the
door and looks out.
94 MCCLANE’S P.O.V. 94
The lower level of the roof. Open and deserted. Only a heliport
above him is higher.
95 30TH FLOOR (HOSTAGE FLOOR) – HOLLY’S OFFICE – SAME 95
WIDEN as a FILING CABINET is FLUNG across the floor, drawers
SLAMMING out, papers flying. KARL has done this, and he’s *
barely started. He FLINGS a LAMP against a wall, PUNCHES a hole
into the plaster. Finally, Hans goes to him, lays controlling
hands on the man’s shoulder.
I know what you are feeling. But
this is not productive —
(pushing him away)
He was my only brother…my only
(a flat statement)
I want blood for my blood. We
He starts to move. Hans stops him.
No. Heinrich’s team must finish
planting the detonators…and Theo
needs time on the vault. After the *
police come they’ll waste hours trying
to negotiate…that’s when we search *
for this man. Until then…we do not
alter the plan.
And if he alters it…? *
For once Hands doesn’t have an answer.
95-A HOSTAGES – AROUND THE CORNER 95-A
They’ve heard the alarm, can see and sense the agitation among
their captors. Ellis slides over to Holly.
They don’t look happy…something’s
(shaking her head)
John? Christ, he could fuck this
whole thing up…what does he think
How about his job?
His ‘job’ is 3000 miles away. Without
him, they might let us go…at least
we have a chance…
Tell that to Mr. Takagi.
96 EXT. ROOF – NIGHT 96
McClane climbs to the heliport and leans against the leeward side
of a wall surrounding it. Shielded from wind, he pulls out the
CB, turns to channel nine, and starts broadcasting.
Mayday, Mayday! Anyone! Terrorists
have seized and Nakatomi building
and are holding 30 or more hostages!
I say again —
97 OUT OUT 97
98 INT. HANS’ OFFICE – SAME 98
Hans, Karl, Fritz and France hear the clear signal over Hans’
— unknown number of terrorists,
six or more, armed with automatic
weapons at Nakatomi, Century City…
Somebody answer me, Goddamnit!
Karl looks almost…satisfied.
The roof. It’s the best place to
99 INT. LOS ANGLES EMERGENCY DISPATCH CENTER – SAME 99
A SUPERVISOR weaves her way back from the break room toward a
DISPATCHER who is monitoring the call.
It’s the same address as that fire
signal — *
— the false alarm? I’ll handle *
She plugs in her headset. (Her condescending, arrogant tone is
like the one in the famous tape where the dispatch lady spends
so much time on red tape that the patient dies.)
Attention, whoever you are. This
channel is reserved for emergency
calls only —
No fucking shit, lady! Do I sound
like I’m ordering a pizza?
100 OUT OUT 100
101 INT. SERVICE ELEVATOR – ON KARL – SAME 101
with Franco and Fritz.
No one kills him but me.
It’s an order and the look he gives the other two backs it up.
Karl checks his magazine, SLAPS it into his rifle as the elevator
opens to the roof.
102 EXT. UPPER ROOF 102
McClane moves around the roof, circling the helipad, making sure
he has a good enough view to avoid being ambushed. He can’t
see in all directions at once but he’s doing the best he can.
They’ve already killed one hostage,
and they’re fortifying their positions
while we’re bullshitting! Now, send
police backup ASAP!
Sir, I’ve already told you, this is
a reserved channel. If this is an
emergency call, dial 911 on your
telephone. Otherwise I will report
you to the police —
(to the radio)
— fine! Report me! Hey, come down
here and fucking arrest me! Send
the police. NOW — !
Suddenly machine gun shells rip into the concrete wall in front
of him. The noise is deadening as we:
103 INT. DISPATCHER OFFICE – SAME 103
Both Supervisor and Dispatcher reach for their headsets in
pain from the INTENSE SOUND and:
104 OUT OUT 104
105 EXT. ROOF – ON MCCLANE – SAME 105
Running. Tracer bullets rip into the wall behind him. He
reaches the corner and sees the other two terrorists moving
toward him. Before they see him, he leaps down to the next
level out of range of Karl.
106 INT. EMERGENCY DISPATCH – SAME 106
The Dispatcher looks critically at the Supervisor in the
Ad…have a black-and-white do a
107 INT. 7-11 – AT THE COUNTER – NIGHT 107
TIGHT as one after another after another HOSTESS TWINKIE is
stacked up on the counter. CAMERA WIDENS and we SEE the
young male CLERK, who stifles a smile. Another teenage
employee behind the counter also smothers a laugh.
The customer is POWELL, young for a police veteran, old for
the rest of the world.
Thought you guys just ate donuts.
They’re for my wife. She’s pregnant.
If I knew she was gonna eat a dozen
at a shot, I woulda bought stock in
The Clerk nods and puts them in a bag. As Powell pays, suddenly
his BELT RADIO crackles to life.
Dispatch to One Adam Ten, over.
Powell grabs the radio, speaks into it.
One Adam Ten, go ahead.
Investigate a code two at Nakatomi
Plaza, Century City.
He moves to the door, steps outside.
107-A EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE 107-A
Powell looks towards the horizon and up.
There it is, Nakatomi, in all its gleaming glory.
One Adam Ten, do you copy?
Powell is already moving to the car. He tosses in the twinkies,
hops behind the wheel.
Roger, dispatch. I’m on the way.
And he BURNS RUBBER leaving the store:
108 EXT. ROOF – ON MCCLANE – NIGHT 108
running for his life, from Fritz and Franco, doesn’t realize
he is being herded around the building toward Karl. Suddenly
McClane turns a corner and sees Karl. The big man fires a
burst and McClane ducks back stopping at the exterior door
to the pump room he used before. It is locked from the inside.
He BLOWS the lock off with a burst from his machine gun and
slips into the darkness of the:
109 ELEVATOR SHAFT NEAR PUMP ROOM 109
Coming quickly out of the pump room, McClane picks his way
over the same ground as a few minutes before and opens the door
to the elevator shaft. The dimly lit shaft yawns before him.
He starts down the ladder back to the catwalk, moves along
it — STOPS.
The catwalk ends, and the elevator is gone.
109-A INT. PUMP ROOM – OTHER END 109-A
Karl crosses, starts to open the door to the elevator shaft
when suddenly their radio crackles with —
Karl? Franco? Did you catch him?
No, but he’s in the elevator shaft.
Prefect. The elevators are locked off. *
He can’t escape. Just shut him in and
return to base.
Hans, he killed by brother —
Karl, I know you want him, but the
police are probably on their way.
Maybe we can convince them it was all
a mistake, but not if they hear gunshots!
If you lock him in he’ll be neutralized
— now do it! Karl? Karl!
Karl turns off his radio. In the light of their flashlights,
the two other terrorists look at Karl in stunned disbelief.
He opens the door to the elevator shaft.
109-B INT. ELEVATOR SHAFT – ON MCCLANE 109-B
He’s OVERHEARD enough of this to realize he’s in deep shit.
He backtracks to the air shaft door, strikes a cigarette
110- OUT OUT 110-
117-A ELEVATOR SHAFT (OPPOSITE SIDE) 117-A
Karl steps off the ladder to the catwalk, his own gun held *
118 MCCLANE 118
HEARING Karl’s approach, McClane thinks fast, looks down at
his narrow confines, and then at:
118-A HIS WEAPON 118-A
and its canvas gunsling and metal strap slides.
118-B BACK TO SCENE 118-B
Quickly, McClane lets out all the slack in the sling. Then,
he BRACES the weapon across the outside opening of the air
shaft door and lowers himself into the:
119 AIR SHAFT 119
meanwhile holding onto the canvas sling with his elbows bent
over it like a kid doing a half-asses skin-the-cat on a swing
His feet slowly move down the smooth aluminum walls until they
reach the top of the air duct, then DANGLE in the open space.
He straightens his arms to give him length enough to touch
the bottom edge of the duct.
Suddenly he FEELS something GIVE above him and looks up.
120 CLOSE ON THE SLING 120
It was designed to carry a gun on a man, not vice versa. The
few inches of extra canvas are sliding through the clips.
When they’re gone…he will be too.
121 KARL 121
He moves silently toward the corner.
122 CLOSE – MCCLANE’S TOES 122
now only inches from the bottom edge. McClane’s arms are
fully extended now. He hears Karl on the metal catwalk. His
muscles strain and quiver.
123 THE SLING 123
One of the canvas end slips through the clip.
124 ON MCCLANE 124
FALLING. He grabs the ledge of the air duct as he falls and
his body slams into the aluminum wall with an echoing BOOM.
Above him on the catwalk the rifle rattles on the metal outside
125 ON KARL 125
Around the corner Karl FREEZES, unsure of the sound:
126 ON MCCLANE 126
holding onto the ledge by his hands. With every ounce of
strength he tries to pull himself up into the horizontal duct,
clawing for a hold.
127 ON KARL 127
He rounds the corner and sees McClane’s rifle lying beneath
the doorway. He moves to the small door, shines his light and
aims his rifle down into the air shaft ready to fire.
128 HIS P.O.V. 128
The shaft is deserted. Moving his light around he sees the air
duct. Without hesitation he turns and backtracks to the pump
129 INT. AIR CONDITIONING DUCT – ON MCCLANE – SAME 129
He lies exhausted and motionless in the narrow crawl space. He
awkwardly fishes out the lighter from his shirt pocket and
thumbs it ON.
The flickering GLOW shows him this ain’t no place for
claustrophobics — it’s a long, long long dark and narrow
corridor full of weird shadows. The far end (if there even
if one?) is BLACK.
Whew…for a moment there I was
He turns out his lighter, and starts crawling.
130- OUT OUT 130-
133-A INT. MACHINE FLOOR 133-A
The three terrorists rush down from the roof in hot pursuit,
Karl leading the way through the door. Karl points quickly to
the left and right where there are a series of rooms. The
others checks these while Karl approaches the CAMERA, trigger
finger ITCHING. Almost immediately, the others return.
Karl looks puzzled. Then he thinks, mentally retracing McClane’s
few options. Karl’s eyes scan the architecture here, and then
suddenly he looks UP.
133-B OUT OUT 133-B *
134 HIS P.O.V. 134 *
The ceiling is criss-crossed with air ducts. He fires a *
burst into the ducts.
135 INT. AIR DUCT – SAME 135
McClane remains motionless in the air duct. Three quarter-size
holes inches from his face show how close Karl came to nailing
him. Sweat covers his face, drips silently onto the aluminum.
136 MACHINE ROOM 136
Karl listens patiently for sound. Just then the two other
Karl hesitates a moment, fighting his instincts before finally
turning to go. Suddenly the duct McClane is in GROANS slightly
under his weight. Karl stops and looks up at the matrix of
aluminum duct work, trying to single out the source of the
sound. He steps back into the room and raises his rifle.
Holding it upright he presses the barrel up into the belly
of McClane’s air duct, feeling for weight — the weight of a
137 INSIDE THE AIR DUCT 137
McClane sees the indention of the barrel pressing into the
aluminum fifteen feet away. There is a pause and another
three feet closer. He can hear Karl’s footsteps on the
concrete — moving slowly below the duct.
138 ON KARL 138
His eyes are fixed above him on the air duct. He presses the
barrel up again. Still nothing.
139 ON MCCLANE 139
Silently he moves his hand, slowly draws his Beretta. The
next indention presses up six feet away. McClane points his
gun downward and waits.
140 KARL 140
stops directly below him. The barrel starts up and just
touches the duct under McClane when Franco returns to the
door and calls:
Karl! Police! Come on.
Karl hesitates then lowers his gun and leaves.
141 CLOSE – MCCLANE 141
He hears the door close and lowers his head.
141-A INT. 33RD FLOOR – SAFE ROOM 141-A
The large LED WINDOW in the front of the safe BEEPS and letters
creep by: ACCESS CODE ACCEPTED. We HEAR a CLUNK.
CAMERA ADJUSTS to show Theo, who grins. Now his computer
screen reads, LOCK #1 DISABLED. DO YOU WISH TO PROCEED?
Theo puts goggles on his eyes, holds out his hands towards
Kristoff like a doctor requesting a scalpel. Kristoff gives
him a GIANT DRILL.
You bet your ass I’m gonna proceed.
He turns on the drill:
142 OUT OUT 142
143 EXT. CENTURY CITY – AVENUE OF THE STARS – NIGHT 143
The street is empty, quiet. A lone police black-and-white
pulls out of the shadows of a side street and begins a slow
cruise toward the Nakatomi building.
144 ON POWELL 144
Driving, alone. He starts up at the tower. It seems calm,
its glowing lights matching the warmth of the holiday
decorations on the streets. Powell slows to a stop and
scans the premises. In the lobby we SEE Eddie, sitting behind
the desk. Powell reports to his radio.
Guard inside. No signs of disturbance
…I’m going up for a closer look.
He pulls in and parks in the front.
145 INT. MACHINE ROOM – SAME 145
McClane punches out a ceiling vent and drops down into the
machine room. For a moment he stands, listening for sounds
of movement. The floor is quiet. He goes to the stairwell.
146 EXT. ROOF – SAME 146
The edge of the roof. Suddenly a tall terrorist, James,
moves along the wall and looks over at Powell’s car.
147 INT. 3RD FLOOR – SAME 147
The elevator doors open on Karl, Franco and Fritz. They *
step out onto the darkened floor. We SEE large number “3”
painted on the doors of this floor.
They move quickly toward the windows on the Avenue of the Stars
side where a terrorist, ALEXANDER, with a BAR rifle has set up
a machine gun nest under a half-opened window. Directly below
him we SEE Powell’s car.
Alexander PANS the police car with his weapon, finger on the
trigger. This is clearly a man hungry for action.
148 30TH FLOOR (HANS’ OFFICE) – SAME 148
Hans watches from above. He raises his CB.
(his usual calm)
149 INT. LOBBY – SAME 149
Eddie picks up his CB. He watches Powell coming up the stairs.
Had a feeling you’d be calling…
Let him in.
Eddie is a little startled, but he moves quickly.
149-A ALEXANDER 149-A
also hears this, and his eager expression fades. But orders
150 EXT. FRONT DOOR OF NAKATOMI – SAME 150
Powell tries the front doors. Locked. Eddie comes hustling
across and unlocks the door with the magnetic card.
Evening, officer. What’s up?
Powell steps in and looks around. Bland HOLIDAY MUZAK filters
from Speakers here. (LET IT SNOW) *
We got an emergency call that there
was a problem here.
151 INT. 34TH FLOOR – BOARD ROOM – SAME 151 *
McClane makes his way to the Avenue of the Stars side of
the building, enters the board room where Takagi was shot.
McClane goes to the windows and looks down at the street.
152 HIS P.O.V. 152
McClane waits, expectant. Five seconds. Ten seconds. But
no commotion, no shouting. He frowns.
Where’s the fucking cavalry?
152-A INT. LOBBY – SAME TIME 152-A
Powell walks casually across the slick floor, eyes panning the
area. Eddie sits casually watching a game on one of his
We already had that false alarm, you
ask me, the Goddamn computers sent
you out on another wild goose chase.
They been chasing bugs in that system
since they installed it.
(to the screen)
Oh, shit, come on, I got fifty bucks
on you assholes — !
Powell’s face shows us he’s starting to think he’s wasting his
152-B- OUT OUT 152-B
153-A WITH MCCLANE 153-A
The silent tension is driving him crazy.
Come on, come on…who’s in that
car, Stevie Wonder?
He makes up his mind. He lifts one of the big chairs and
swings it at the window. The tempered glass whitens on the
153-B EXT. ROOF 153-B
James sees the glass whiten below him and shouts into his mike.
153-C INT. MACHINE FLOOR 153-C
Heinrich hears the radio and shouts to Marco who grabs his
machine gun and runs.
154 INT. LOBBY 154
Eddie watches confidently as Powell moves through the lobby
looking for signs of trouble.
154-A AROUND THE CORNER FROM POWELL 154-A
Uli is there, gun held ready. *
155 BOARD ROOM – 34th FLOOR 155
McClane draws the chair back for the final hit when a terrorist
(MARCO) appears at the door. Both men react, but Marco already
has his gun up. He FIRES a round at McClane. The bullets rip
into the table top and the chair, and McClane goes down behind
156- OUT OUT 156-
157 INT. 34th FLOOR – BOARD ROOM 157
Marco smiles and moves around to the other side of the table,
but finds no one. He looks around frantically than squats
beneath the table and sees:
158 MCCLANE 158
lying prone, his pistol trained on him.
Drop it or you’re a rugstain.
159 BOARD ROOM DOORWAY 159
Just then Heinrich, the terrorist steps into the doorway, sees
Marco dives sideways, but Heinrich still isn’t quick enough.
McClane FIRES TWICE and Heinrich DROPS sprawling in the hallway,
machine gun FIRING BLINDLY until he hits the floor.
159-A HOSTAGE FLOOR 159-A
They can FAINTLY HEAR the gunshots. Holly pales:
159-B THE LOBBY 159-B
All Powell can hear here is “LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW.” He
STOPS just a yard from seeing the armed terrorist, turns back.
He turns back.
159-C THE BOARD ROOM 159-C
Marco springs on top of the huge table. McClane rolls on his
back so he can cover either angle but it is clear that Marco
is in the more enviable position.
160 ON MARCO 160
on the table top slams in a fresh magazine and smiles.
Next time — don’t hesitate.
He leans his machine gun over the edge.
161 MCCLANE 161
aims directly above him and fires twice into the underside
of the table. The bullets rip through the table and Marco,
who DROPS beside McClane.
Thanks for the advice.
162 OUT OUT 162
163 INT. LOBBY – SAME 163
Powell heads for the door. Eddie moves to lock up after him.
Sorry to water your time. Merry
Powell goes out.
164 INT. 34TH FLOOR BOARD ROOM – SAME 164
McClane rolls out from under the table, goes to the windows,
and looks down in time to see Powell heading for the car.
Oh, man, please, no —
Desperate, he leans on the glass…which CRACKS again, on the
verge of going. McClane thinks…looks over his shoulder at
the body of Marco.
165 INT. POWELL’S POLICE CAR – SAME 165
Powell check in on his radio. Unconsciously he begins to
HUM the Muzak he overheard in the lobby.
One Adam Ten to 6421. We had a
wild goose chase on that 436.
Everything’s okay here. Over.
his tie, he murmurs)
‘Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
but the…the uh, dum, de dum’s
Roger, One Adam Ten. We thought it
was a crank call anyway. Clear to
car into gear)
‘…let is snow, let it snow, let
it snow — ‘
Suddenly Marco’s body CRASHES onto the hood of his car.
— Jesus H. Christ!
6421, this is One Adam Ten —
Suddenly a barrage of MACHINE GUN FIRE from Alexander on the
third floor drowns out his call! Powell ducks and flattens
against the seat as bullets blow out the front window,
covering him in glass.
Roger, One Adam Ten, please repeat.
But Powell accelerates in reverse away from the building,
keeping his head low and praying he doesn’t hit anything
as the bullets follow him, digging into asphalt. A half block
away his car runs off the pavement and down a SLOPE, finally
BOUNCING to a jarring HALT in a parking lot which is destined
to become police H.Q. a few pages from now. Powell sits up
and clutches the mike.
One Adam Ten, under automatic rifle
fire at Nakatomi! Requesting immediate
backup and SWAT assistance…
166 INT. 34TH FLOOR – BOARD ROOM 166 *
McClane looks down at Powell and grins.
Welcome to the party, pal.
166-A INT. OFFICE – TV STATION – SAME TIME 166-A
WIDEN FROM A POLICE SCANNER. We take in the action here,
all color coordination and slickness. RICHARD THORNBURG, *
local TV news reporter, is on the phone to his girlfriend.
— of course I can get us a table,
Wolfgang and me, we’re like that.
I interviewed him…hold on, *
He covers the mouthpiece, because he’s become aware of what’s
coming from the scanner.
— attention all units. Officer
pinned down by automatic weapon
fire at Nakatomi, Century City —
request assistant — (ETC)
— guys, you want to cut through
the red tape? They practically
turned this car into Swiss cheese — !
He drops the phone, pick up another. Shouts —
Mary, this is Dick. I want a remote
truck and a crew to meet me at the
South gate in fifteen minutes…
Damn right, fifteen…
Where are we going?
(Hearing gun shots)
For an Emmy!
Now, hearing MACHINE GUN FIRE, Thornburg hangs up the second
phone. Runs out of the room. CAMERA PANS BACK TO the first
167 EXT. CENTURY CITY – NIGHT 167
Sirens wail as the first few police cars arrive. Powell sees
them, waves them back, points to the third floor.
168 INT. HOSTAGE WING – ON ELLIS – SAME 168
He leans back and closes his eyes, luxuriating in the sound
of WAILING POLICE SIRENS. He looks at Holly.
I never through I’d love to hear
169 HANS’ OFFICE 169
Hans, Karl, Fritz and Franco confer.
— all of you, stay at your posts!
We knew that police action was
(an odd smile)
…In fact, it’s necessary. So let
them start their feeble efforts;
until them, stay calm. We have
the hostages, remember. We are
still in charge.
Suddenly Hans’ CB crackles to life.
(picking it up)
I told all of you…I want radio
silence until further —
169-A MCCLANE – 34th FLOOR – BOARD ROOM 169-A *
He’s got a CB on the table and ON, and his cop’s notebook is
out again. He’s already upgraded the NUMBER OF TERRORISTS?
to “12 (?) minus 3 = 9” and added other information. As he
speaks he takes ammo clips the dead men dropped, their
Gee, I’m sorry, Hans, nobody gave
me the message. You shoulda put
it on the bulletin board. Anyway,
I thought you and Franco and Karl
and the other boys might be lonely,
now that I waxed Tony and Marco and
their buddy. So I invited some of
the guys from my card game.
In the office, the terrorists REACT, startled, as McClane
How…how does he know so much
(waving for silence)
Ah, how nice of you to call. I
assume you are our mysterious party
crasher. You are most troublesome
for a…security guard?
170 INT. 34th FLOOR – ON MCCLANE – INTERCUT 170 *
Moving down the corridor. Now armed with Marco’s machine
gun and carrying Heinrich’s kit bag, he seems more lethal. *
BZZZ! Sorry, Hans, wrong guess.
Would you like to go for
Double Jeopardy, where the stakes
are double and the scores really
He rolls Heinrich over and is delighted to find a pack of
Gauloise’s in the man’s pocket. He takes them, pats the *
dead man’s face.
(sotto, to the body)
Bad for your health anyway.
Who are you, then?
Just the fly in the ointment, Hans.
The monkey in the wrench, the pain
in the ass –
McClane STOPS in mid-speech. He’s just opened the kit bag
Heinrich had over his shoulder when he died. Now McClane
takes out the contents…dozens and dozens of EXPLOSIVE
DETONATORS marked “DANGER” and a CHUNK of cello-wrapped
PLASTIQUE the size of an electric razor. He WHISTLES in
surprise to himself.
In the office, Hans turns off his mike for a moment, turns
to Karl. *
Check on all the others…don’t
use the radio. See if he’s lying
about Marco and find out if anyone *
else is missing. *
He moves. Hans goes back onto the CB. Meanwhile, McClane *
SMILES at the tell-tale STATIC as Hans goes off and on. He
knows what’s happening. Now, he starts to walk down
a corridor, eyes PANNING FROM elevator to the stairwell
Mr. Mystery Guest. Are you still
I wouldn’t think of leaving, Hans.
Unless you want to open the front
I’m afraid not. But you have me
at a loss — you know my name, but
who are you?
Just another American who saw too
many movies as a child. Another
orphan of a bankrupt culture who
thinks he’s John Wayne…Rambo…
Actually, I was always partial to
Roy Rogers. I really dug those
Do you really think you have a chance
against us, Mr. Cowboy?
A LIGHT blinks on the elevator.
McClane goes quietly through the stairwell door and is gone
by the time the search party steps onto this floor.
Hans sits quietly…thinking.
170-A OUT OUT 170-A
171 INT. 30TH FLOOR – SAME 171
Karl steps off the elevator and goes through the crowd of
hostages to Hans.
He wasn’t lying about Marco: He’s
thirty stories down on the street.
The other man is Heinrich, and I found
his body upstairs.
(pause; Hans looks
And his bag is missing.
He had the detonators!
171-A THEO – IN SAFE ROOM 171-A
With Kristoff, he has DRILLED TWO HOLES in the safe and is
working on a third when he HEARS the CB. He turns off the
We may have some problems. How is
Theo moves to his computer screen which shows a schematic of
the safe and blinking icons and the words MECHANICALS #2
and #2 DISABLED.
Three down, four to go —
Then don’t waste time talking to
Suddenly all REACT to a nearby CB transmitter which broadcasts.
This is Sergeant Al Powell of the
Los Angeles Police Department. If
the person who radioed for help on
this channel can hear me, acknowledge
this transmission…I say again…
172 INT. 33RD FLOOR – ON MCCLANE – NIGHT 172 *
I read you, Powell. You the guy
in the car?
173 EXT. POLICE OPERATIONS TRAILER 173
Powell stands in front of his destroyed cruiser and looks
up at the building. Behind him technicians, City Power and
Light personnel, SWAT officers in protective gear, etc., arrive
from all directions. A trailer is being backed into a parking
lot, which will become the police center of operations. It
is like watching a small town being constructed right before
What’s left of him. Can you
173-A HANS AND KARL 173-A
Maybe later. Just listen fast
because this is a party line and
the neighbors are trigger happy.
Now here’s the skinny: There’s
thirty or so hostages on the
30th floor, with probably 2 or 3
guards to cover a group that size.
The leader here is named Hans,
and besides the pea shooter he
ventilated your car with, *
they got machine guns and *
sidearms up the yin yang. On top
of that one of ’em had a big enough
chunck of plastic explosive to
orbit Kate Smith. *
NOTE: The following dialogue is said OVER McClane’s.
We have to find him and shut him
up! He’s telling them everything —
(shaking his head,
The police are irrelevant. We’ve *
waiting for the FBI. Until they *
arrive, we can’t finish out work.
Meanwhile, let this fool waste time
for the police. Fritz, go help Uli *
find the bag.
The CAMERA TIGHTENS ON him
We must find those detonators.
173-B WITH MCCLANE 173-B
How many are there?
(thinking about it)
Figuring there’s at least one to
cover the lobby, a couple with the
hostages…I’d say they came in
with about a dozen…but they’re
down to nine now, including the
skydiver you already met. These
guys are mostly Europeans, judging
by their clothing labels, and they’re
well financed and very slick.
How do you know?
I’ve seen enough phoney ID’s in
my time to recognize that the ones
they’ve got cost a fortune. Add all
that up and I don’t know what the
fuck it means, but these are bad
ass preps and they’re here to stay.
We notice that everything McClane has said about “clothing”
and ID’s and police jargon, etc., has set off a little buzzer
in Powell’s brain.
I hear you…
(on a hunch)
Partner. And LA’s finest are on it,
so light ’em if you got ’em.
I’m ahead of you…partner.
Uh, what do I call you?
A moment. McClane smiles. What the hell?
Got it…’Roy’. Now listen. If
you think of anything else you think
we need to know, don’t be shy, okay?
In the meantime I want you to find
a safe place and hole-up and let
us do our job. Understand?
They’re all yours, Al. Good luck.
McClane turns off his CB and sits against the wall.
174- OUT OUT 174-
177 EXT. POLICE OPERATIONS – NIGHT 177
An unmarked police car pulls up across the street from
Nakatomi building and a MAN in a sportcoat climbs out.
Stocky, his hair a little too perfect, the very fact that
he is the Deputy Chief of Police Operations on a Christmas Eve
gives some evidence to his position in the pecking order. His
name is DWAYNE T. ROBINSON and he moves brusquely past police
technicians and goes to the forward group of officers.
Who’s talking to them?
Powell turns around
I am, Sir…Sergeant Al Powell.
Dwayne Robinson. Well, what have
you learned? What do they want?
The terrorists? Don’t know, Sir.
We haven’t heard a peep from them.
Then who the hell have you been
We don’t exactly know, Sir. He won’t
give us him name. He appears to be the
man who called in the report…he’s
killed one of the terrorists for sure
and claims he capped two others.
He claims? Powell, has it occured
to you he could be one of the
terrorists, pulling your chain?
Or some kind of nut case who —
I don’t think so, Sir. In fact…
I think he’s a cop. Maybe not
LAPD, but definitely a badge.
How do you know?
A hunch. Things he said. Like,
knowing how to recognize a phony
— recognizing phony ID’s? Christ,
Powell, he could be a fucking
bartender for all we know!
Something draws Robinson’s attention. He looks at:
178 HIS P.O.V. – REMOTE NEWS TRUCK 178
Pulling up and parking just beyond the barricades.
Richard Thornburg gets out, starts supervising the *
positioning of cameras.
178-A BACK TO SCENE 178-A
179 HOSTAGE FLOOR 179
Hans examines building plans at Holly’s desk. Behind him
the TV is ON, the sound muted. TV cops triumph over oafish
Hans looks up as Fritz brings in Holly.
I…have a request.
Oh? What idiot put you in charge?
(on his look)
You murdered by Boss. Now…
They’re looking to me. Personally
I’d pass on the jab. I don’t enjoy
being this close to you.
Hans is impressed by her candor. And she’s easy enough
on the eyes.
We have a pregnant woman out there —
(on his look)
— relax, she’s not due for two
weeks, but a marble floor isn’t
doing her back any good. I’d like
permission for her to more to one
of the offices where there’s a sofa.
No. But I’ll have a sofa brought
out to you. Good enough?
Good enough. And unless you like
is messy, you’d better start taking
us in groups to the bathroom.
Yes, you’re right. It will be done.
He nods to one of his men, and she is waved to the door:
As she goes:
Mr. Takagi chose his people well,
Gennero. Miss Gennero.
He nods, thoughtful. She goes out. Hans suddenly notices:
180 CLOSER – TV 180
A slide “SPECIAL BULLETIN” has appeared. This changes to a
SHOT of the Nakatomi building with “LIVE” supered over it.
Richard Thornburg is in front. The CAMERA TIGHTENS ON him.
This is Richard Thornburg, speaking
to you live from Century City…
where Los Angeles has joined the
sad but world wide fraternity whose
only membership requirement is the
awesome spectre of International
181 ANOTHER TV SCREEN – NIGHT 181
As Thornburg Continues, we PULL BACK. We’re WITH Argyle in
the back seat of the limo.
(reaching for the
What else is new…?
The CAMERA PULLS BACK and we SEE the Nakatomi Building rise
up in the b.g. behind Thornburg.
We’re told that the situation began
some two hours ago when an
unidentified party of men took over
the building and sealed off all of
its entrances and exits…
Argyle is already bailing out of the car.
182 EXT. LIMO – IN THE GARAGE 182
Argyle looks at the metal gates, swallows. He JUMPS back
in the car.
183 BACK INSIDE 183
Argyle pours himself a stiff drink.
Since all the telephone lines have
been cut, the only contact with the
building had been through the use of
CB communicators which the terrorists
brought with them. Strangely enough,
so far the terrorists have not
communicated directly with the police…
but an unidentified man has had
several conversations which seem to
Argyle nearly spills his drink as he leans over the front
seat and turns on the CB.
184 OUTSIDE THE BUILDING – SAME TIME 184
Signs of activity along the edges and shadows of the area.
Men and vehicles. The SNAP of weapons and breeches.
Footsteps running in unison. Powell picks up on this, turns
to Robinson, who is standing with the SWAT Captain, MITCHELL.
What’s going on?
What’s it look like? We’re going
Going in…are you out of your mind?
There’s 30 hostages in there — for
all we know —
— all we know? We don’t know shit,
Powell. If there’s hostages why
hasn’t anyone asked for ransom? If
there’s terrorists, where’s their
goddamn list of demands? All we know
is that someone shot up your car, and
it could be the same flake you’ve been
talking to on the radio!
What about the body that fell out of
the window — ?
Who the hell knows? Maybe he was a
stockbroker who looked at the Dow Jones
and opted for early retirement!
Chief, we’re ready.
Begin your reconnoiter.
185 MCCLANE 185
Inside the building, sadly realizing that the Marlboro pack
has only two more to go. He savors the dregs of his current
number, then suddenly becomes aware of an almost EERIE QUIET.
He moves to the window.
186 HIS P.O.V. – OUTSIDE 186
Hints of activity in the darkness. A LIGHT FLARES extinguished.
Shadows move on trailer walls.
187 BACK TO SCENE 187
(spooked, into CB)
Powell? Al, you still with me?
What’s going on? Al?
188 OUTSIDE 188
Powell stiffens. Robinson looks at him warningly, shakes his
I’m here, Roy, but I’m, uh, kind of
busy. Let’s talk later, okay?
Al, what’s wrong? Did something —
— Oh, God. You’re coming in! That’s
it, isn’t it? Christ, Powell, I told
you what you’re dealing with here —
I said we’ll talk later, Roy. If
you’re what I think you are you should
know when to listen, when to shut up…
and when to pray.
Hating himself, Powell DISCONNECTS, watches LIGHTS snaps on in
the parking lot to illuminate the area.
Also hating himself, McClane does the same thing. Pale, he
moves to a window to watch what he knows is going to be brutal.
188-A IN HOLLY’S OFFICE – HANS 188-A
He hunches over his communicator.
They’ll be coming. Get ready.
Theo, watch the screens. Be our
eyes and ears.
Wait until they’re close.
188-B EDDIE 188-B
slips away from the desk, a computer card in his hand. He
meets up with another terrorist and they move behind a slit
in the wall. Eddie waves his card at the sensor and a METAL
GRID crashes into place. They hold their weapons behind it,
188-C VARIOUS SHOTS – TERRORISTS – ON OTHER FLOORS 188-C
All now with earplugs in their CB’s, taking up positions:
189 AT THE LOBBY DOOR 189
The SWAT team leader moves in SOP style to the door, scans it
189-A EXT. CENTURY CITY – ON MITCHELL AND ROBINSON – 189-A
Mitchell listens to CB radio.
We’re in position.
Mitchell looks at Robinson, who is visible tense. Robinson
hesitates, then gives his approval with a nod.
190 QUICK SHOTS – INSIDE THE LOBBY 190
The SECURITY CAMERAS on the walls PAN and ZOOM:
191 THE VAULT DOOR 191
Kristoff DRILLS AWAY, is rewarded with the message FIFTH LOCK
DEACTIVATED. DO YOU WISH TO CONTINUE? Nearby, Theo sits at
a bank of monitors. Screen after screen pinpoints all the
police activity outside, down to the last detail. Theo SMILES.
Suddenly we RECOGNIZE that tune he’s been whistling. It’s
“Singin’ In The Rain.”
(into a throat mike)
It was the night before Xmas, and
all through the house, not a creature
was stirring, expect for the four
assholes coming in the rear in
standard 2 X 2 cover formation.
192 INT. LOBBY – NIGHT 192
Eddie and another terrorist, ULI, take up prone firing
positions, using the gaps in the steel partition like gunpoints.
193 ANGLE ON TWO SWAT OFFICERS 193
Mitchell and Robinson watch from behind the cover of a police
car as the SWAT officers remove a portable welding torch and
begin cutting their way through the locks.
194 INT. 33RD FLOOR – MCCLANE 194
He moves painfully to the window and looks out. He can’t see
a thing because of the lights.
195 EXT. POLICE BARRICADES – ON MITCHELL AND ROBINSON 195
Suddenly rifle fire sounds from the building.
They’re shooting at them
It’s panic fire…they can’t see
They’re shooting at the lights.
More shots ring out from the building going over the SWAT
officers’ heads and suddenly the huge dome of one of the
spotlights shatters behind Mitchell and Robinson’s head.
The glow fades. A moment later the next light twenty feet
They’re going after the lights!
The two SWAT officers cutting the garage ate suddenly look up
as their cover starts to disappear.
Call them back.
No, they’re almost in.
Suddenly the third and fourth lights are shot out and the SWAT
men become sitting ducks.
196 IN HOLLY’S OFFICE – HANS 196
He calmly speak into his CB.
Don’t get impatient. Just wound them.
197 INT. LOBBY 197
Eddie and Uli fire. They hit one of the officers in the leg,
the second one in the arm.
198 EXT. POLICE BARRICADES – ON MITCHELL AND ROBINSON 198
Send in the car!
An armored car wheels toward the building and starts toward
the wounded men.
199 INT. ROOF-MACHINE ROOM/SERVICE ELEVATOR – SAME 199
JAMES and Alexander quickly load two crates onto the service
elevator and push the button for the 3rd floor. As the car
starts down, they remove an anti-tank gun from one of the
200 WITH THEO – WATCHING SCREENS 200
Well, what have we here. The
police’ve got themselves an R.V.
James, Alexander, southeast corner.
201 INT. 3RD FLOOR – SAME 201
The service elevator arrives on the 3rd floor and James and
Alexander move across the room toward the windows with the
anti-tank weapon. At the window, they prepare the weapon
Outside the window the armored car has stopped in front of the
wounded man and paramedics quickly load them in from the
sheltered side of the vehicle. Alexander quickly sights on
the armored car.
(to Hans, CB)
I have them
(o.s., over CB)
202 EXT. THE ARMORED CAR 202
A blast ROARS from the third floor window and the shell hits
the armored car. The car pitches forward like a beast whose
front legs have been shot out from under it — its front axle
destroyed, unable to move. Alexander looks back at James and
203 30TH FLOOR – HANS 203
He watches from his window. Coldly picks up his CB.
Hit it again.
204 MCCLANE 204
listening. He picks up his CB.
Hans, you motherfucker, you’ve made
your point. Let them pull back!
Thank you Mr. Cowboy, I’ll take it
under advisement. His it again.
McClane slumps to the floor below the window. He feels
helpless, then notices his kit bag.
205 3RD FLOOR 205
James runs back to the crate on the elevator.
206 EXT. POLICE BARRICADE – ON ROBINSON AND MITCHELL 206
They look on in horror as the armored car sits helplessly on
fire. On the police radio channel we HEAR the screams of men
(voice over; on
This is Rivers. We’ve got one dead.
Everybody’s hit. Rodriguiz’s bleeding
bad. We’ve got to get the fuck out of
Rivers, hang on! That’s an order!
Hang on, we’ll get you out.
207 INT. ELEVATOR CAR – 3RD FLOOR – SAME 207
James opens the box of shells and takes two and starts back
across the room.
208 INT. 33RD FLOOR – CLOSE ON A SHAPE ON PLASTIC 208
EXPLOSIVE – SAME
Like a football. It sits on the seat of a secretary’s chair
with castors. We PULL BACK TO SEE McClane press three
detonators into the top, then cover the explosive with a
typewriter, tying it securely in place with electrical cords.
209 ANGLE ON SERVICE ELEVATOR – MCCLANE 209
wheels the chair to the service elevator, opens the door and
block them with a fire axe. He looks in — the top of the car
can just be seen thirty-five floors below.
210 INT. 3RD FLOOR 210
James hands the shell to Alexander, who expertly loads it into
the anti-tank gun. Alexaneder lifts the gun to his shoulder
211 INT. 38TH FLOOR 211
McClane push the chair into the shaft.
For a long moment there is nothing, then: the shaft is filled
with light, then SOUND — an ungodly ROAR — and McClane is
thrown back across the elevator corridor against the other
back of doors by the concussion wave.
212 ON THE 3RD FLOOR 212
The explosion, like a firestorm, rips across the floor:
213 BLOWING OUT THE MACHINE GUN NEXT AND JAMES AND 213
214 SHATTERING WINDOWS 214
215 SENDING DESKS, CHAIRS, PHONES, AND TYPEWRITERS 215
216 EXT. AVENUE OF THE STARS 216
The police take cover behind their cars. Powell, Robinson,
and Mitchell look like they’ve seen the face of God as the
building rocks from the blast. Henry’s cigarette falls from
his mouth as a desk is sent hurtling across Avenue of the Stars
into the trees across the street.
217 INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE – ON WILLIAM – SAME 217
watching it on TV, feeling it all around him.
218 EXT. DOWN ON THE STREET – SAME 218
Dick Thornburg’s crew is taping.
(to the cameraman)
Did you get all that?
Thornburg looks at his competitors still setting up.
Eat your heart out, Channel Four.
219- OUT OUT 219-
222 ON HOSTAGE FLOOR 222
The hostages are shaken and the terrorists guarding them
aren’t too sure of themselves either. Only Hans is relatively
They’re using artillery on us — !
You idiot, it’s not the police…
223 ANGLE ON HOLLY 223
She comforts Ginny.
224 INT. 32ND FLOOR – MCCLANE – SAME 224
He sits up and lifts the CB.
Al! Al, the guys in the car, did
they make it?
225 EXT. POWELL 225
on the street, watching as the survivors are pulled out of the
wreck and to safety.
Safe and sound, thanks to you.
What the fuck was that?
The plastique I found.
Is the building on fire?
No, but it’s gonna need one hell
of a paint job and a shitload of
One spotters say you got two with
Two? Are you sure?
Before Powell can answer Robinson comes running up to him.
Is that him?
(reaching for Powell’s
Give me that.
(angrily at McClane)
Now, listen to me, mister, I don’t
know what you think you’re doing,
but demolishing a building doesn’t
fall under the definition of ‘help’!
There’s hundreds of people out here
and you covered half of them in
pieces of glass —
Glass, my ass! Who the fuck is this?
This is Deputy Chief of Police
Dwayne T. Robinson, and I’m in
charge of this situation.
McClane leans tiredly against the elevator door.
Well, from up here, it looks like
you’re in charge of shit, Dwayne.
I haven’t seen such a fucked up
operation since the
Bride of Frankenstein. Ask
the guys in the armored car if
they minded a little flying glass.
Listen asshole — !
Asshole? I’m not the one who just
for butt fucked on national TV,
Dwayne! Now if you’re not part
of the solution, stop being part
of the problem! Get off the
Goddamn radio and put Al back on!
McClane is so furious, he’s out of breath.
226 INT. LIMO – ARGYLE – SAME 226
Argyle nods in agreement.
Tell ’em, Mr. Mac! Tell ’em!
227 INT. 33RD FLOOR – ON MCCLANE 227
still seething. There is a long pause on the CB, then:
Hello, Roy. How’re you feeling?
Pretty fucking unappreciated.
228 ON POWELL 228
Other officers, including Robinson, monitor the conversation.
Hey, I love you.
So do a lot of the guys. So hang
in there, man. Hang in there.
229 TV – CLOSE 229
As it SNAPS ON. We’re in the studio set.
(as the picture
…of the Nakatomi building,
sources say that the terrorist
leader ‘Hans’ may be this man,
A SLIDE of Hans appears behind her. At the same time, the CAMERA
PULLS BACK. We realize we’re on THE HOSTAGE FLOOR, and Hans
has just turned on the set out here for his “guests”. He smiles
modestly as they “recognize” him from the on air shot, returns
to the office.
A member of the radical
West German Volksfrei movement.
Strangely, the Volksfrei leadership
issued a communique an hour ago
stating that Gruber has been expelled
from the organization and is operating
on his own.
Obviously, Gail whatever his
affiliation, it’s safe to say
that Gruber’s terrorist actions
in Los Angeles tonight are well,
As the bullshit continues, Ellis suddenly STANDS, head towards
the terrorist “office”. Immediately the chief guard here,
Fritz, moves to intercept Ellis.
Where are you going?
I’m tired of sitting here waiting
to see who gets us killed first…
them…or your husband.
(to the approaching
What are you going to do?
Hey, I negotiate million dollar
deals for breakfast. I can handle
I want to talk to Hans. Hans!
He doesn’t wait for an answer. Fritz follows him. Holly
230 THE OFFICE 230
— you wouldn’t let me kill him
when I had the chance —
If you’d listened to me he would
be neutralized already!
I don’t want neutral…I want dead —
ALL TURN at a rap on the door. Ellis is there.
Hope I’m not interrupting…?
What does he want?
As Fritz shrugs:
It’s not what I want, it’s what
I can give you. Look, let’s be
straight, okay? It’s obvious
you’re not some dumb thug up
here to snatch a few purses, am
Karl looks at Ellis and then at Hans, as if to say, let me plug
this asshole right now. But Hans is either amused of curious
or bored enough to shake his head, turn back to Ellis.
You’re very perceptive.
Hey, I read the papers, I watch
60 minutes, I say to myself, these
guys are professionals, they’re
motivated, they’re happening.
They want something. Now, personally,
I don’t care about your politics.
Maybe you’re pissed at the
Camel Jockeys, maybe it’s the
Hebes, Northern Ireland, that’s
none of my business. I figure,
You’re here to negotiate, am I right?
You’re amazing. You figured this
all out already?
Hey, business is business. You use
a gun, I use a fountain pen, what’s
the difference? To put it in my
terms, you’re here on a hostile
takeover and you grab us for some
greenmail but you didn’t expect a
poison pill was gonna be running
around the building.
Hans, baby…I’m your white knight.
I must have missed 60 Minutes. What
are you saying?
The guy upstairs who’s fucking things
up? I can give him to you.
As Hans reacts with real interest for the first time, we:
231 POWELL 231
By the CB. He suddenly REACTS to a GROAN from McClane.
Roy! You all right?
232 INSIDE – MCCLANE 232
He’s by an open desk drawer, having just ripped open a package
of twinkies he’s found. He grimaces, mouth full.
Yeah, just trying to handle some
year old twinkies. Yucck. What
do they put in these things?
‘Sugar, enriched flour, partially
hydrogenated vegetable oil,
polysorbate 60 and yellow dye #5.’
You sound like a man with a
couple of kids.
Not yet, the wife in working on our
first. You got any kids back on
McClane swallows Twinkie with a grimace, takes out his wallet,
flips it open to a picture of himself and Holly and the kids
in happier days.
Two. And I’d sure like to see them
swinging on the jungle gym with
It’s a date. You buy the ice cream.
McClane laughs, stares at the photo, when suddenly another VOICE
besides Powell’s comes over his radio.
(o.s., on CB)
Touching, cowboy, touching.
Or should I call you Mister McClane?
Mister officer John McClane on the
McClane FREEZES. How much do they know?
233 THORNBURG – IN TRAILER 233
Reacts, gleeful, writes down the name.
Get on the phone to our New York
234 POWELL 234
reacts, signals an Aide, who’s already writing, too.
235 MCCLANE AND HANS 235
(fighting to stay calm)
Sister Teresa in third grade called
me Mr. McClane. My friends call me
John Mac. You’re neither…shithead.
I have someone who wants to talk
to you. A very special friend who
was at the party with you tonight.
McClane’s face falls. Oh, God. Eyes closed, he waits for the
voice that tells him it’s all over.
Hello, John boy?
McClane’s eyes open, showing equal parts of shock and hope.
In the office, CAMERA ADJUSTS TO SHOW Ellis as Hans gives him
Ellis has a cigarette, and a terrorist brings him a Diet coke.
John, they’re giving me a few minutes
to try and talk some sense into you.
I know you think you’re doing your
job, and I can appreciate that, but
you’re just dragging this thing out.
None of us gets out of here until
these people can negotiate with the
LA police, and they’re just not gonna
start doing that until you stop
messing up the works.
Ellis, what have you told them?
I told them we’re old friends and you
were my guest at the party.
McClane sighs, partially relieved. Hans meanwhile, narrows his
Ellis…you shouldn’t be doing
Tell me about it.
He looks at Hans, who gives him a nod.
All right…John, listen to me…
They want you to tell them where the
detonators are. They know people are
listening. They want the detonators
of they’re going to kill me.
Ellis gives Hans a big “ok” sign. Hans returns it.
236 INT. POLICE TRAILER – ON POWELL, ROBINSON – SAME 236
and others listening intently. McClane closes his eyes and
leans his head back again. He knows what is going to happen,
even if this poor bastard Ellis doesn’t.
John, didn’t you hear me?
(to CB, quietly)
Yeah, I hear you, you fucking moron!
John, I think you could get with
the program a little. The police
are here now. It’s their problem.
Tell these guys where the detonators
are so no one else gets hurt. Hey,
I’m putting my life on the line for
Don’t you think I know that! Put
Hans on! Hans, listen to me, that
shithead doesn’t know what kind of
scum you are, but I do —
Good. Then you’ll give us what we
want and save your friend’s life.
You’re not part of this equation.
It’s time to realize that.
Saying this, Hans takes out his gun, points it at Ellis, smiling.
Ellis smiles, too.
What am I, a method actor? Hans,
babe, put away the gun. This is
radio, not television…
That asshole’s not my friend!
I barely know him! I hate his
fucking guts —
— Ellis, for Christ’s sake, tell
him you don’t mean shit to me —
John, how can you say that, after
all these years–? John? John?
Ellis looks at Hans and shrugs, “Well, I tried…” Hans nods
understandingly. He takes the CB, presses the TALK button, and
in one frighteningly smooth motion brings the Walther up to
Ellis’ forehead and PULLS THE TRIGGER.
237 INT. 33RD FLOOR – MCCLANE 237
He was expecting the SHOT but it still chills him.
238 30TH FLOOR – HOLLY AND HOSTAGES 238
She lowers her head sadly. Around her, the others go CRAZY as
they SEE Ellis’ blood splattered on the glass walls on Hans’
239 INT. HANS’ OFFICE – ON HANS 239
He throws open the door to let McClane and the police hear the
screams of the hostages.
Hear that? Talk to me, where are my
detonators. Where are they or shall
I shoot another one? Sooner or later…
(taking a shot)
…I might get to someone you do care
(after a beat)
Go fuck yourself.
240 EXT. BUILDING 240
Powell fends off Robinson, who wants the CB.
Goddamn, didn’t you hear him! He
practically pulled the Goddamned
trigger himself — he gave that man
to them —
Christ, can’t you read between the
lines! He did everything he could
to save him…if he gave himself up
they’d both be dead!
Maybe. And maybe they’d at least
be talking to us! Now tell your
‘partner’ to stay out of it, or so
help me if he lives through this
I’ll put him behind bars myself!
He’s alone, tired, hunted, and hasn’t
seen diddly-squat from us and you
think he gives a flying fuck about
what you’re going to do to him?
Robinson, wake up and smell the shit
Anytime you want to go home,
Sergeant…consider yourself dismissed.
They lock eyes.
No Sir. You couldn’t drag me away.
Attention police. Attention police.
It’s asses and elbows time. Tape recorders are started.
(starting to speak)
This is —
(taking the CB away)
This is Deputy Chief Robinson. Who
241 HANS’ OFFICE 241
This is Hans Gruber. I assume you
realize the futility of direct action
against me. We have no wish for
further loss of life.
What do you wish for, Mister Gruber?
I have comrades in arms around the
world who are languishing in prison.
The American State Department enjoys
rattling its saber to its own ends…
now it can rattle it for me.
242 MCCLANE 242
Listening to this with expressions ranging from astonishment
to dismay to outright derisive amusement.
…The following people are to be
released from their captors: In
Northern Ireland, the seven members
of the New Provo Front. In Canada,
the five imprisoned leaders of
Liberte de Quebec…
243 HANS’ OFFICE 243
…in Sri Lanka, the nine members
of the Asian Dawn movement…
‘Asian Dawn Movement?’
(off-mike, a shrug)
I read about them in Time magazine.
When these Revolutionary Brothers and
Sisters are Free, the hostages in this
building will be taken to the roof and
they will accompany us in helicopters
to the Los Angeles International Airport
where you will be given further
instructions. You have two hours to
Two hours? Are you insane? I can’t
Do you think they’ll even try to
Theo. Are we on schedule?
244 VAULT ROOM 244
Theo and Kristoff have been rewarded with another LOCK
One more to go…then it’s up
The graphic on his screen flashes: “WARNING: ELECTRO- *
MAGNETIC SEAL ARMED.” *
And you better be right, because
this one’s going to take a miracle.
It’s Christmas, Theo, it’s the time
of miracles. So be of good cheer
and call me when you hit the last
Karl…hunt the little shit down
and get those detonators.
Franco is checking the explosives,
Fritz is with him.
I’ll check the explosives. You
just get those detonators.
245 MCCLANE – 32ND FLOOR 245
As he talks, he essentially PATROLS the floor he’s staked
out, constantly looking into every dark corner, gun held
ready, moving toward the stairwell.
Al? Al, you there?
I’m here, cowboy.
Speaking of cows, did you ever
hear so much bullshit in your life?
Two hours? That doesn’t even make
any sense —
Don’t tell me, partner. I’m just
a desk jockey who was on the way
home when you rang.
The way you drove that car, I
figured you for the streets.
In my youth, partner. In my youth.
246 INT. TV STUDIO – NIGHT 246
Gail and Harvey have company, a man from the Senator
Paul Simon’s school of grooming.
(holding up a copy)
a Study in Duality.’ Dr. Hasseldorf,
what can we expect in the next few hours?
Well, Gail, by this time the hostages
and their captors should be entering
the early stages of the Helsinki
As in Helsinki, Sweden?
247 CONTROL ROOM 247
Sam sighs, shakes his head.
Uh…Finland. Basically, it’s when
the hostages and the terrorists go
through a sort of psychological
transference and projection of dependency…
248 INT. NAKATOMI – HOSTAGE FLOOR 248
Fritz drags Ellis’ body out of the office and throws it on the
(over Hans’ TV)
What can only be described as a
strange sort of trust and bond
develops…We’ve had situations where
hostages have embraced their captors
after their release and in one case
even corresponded with them in prison…
249 INT. BUILDING – MACHINE FLOOR 249
Hans turns, looks up at the ceiling. Too dim up there to see
from here. He sighs, sets his gun down on a buttress, starts
to climb up, not enjoying it.
250- OUT OUT 250-
254 OUTSIDE THE BUILDING 254
Robinson looks at a YOUNG COP, reacts, startled:
The…the FBI? Here? Now?
Yessir. Right over there.
Robinson looks at Powell, adjusts his clothing, fixes his tie.
You want a breath mint?
Robinson glares at him, then they move together towards:
255 A BIG DARK GOVERNMENT CAR 255
Headlights still on, dominating the area where it sits. Robinson
steps up, sees:
256 HIS P.O.V. – FBI AGENTS 256
They get out. One big back lit SILHOUETTE, one little one.
I’m Special Agent Johnson of the FBI.
This is Agent Johnson…no relation.
(stepping forward, plastic
Dwayne Robinson, LAPD. I’m in charge
Not any more.
As Robinson REACTS, we GO TO:
257 THE MECHANICAL FLOOR – TIGHT ON HANS 257
He checks the plastique, not pleased. He turns, DROPS to the
258 LOW ANGLE 258
He lands, knees bent…looks directly at a PAIR OF BARE FEET.
A GUN BARREL DROPS INTO THE SHOT close to his head.
259 NEW ANGLE 259
A moment. And then Hans turns, looks up.
The transformation in his expression and bearing are mind-
boggling. Hands shaking, eyes filled with fear, he swallows,
looks up at McClane and in a perfect American accent says:
–ohGodplease — don’t kill me —
don’t kill me — you’re one of them,
I know it —
Whoa, whoa, easy man. I won’t hurt
you. Who are you? What are you
Hans’ eyes dart towards:
260 THE BUTTRESS TEN FEET AWAY 260
Where a tiny piece of his gun sticks out, barely visible.
261 BACK TO SCENE 261
A way up to the roof…I thought I
could signal for help —
He starts in that direction.
Forget it. They got a guy up there.
You want to stay alive, keep moving.
Hey? You hear me?
Hans realizes this tack won’t work. He follows McClane.
You…you’re an American?
(friendly, easing the
Only if New Jersey counts.
It works. The poor frightened civilian shows a hint of a smile.
261-A OUTSIDE BUILDING 261-A
(in mid-speech to FBI)
We’ve got thirty, maybe thirty-five
hostages, probably on the 30th floor…
seven, maybe eight terrorists.
(to Big Johnson)
Sounds like a standard A-7 scenario.
Big Johnson nods in agreement, turns to Robinson.
Thank you. We’ll handle it from
here. When we need to commandeer
your men, we’ll try and let you know.
He starts to move away with his partner.
Aren’t you forgetting something?
Johnson and Johnson turn. Robinson wants Powell to shut up.
(pointing to the building)
John McClane! He’s the man who gave
us all the information we’ve got!
He’s the reason you’re facing seven
terrorists instead of twelve.
He’s inside? Who is he?
He may be a cop…we’re checking
on that —
One of yours?
(after a moment)
If he’s not a terrorist, and he’s
not a hostage…he’s just not part
of the equation.
They start to walk away.
T…that’s the same Goddamn thing
the terrorists said!
(to Big Johnson)
That’s one good thing. Sound like
we’re dealing with pros.
262 THE COMPUTER FLOOR 262
McClane and Hans walk together. Hans is still a “nervous wreck.”
There was a party — celebration —
all of a sudden they were there —
shooting — threatening us —
263 CLOSER SHOT 263
McClane looks at this poor civilian, on the edge of going to
pieces. He puts his hand on his shoulder.
Relax, man…you smoke?
Hans nods, still “frightened”. McClane takes out his spoils
of war, the Marlboros. Two left. He sighs, takes one, offers
the other one with an expression like a little boy forced to
share a cookie. McClane takes out a lighter, does his and
Hans’. Hans nods, grateful…then peers at McClane.
You…you don’t work for Nakatomi…
and if you’re not one of them…
I’m a cop from New York.
They invited me to the Xmas party.
Hans’ eyes take in his bare feet.
Better than being caught with your
pants down, right?
(extending his hand)
Call me Bill.
McClane nods, friendly like, and his eyes glance casually over
264 THE WALL – A ROSTER OF NAKATOMI EMPLOYEES 264
In alphabetical order. CAMERA MOVES OVER the “c’s”: CAMPBELL,
S.: CLAY, WM.: CRAWFORD, L…PANS BACK TO CLAY.
265 BACK TO SCENE 265
Bill, you know how to use a handgun?
One weekend I went to a combat ranch…
You know, that game with the, the guns
that shoot red paint? Must sound
pretty silly to you…
Sounds better than nothing.
McClane takes out his Baretta, pops out the magazine, jams in
a fresh one and hands it to him.
Time for the real thing.
McClane turns, moves on…we STAY ON him until he REACTS to a
CLICK. He slowly turns:
265-A NEW ANGLE 265-A
Hans is…well, Hans again, from expression to posture. He
holds the pistol aimed at McClane’s face and talks calmly into
his radio in German.
Karl! Franco! I’m on 33. Come
Put down your gun and give me my
McClane just looks at him.
Hans. Your Hans.
(nods, indicating McClane’s
Put it down now.
That was tricky, with the accent.
I bet you do a great Ed Sullivan.
Why do you need the detonators, Hans?
I already used the explosives.
I’m going to count to three…
Yeah. Like you did with Takagi.
McClane raises his machine gun, aims at Hans. Hans PULLS THE
Click. Astonishment. Click-click-click. McClane steps in
carefully, reclaims his pistol.
You think I’m a shmuch, Hans.
Hans pales as we hear the ding of an approaching elevator.
You were saying.
McClane whirls in time to see:
266- OUT OUT 266-
260 KARL, FRANCO AND FRITZ 270
Coming out of it, FIRING.
271 BACK TO SCENE 271
McClane FIRES back, killing Fritz. Karl and Franco take
cover. McClane ducks into a water cooler alcove, looks back
272 WHERE HANS WAS 272
He’s gone, a SWINGING OFFICE DOOR the only evidence of his
273 BACK TO SCENE 273
McClane curses himself, then RETREATS into a:
273-A- OUT OUT 273-A-
274 BANK OF COMPUTERS 274
Where he DUCKS and DODGES as bullets ping and ricochet all
around him. Ducking, rolling, he FIRES at:
275 FRANCO 275
McClane’s bullets RAKE his middle, throw him over a desk, his
276 CLOSER 276
He SLIDES right into a glass door. It smashes around his head.
Bright arterial BLOOD fountains up:
277 MCCLANE 277
hope rising at the prospect of an equal battle, his face
suddenly FALLS as BULLETS fly in from an unexpected direction.
278 HANS 278
has reappeared and snatched up Franco’s weapon.
279 MCCLANE 279
FIRES, moving, trying to keep from bring flanked. One of his
shots SHATTERS a glass panel, raining down shards near Hans,
who escapes with only superficial scratches.
280 HANS 280
looks at the glass around him, gets an idea. He SHOUTS to
Karl in German:
The glass! Shoot the glass!
And, saying this, he demonstrates. Karl follows suit.
281 MCCLANE 281
as GLASS FLIES EVERYWHERE, McClane sees one option, takes it.
BLASTING a burst to keep their heads down, he WHIRLS, JUMPS
on top of a long counter and RUNS ACROSS THE ROOM. Their
BULLETS follow him, six inches behind his moving form! Big
CRAY UNITS GROAN with electronic SQUEALS and SPARKS as a
million Gigabytes goes to RAM heaven. McClane reaches the end
of the counter, DIVES and rolls to the floor:
282 HIS FOOT 282
goes right down on a jagged SHARD. He GROANS, keeps going:
283 STAIRWELL DOOR 283
He’s out, gone, safe!
284 BACK TO SCENE 284
Karl looks pissed as hell. Behind him, Hans sifts through
rubble, then comes over, smiling.
He’s holding the bag of detonators.
Smile, Karl. We are back in business.
285 INT. TV TRAILER 285
(on monitor here)
…all depends on what we mean by
“Terror.’ If Clauswitz could say
‘War is the last resort of Deplomacy,’
couldn’t we just as well say that
terrorism has an equal claim to…
Mary comes inside, grinning ear to ear. Thornburg looks up from
his danish, a cute little chin napkin protecting his shirt
You got something?
(waving a paper)
Just McClane’s name, badge number,
police record, vital statistics…
…And his family’s address right
here in L.A.
As Thornburg GRINS we GO TO:
286 HOSTAGE FLOOR 286
Eddie and Uli are guarding the hostages. Hans and Karl return.
Hans tosses the bag of detonators to Uli, who grins, leaves.
287 HOLLY AND GINNY 287
Holly has watched all this nervously. But Ginny’s eyes follow
Karl, who doesn’t share the mood of the others.
That one look pissed, Ms. Gennero…
He’s still alive.
288 UPSTAIRS – WASHROOM 288
The door JARS open. McClane all but crawls inside. As he
passes the CAMERA we SEE his dragging foot leaving a trail
of blood on the linoleum.
289 VAULT ROOM – SAME TIME 289
Theo and Kristoff REACT, delighted, as they get the message
SIXTH LOCK DEACTIVATED. Suddenly a BUZZER SOUNDS and the
graphic flashes: “ELECTROMAGNETIC SEAL ENGAGED. CANNOT
BE DISARMED AT THIS LOCATION. TERMINATE SEQUENCE (Y/N)?”
You better heat up that miracle *
you were talking about. We broke
through on Number Six, and the
Electromagentic came down like a
290 HANS’ OFFICE 290
Well have a look at what our friends
outside are doing and I’ll be right
291 INT. BATHROOM – NIGHT 291
Wincing in pain, McClane washes his foot in a sink basin. He
washes a deep cut, soaps it, but the pain doesn’t relent.
When a VOICE speaks, he JUMPS, realizes it’s the CB.
Roy? You still with us?
Yeah. But all things being equal,
I’d rather be in Philadelphia. By
the way, chalk up two more terrorists.
292 POWELL – OUTSIDE 292
They boys’ll be glad. We got a pool
going on you.
McClane tries to wrap paper towels on the foot but his grimace
shows that is still hurts like hell.
(through his teeth)
Yeah? What’s the odds?
You don’t want to know.
Suddenly remembering an NYPD course in first aid from ten years
ago, McClane removes the improvised bandage, check the cut
(as he work)
Put me down for twenty anyway…I’m
good for it…so, what got you off the
street, Al? You liked lousy coffee,
Powell doesn’t answer right away. At the same time, McClane
swallows, seeing a gleam inside his foot. He gingerly probes,
and pulls out a shard of glass almost three inches long from its
angled gash, his mouth twisted in a silent scream all the way.
I…realized I couldn’t do what I
had to anymore…at least not out
there. I had an…accident.
McClane throws the glass across the room, forehead bathed in
They way you drive, I can see why.
I…I shot a kid.
Realizing what he’s hearing for the first time, McClane’s face
shifts to a new kind of pain.
Eleven years ago. Oh, it was dark…
he was big for his age…damn ray gun
he had looked real enough…yeah, I had
all the right excuses…but afterwards…
I really couldn’t draw my gun again.
I…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make
a joke of it.
Hey, you couldn’t know.
I still feel like shit.
Then this won’t matter.
LAPD’s not calling the shots anymore.
And as McClane REACTS we GO TO:
293 INT. VAULT ROOM – NIGHT 293
Hans and Theo lean over a monitor watching a DWP truck near
the parking garage.
(tapping the screen)
There’s the city engineers…they’re
going into the street circuits…But
who are these guys in the suits?
That’s the FBI…ordering them to cut *
the building’s power. They’re as
regular as clockwork…or a time lock…
ON Theo’s look:
…the circuits that cannot be cut…
are cut automatically in reponse to
a terrorist incident…You ask for
miracles, Theo…I give you the FBI…
When you’re hot, you’re hot.
CUT TO: *
294 EXT. BUILDING 294
As we saw on Theo’s screen, the Johnsons and Robinson and
Powell are my a MANHOLE with a CITY ENGINEER. A big CONTROL
BOX is there, cables snaking into the ground where another
CITY WORKER finishes WELDING a last connection.
GUY IN MANHOLE
We’re spliced in down the line.
The engineer THROWS GIANT LEVERS. Inside the manhole, SPARKS
SIZZLE and massive contacts CLUNK.
295 THE BUILDING 295
One by one, all the light on all the floors GO OUT.
296 MCCLANE 296
in the bathroom, ripping off his shirt and tying it around his
foot, he REACTS —
Powell? What’s going on?
297 OUTSIDE 297
(watching the others)
Ask the FBI. They’ve got the terrorist
playbook and they’re running it, step
McClane reacts, worried; he knows better.
298 THE HOSTAGES 298
groan with this new problem:
299 THE VAULT ROOM 299
Theo and Kristoff and Hans huddle over the computer monitor
screen as if it was a warm fireplace. Theo points to the
computer screen; all they can do is wait.
We HEAR the HUMM of a portable generator. The lights go OFF.
The computer screen stays ON. Theo looks over at the safe.
300 SAFE LED READOUT 300
It still reads “FIBER OPTIC TIME LOCK CANNOT BE DISARMED AT
THIS LOCATION. TERMINATE SEQUENCE (Y/N)?”
301 BACK TO SCENE 301
Damn! It didn’t go!
They’re on the building circuit…
it’s too local.
Encourage them to be bolder.
The only thing left for them is the
…They may not do it.
302 EXT. BUILDING 302
Just as the Johnsons are looking SMUG…all the floors GO
BACK ON, one by one!
(turning, to the
Cut it again. Go wider.
I can’t go wider here…
(to Robinson, looking
…I’d have to call downtown have
them take down one of the city
grids…you’re talking ten square
— ten blocks?
(to Big Johnson)
Are you crazy? It’s Christmas Eve,
thousands of people — the Mayor’ll
scream bloody murder —
to the Engineer)
We must shut down the building. Go
I need authorization —
Authorization? How about the
United States Fucking Government?
Lose the grid or lose your job!
The engineer looks at Robinson. No help. The engineer looks
at his guy in the manhole, shrugs. No choice.
Central. This is Walt, out at
Nakatomi. I want you to shut down
No shit, it’s my ass. Just shut it
Pause…pause…AND THEN THE FLOORS OF THE BUILDING ALL GO
303 IN THE VAULT ROOM 303
EMERGENCY LIGHTING FLICKS ON. An ALARM “beep-beep-beeps.”
304 THE LED READOUT ON THE SAFE 304
changes to “FIBER OPTIC TIME LOCK DEACTIVATED AT SOURCE.
SEVENTH LOCK DISENGAGED.”
305 BACK TO SCENE 305
With a dramatic HUM worthy of 2001, the vault door OPENS!
306 OUTSIDE 306
The FBI guys look at the dark building, than at the LAPD guys.
That should shake’em up. With all
the power shut down, those bastards
are probably scared shitless.
307 IN THE VAULT ROOM 307
The safe door finishes its ponderous move, CLUNKS to a halt.
Theo and Kristoff LAUGH, give each other high fives. Even Hans
loses his usual cool, slaps Theo on the back as Theo and
308 THORNBURG’S TV TRUCK 308
drives along a residential street. We SEE the Nakatomi tower
in the b.g., spotlit by the police beams. Thornburg checks a
map, POINTS a turn out to the driver.
309 OUTSIDE THE NAKATOMI BUILDING 309
Powell looks up at the dark structure lit only by emergency
lighting. He sidles over to the FBI men.
What do we do now, arrest them for
not paying their electric bill?
We let them sweat awhile. Then, when
they’re expecting helicopters…
…We give them helicopters…
Right up the ass.
(into another communicator)
This is Johnson…no the other one. I
want that air support ready to lift off
in five minutes…Damn right fully
armed. We’re on our way.
Attention in the building.
310 VAULT ROOM 310
Hans talks while Theo and Kristoff tackle the problem of
unloading the racks and racks of bonds and transferring them
to the black cases.
This is Hans…
This is Agent Johnson of the FBI.
The State Department has arranged for
the release of your comrades. The
helicopters you requested are on the
I hear you, FBI. We’ll be ready.
He disconnects, smiles at Theo.
When they touch down and we blow the
roof, they’ll spend a month sifting
through the bodies and rubble. By the
time they figure out what went wrong…
(smiling at the
…we’ll be earning twenty percent
like nice fat Capitalists.
By the time he figures out what hit him
he’ll be in a body bag.
The Johnsons exit. Powell and Robinson look at each other,
unhappy. Powell’s CB HISSES —
Powell moves off to be alone.
311 INT. BATHROOM 311
I’m here, John.
McClane tries walking on his foot. He winces in pain, clearly
at the end of his resources.
Look…I’m getting a bad feeling up
here…I’d like you to do something
for me. Look up my wife…don’t ask
how, you’ll know by then…and tell
her…tell her…I’ve been a jerk.
When things panned out for her, I
should’ve been behind her all the way
…We had something great going until
I screwed it up…She was the best
thing that ever happened to a bum
like me. She’s heard me say I love
you a thousand times, but she never
got to hear this…honey…I’m sorry.
You get all that?
I got it. But you can tell her
yourself. Just watch your ass and
you’ll make it.
I hope so. But that’s up to the
(pause; struck by
(thinking, to himself)
…Hans, you bastard…what were you
Stand by, Powell. I gotta check
He moves towards the door, limping hurriedly out of the room.
312 HOLLY’S FRONT DOOR 312
Thornburg’s got one foot literally in the doorway, but since
Paulina still has the chain on, it’s not quite enough.
One minute, that’s all we ask. You
could be denying them their last
chance to talk to their parents.
I’m sorry…Mrs. Holly says I
couldn’t let strangers into —
Strangers? I’m with KFLW TV, that’s
affiliated with the FCC, and I’m sure
you know that’s the United States
government…just like the INS?
As she wavers…
313 THE MECHANICAL FLOOR 313
McClane hobbles in here, favoring his foot. He retraces his
steps earlier, mentally replaying his meeting with Hans.
I was here…he was…
His eyes flick over the area…then he looks up. Seeing
something, he moves closer. He sets down his CB and then, with
difficulty, he climbs up on a thick pipe, flicks his lighter
and hold its high.
314 HIS P.O.V. 314
Explosives are everywhere.
315 BACK TO SCENE 315
He reacts, quickly extinguishing the lighter. He follows the
detonator lines with his eyes.
Oh my God…
He drops to the floor, winces in pain, picks up his CB.
Powell! Powell, listen to me! You’re
being double crossed! The whole roof
of this building is —
Suddenly a GUN BARREL is pressed against his head. He stiffens.
316 NEW ANGLE 316
Karl takes his Baretta, tosses it away. Then Karl takes the
- Smiling, Karl SMASHES the transmitter underfoot.
317 EXT. BUILDING – POLICE LINES 317
Powell is beside one of the radio monitoring officers.
Roy? Hello? Hello?
(to the officer)
I thought you had him.
I did. He said something about a,
a double cross…
Tell me about it.
318 NEW ANGLE 318
Showing two HELICOPTERS in the distance heading this way.
319 MACHINE FLOOR 319
Karl hovers over McClane, who hasn’t moved a muscle.
We’re both professionals. But this
is personal. You…are done.
WHAM! McClane DRIVES his elbow into Karl’s face.
320 NEW ANGLE 320
Karl’s weapon clatters on the floor. McClane follows his first
blow with another. Karl recovers, and with a spinning karate
kick SLAMS McClane back.
321 HOSTAGE FLOOR – NIGHT 321
Eddie turns from a window, where the chopper lights loom closer.
CAMERA PANS across the room to the doorway of the office, where
Hans nods, stands.
THORNBURG’S VOICE FROM TV
— I know you’re proud of your daddy…
322 CLOSEUP – HOLLY 322
She’s speechless, watching in shock as:
323 THE PORTABLE TV 323
shows Thornburg at Holly’s house! He’s squatting down with his
microphone to interview the children in their P.J.s. His voice
is soft, comforting.
(to the children)
…because he’s a very brave policeman.
And your mom has shown just as much
courage. But is there something you
would like to say to them if they’re
John Jr. says nothing, but Lucy looks at the camera.
324 HOLLY 324
She struggles to stay composed…can’t. She slowly turns her
head, looks at Hans.
325 HER P.O.V. – HANS 325
He’s looking away from us, at the picture of the children on
her desk. He turns back and looks at her. He smiles.
Mrs. McClane. How nice to make your
He raises his weapon…but he only shoot it into the ceiling,
making everyone jump!
On your feet, everyone! Upstairs,
(quietly, to Uli)
You’ll lock them up there and come
Uli nods and he and Eddie help herd everyone towards the stairs.
Hans moves forward…grabs Holly himself.
326 THE MACHINE FLOOR 326
McClane and Karl move towards each other, each sizing the other
up, each looking over the terrain.
Better this way, isn’t it? I mean,
any faggot can shoot a gun.
This time Karl doesn’t take the bait. Then, when he
does charge, it’s unexpected.
The two men fight brutally, Karl bringing years of martial
training to this moment, McClane bringing nothing but the street.
327 NEW ANGLE 327
You should’ve heard your brother
scream when I broke his fucking
Karl steps in quickly with a deadly move. McClane twists free,
slams an elbow into Karl’s kidney. Karl backs off, circles
McClane with new respect.
328 INSIDE AN FBI CHOPPER – IN FLIGHT 328
THROUGH THE CANOPY we SEE another flanking chopper. Johnson
and Johnson are here, helmets and mikes on. Big Johnson checks
aerial maps while Little Johnson checks ammo clips for his
sniper scoped assault rifle.
(shouting, to the pilot)
Stay low. They’re expecting transports,
(shouting over the noise
of the rotors)
What do you figure on breakage?
I figure we take out all the terrorists,
and lose 20 percent of the hostages…
I can live with those numbers.
329 VAULT FLOOR 329
Theo and Kristoff load the bonds into the big cases which carried
all their gear when they entered. As Hans and Eddie come in they
look curiously at Holly.
A little bonus for us.
(shoving her forward
A policeman’s wife might come in
He picks up a CB, speaks into it.
McClane! McClane! I have some news
330 THE MACHINE FLOOR 330
TILT UP from the CB radio Karl smashed.
Karl and McClane are in the b.g., almost toe to toe, all their
tricks played out, going at it with animal instinct.
331 THE VAULT ROOM 331
(pause, then on a
Nothing. He looks at Theo.
332 THE ROOF 332
Uli herds the hostages up onto the roof, pushing the last few
333 LONG SHOT – FBI CHOPPERS – DOWN AVE. OF THE STARS 333
They float toward us, hugging the street, their prop wash
shaking the trees.
334 POWELL AND ROBINSON 334
Following them with their eyes, for once sharing the same opinion.
335 HOSTAGES ON THE ROOF 335
They see their very own Christmas decorations, the friendly
copter lights, and begin to smile and cheer. Uli smiles to
himself, moves towards the door:
336 VAULT ROOM 336
Theo closes the lid of a bond-stuffed case, carries it out of
the room. Holly’s eyes follow his exit while the others continue.
(to Hans, scornfully)
After all your posturing, all your
speeches…you’re nothing but a common
I’m an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane.
And now that I’m moving up to kidnapping,
you should be more polite.
He SLAPS her.
337 MACHINE FLOOR 337
Karl drives McClane back with a sweeping head kick. Another one.
McClane is staggering. He gets in one hard punch and then Karl
charges at him. McClane falls backwards, drives his legs
upwards, propelling Karl into the air:
338 LOW ANGLE 338
Karl goes into a loop of chain hanging over a turbine, becomes
339 MCCLANE 339
jumps to his feet, yanks the other end of the chain.
340 KARL 340
is JERKED upwards by the neck. He TWITCHES like a captured
fish — starts to turn blue:
341 MCCLANE 341
Twists the chain end around a pipe as Karl STILLS. McClane
snatches up his Baretta from the floor, runs out.
342 CHOPPERS – IN THE AIR 342
We can SEE the tailing ‘chopper through the open port of this
one. Big Johnson leans over, slaps the shoulder of his pilot.
Just like Saigon, eh, Wally?
My kind of town.
343 THE ROOF 343
The door rattles. His back to the CAMERA, Uli goes to the door,
OPENS it — and TWO BULLETS COME OUT HIS BACK. Smoking Baretta
in hand, McClane vaults over the body before it has even stopped
twitching. As the hostages SQUEAL and SCREAM, McClane snatches
up Uli’s machine gun, runs out onto the roof. He charges
through the crowd, spots Ginny near the edge of the roof. She
meets him halfway.
Where’s Holly —
The took her — after they saw the
kids on television —
What? God —
He looks off to the choppers. Closer yet. He turns, SHOUTS.
Listen to me! All of you, get down
to the lower floors — you’re all
What are you, crazy? We’re being
rescued! Those helicopters —
— there won’t be shit for those helicopters
to land on, because the whole top of this
building is wired with explosives! Now
get below —
But…we’re safe up here —
Safe, my ass! This ain’t a helipad,
it’s a launching pad!
And he FIRES over their heads! They SCREAM, head for the door
as he hoped! He FIRES again, raking a line across the roof.
They really haul ass.
GET BELOW! NOW!
344 IN THE WING CHOPPER – MID-AIR 344
A YOUNG FBI AGENT is here with a rifle and a partner.
(into throat mike, looking
out the door)
Flight leader, this is Wing. I think
they’re on to us. One of the terrorists
is firing on the hostages.
345 INSIDE THE OTHER CHOPPER 345
Roger, Wing. We copy.
(to the pilot)
(raising his rifle)
Give me a clear shot.
The pilot nods.
346 INT. VAULT ROOM 346
(supervising the work)
Schnell, schnell…der zeitz ist kurz…
Something catches his eye. He turns, looks at:
347 VIEW THROUGH WINDOW — HIS P.O.V. 347
Through the glass here he can catch a glimpse of the hostages
coming back into the room!
348 THE ROOF 348
McClane herds the last of the hostages inside, starts for the
door himself, when with a ROAR and a CHATTER of rotors, the
lead chopper zooms overhead! McClane throws himself down on the
ground, looks up as the chopper banks in a tight turn and then
from the open side GUNFIRE erupts! Shocked, McClane DIVES out
of the way of the bullets that stitch across the door.
349 HOSTAGES – ON LOWER FLOORS (OR IN STAIRWELL) 349
descending, SCREAMING and HOWLING as a chopper SWEEPS past a
window on a loop back towards the roof.
350 IN THE CHOPPER 350
Both Johnsons FIRE AWAY
Bank and we’ll nail him!
351 THE VAULT ROOM 351
Hans whirls towards Kristoff.
Blow the roof. Now!
But Karl and Uli are up there —
CAMERA ADJUSTS to show the remote detonator on a table. Hans
goes to it.
352 THE ROOF 352
McClane DIVES away from another burst.
You assholes, I’m on your side — !
They come in on another pass. Desperate, he looks around, see
a fire hose. Makes up his mind. With the chopper LOOMING UP
behind him, he slings Uli’s weapon, runs to the fire hose,
unreels three yards, loops it around his back and under his legs.
He looks over the edge, hesitates:
Bullets HIT all around him. He JUMPS:
353 THE VAULT ROOM 353
Hans extends the antenna…HITS the button.
354 LONG SHOT – THE ROOF 354
The helipad EXPLODES! A FIREBALL rolls into the sky.
355 THE HOSTAGES 355
lose their footing on the floor. Dust and debris fall down,
but they’re okay.
356 JOHNSON AND JOHNSON’S CHOPPER 356
STRAINS to avoid the rising fireball…can’t! It’s CAUGHT in
the explosion! It tips over, a rotor hits the roof — it
CRASHES, EXPLODES, tumbles down the side of the building!
357 MCCLANE 357
Dangling against the side of the building, he DUCKS and winces
as FLAMING DEBRIS soar past him.
358 THE ROOF – HOSE WHEEL DEVICE 358
Flame ROARS TOWARDS it, engulfs it. It JERKS on its foundation
PIVOTS 180 degrees as several bolts slip:
359 MCCLANE 359
DROPS several more feet. He swallows, then KICKS against the
side of the building, his bloody feet leaving smears. The
shatterproof glass doesn’t budge! Wincing as more FLAMING DEBRIS
sizzles by, McClane levels the machine gun, KICKS off from the
building, SWINGS back ten feet — reaches the zenith of his
arc — FIRES the gun and sails back in:
360 INSIDE THE BUILDING 360
McClane SMASHES through the shattered glass, SAILS inside, rolls
onto the floor, PLOWING through furniture and decor. Finally
he STOPS, catches his breath with relief…rises to one knee:
361 UP ON THE ROOF 361
The fire hose mounting is BLASTED off the roof, SAILS past the
362 OUTSIDE THE BUILDING 362
The hose mechanism tumbles downward!
363 INSIDE 363
McClane is YANKED off his feet, dragged towards the window!
364 THE HOSE WHEEL – OUTSIDE 364
It SLIDES down the side of the building! The hose PLAYS OUT
on the edge of the windowsill, dragging McClane towards his death!
365 MCCLANE 365
CLAWS at the floor…no help. Inches from the shattered window,
he braces his legs against the sill, groans as he fights the
weight of the hose and the reel. One foot SLIPS. Only his
already wounded foot keeps him indoors.
He scrambles to untie his improvised rappeling rig — gets free
just before the hose nozzle CRASHES out and into the great beyond!
Winded, strength ebbing, he staggers to his feet — just in time
366 THE ROOF 366
to RECOIL from another staggering explosion!
367 THE HOSTAGES 367
They scream, cry out:
368 IN THE VAULT ROOM 368
As Holly covers her head from falling plaster, the men work
like automatons, piling up the bonds.
369 MCCLANE 369
recovers from another AFTERSHOCK, runs up the steps — is
momentarily amazed to HEAR a “ding” from the elevator — he looks
370 THE SHAFT 370
where suddenly the WALL EXPLODES OUTWARD as an ENTIRE ELEVATOR
CRASHES THROUGH THE WALL, swinging on its cable like a
demolition ball on a crane!
371 BACK TO SCENE 371
McClane runs up the steps as brickwork flies past his head like
372 THE ELEVATOR 372
reaches the apex of its swing, drops down in an arcing turn:
373 WIDE SHOT 373
the elevator CRASHES into the stairs! The section McClane in
on SNAPS LOOSE! At the last minute McClane LEAPS towards:
374 THE VAULT FLOOR BALCONY 374
and catches it as stairs and elevator CRUMBLE behind and beneath
him! With his last effort, he hauls himself onto the balcony
and them moves off!
375 EXT. BUILDING 375
The police are scrambling for cover. Powell and Robinson are
376 IN THE BASEMENT 376
Argyle is huddled down on the floor of the back seat, the stuffed
animal held over his head as much for company as protection.
As the building ceases to ROCK Argyle sneaks a peek out from
under the fur…and sees:
377 HIS P.O.V. – THEO 377
at the delivery truck. He steps into a white paramedic’s
jumpsuit and zips it up. He hops into the cab and pulls the
truck away from the loading dock.
378 MCCLANE – ON THE VAULT FLOOR 378
He creeps forward, looks carefully into:
379 HIS P.O.V. – VAULT ROOM 379
They’re getting ready to leave with the bearer bonds. Suddenly
the CAMERA FOCUS CHANGES TO HOLLY.
380 BACK TO SCENE 380
McClane’s face shows his anguish. He checks the weapon he took
from Uli. One bullet!
(under his breath)
He checks his Baretta. One bullet. He thinks, desperate.
Decides. He takes the bullet from the rifle clip, adds it to
the Baretta clip. He slams the pistol clip back, really worried.
Mind racing, he looks all around the room…his eyes fall on a
tape dispenser. He thinks again…steps towards it:
380-A IN THE BASEMENT 380-A
Theo has pulled two ramps out from the truck and slips into
the back. A car engine fires up inside the delivery truck.
381 ARGYLE 381
Realization dawning, he vaults into the front seat.
382 THE GARAGE 382
A paramedic van shoots out of the back of the Pacific Courier
delivery truck. Flooring the limo, Argyle CRASHES into
the van, which CAREENS into the wall.
383 CLOSER 383
Theo staggers out in time for Argyle to deck him with one punch.
Where’s the camera when you need them?
384 THE VAULT ROOM 384
The last of the money is piled on. Hans hangs onto Holly while
Eddie pushes the mail carts of moneybags. Kristoff goes to the
door to scope their escape…suddenly he is COLD COCKED by a
385 WIDER 385
McClane steps into view in the doorway, backlit by sparks still
tumbling down from the roof above. He holds the machine gun
Hans turns, not that surprised. Grinning, he yanks Holly into
view. No words need be said.
Holly, we have to stop meeting like
(taking in the vault)
So that’s what it was. A fucking
So why nuke the building, Hans?
(with a shrug)
When you steal six hundred dollars,
you can disappear…but when you
steal six hundred million, they will
find you…unless you play dead.
Which happens to be your next role…
drop your gun, please.
McClane hesitates…Hans pushes the gun against Holly again,
really hurting her. Eddie quickly raises his weapon.
Nein, dies ein ist mein.
This time John Wayne does not walk
off into the sunset with Grace Kelly.
That was Gary Cooper, shithead…
No more jokes, drop it or she gets it
between the eyes!
(slowly putting down
Whoa, Hans, now you’re the cowboy?
‘Yippe-ki-yea, mother fucker’? Now
you are fucked.
Instantly, Holly sidesteps, JABS her elbow into Hans’ face!
386 MCCLANE – OVER SHOULDER SHOT 386
At the same moment Holly moves, McClane grabs his Baretta
from its hiding place TAPED TO THE BACK OF HIS NECK, SHOOTS
Hans high in the chest!
The bullet passes right THROUGH Hans, and the WINDOW behind
him SPLATTERS with blood and SHATTERS. Even while this is
happening, McClane SPINS:
387 EDDIE – THROUGH MCCLANE’S WIDESPREAD LEGS 387
Eddie takes a gunshot, DROPS just like on Gunsmoke.
388 BACK TO SCENE 388
Hans drops his weapon, staggers, looks down at his own blood
389 MCCLANE 389
You were right about us Americans.
(he blows smoke
from his pistol
We are cowboys.
390 VAULT ROOM – WIDER 390
Incredibly, Hans still stands, eyes filled with shock and
disbelief. He REELS, falls against the windowsill, starts to
TOPPLE — and then he GRITS his teeth and from some inward
place finds a last reserve of strength and he GRABS:
391 HOLLY’S WRIST 391
and she is YANKED off her feet!
392 BACK TO SCENE 392
Hans goes out the window, pulling Holly with him! McClane
LEAPS forward, catches her inside arm near the elbow at the
393 EXT. BUILDING – LONG SHOT 393
The roof still in flames, McClane hangs halfway out of the
window, jagged glass raking his face, straining to hold onto
Holly as Hans drags her out!
McClane braces himself against the window frame and strains to
pull Holly closer. With a MOAN, she catches the windowsill with
her inside hand. McClane STRETCHES with his other hand, begins
to INCH towards Holly’s wristband.
394 HANS’ HAND – WIDEN 394
A death grip on the watchband. We WIDEN, SEE that, blood
flecked teeth GRITTING, he is STRAINING with his other hand
to bring up the gun he is still holding!
395 MCCLANE 395
Holly’s SCREAM alerts him. Hans locks eyes with McClane one
last time, starts to pull the trigger, as:
396 VERY CLOSE 396
McClane RELEASES the latch on the watchband! The overtaxed
metal SNAPS, links flying:
397 WIDER 397
Hans’ face registers his horror as he and most of the watch
We LISTEN to his scream all the way down, finally HEAR him HIT.
McClane pulls Holly back into the room and holds her.
It’s okay, babe. It’s okay.
He looks down at Hans’ body, then back at the scrap of wristband
he’s still holding.
You got a warranty on this?
She laughs through her tears, holds onto him.
398 EXT. BUILDING – DAWN 398
Smoke drifts up from what has suddenly become the top floor.
Thornburg’s remote truck careens into the parking lot.
399 CLOSER 399
A crowd watches as the front doors of the building open. We
SEE McClane, who holds up Holly and in turn is supported by
SWAT men. As REPORTERS start shouting questions, McClane
breaks free of his entourage, and, holding Holly, pushes into
Al? Al, you here — ?
The crowd eddys and surges…suddenly Powell is there, and
McClane knows it’s him. They stare at each other, ten feet
apart, and then they’re grinning, extending their hands. But
somehow a shake isn’t enough, and they’re embracing each other
like men who’ve lived through combat together…which, in fact,
is the truth.
Al. Man, you were my rock. I
couldn’t have made it without you.
I’m serious. Hey, this is my wife…
(taking Powell’s hand,
Hearing this, McClane grins, pulls her close. *
A pleasure. I guess John doesn’t
need me to give you that message
McClane begins to make silent “ixney” gestures in Powell’s
You know, about him being such a
jerk — and how he’s really sor —
— ee…Uh, I’m sure he’ll fill
Just then Robinson barges forward.
I want you for debrief, McClane.
You’ve got some things to answer
for — Ellis’ murder — property
damage — interfering with police *
A SCREAM causes McClane to turn.
400 HIS P.O.V. 400
There in the doorway is Karl, clothing and body scorched.
Easily as crusted in dirt and blood as McClane, he holds his
401 EXT. BUILDING 401
As the crowd panics trying to escape, Karl locks eyes with
McClane and levels his gun. McClane throws Holly to the
ground and grabs the dumbstruck Robinson’s sidearm.
But he doesn’t get off a shot — a lone gunshot stops Karl —
knocking him back through the doorway. McClane looks back to
see Powell still sighting down the barrel of his .38.
His hand is rock steady. He sees McClane’s look.
You were right. You couldn’t have
made it without me.
They smile. Suddenly McClane and Holly squint as LIGHTS pan
onto them. Thornburg pushes his way forward, mike extended
like a weapon.
Mr. McClane…Mrs. McClane…any
comment on your incredible ordeal?
What are your feelings now that it’s
Without a beat, Holly PUNCHES HIM in the chops. He FALLS,
dropping the mike with an electronic SQUEAL. McClane looks at
his wife, amazed. Behind them, Thornburg sits on the ground, *
nurses his lip, turns to his camerman.
Did you get that?
McClane and Holly continue on, turn towards: *
402 ARGYLE’S LIMO 402
It’s a little smashed up, but still running. Argyle is
standing beside the open door. McClane and Holly get in and
Argyle closes the door.
(getting in the
If this is their idea of Christmas
I gotta be there for New Year’s.
CAMERA ADJUSTS TO SHOW the read window where McClane and
Holly are kissing. As they drive off, we: