Study Guide

Die Hard Greed

Greed

In Die Hard, unlike another classic 80s movie, greed is not so good. It's what drives Gruber to take an entire skyscraper hostage, and it's what makes Ellis the smarmy dude he is. Greed gets a lot of people killed, and it's only the un-greedy types—the everymen who aren't looking for glory or greenbacks—who manage to do right by all the folks caught in the cross-hairs. Does that make the movie anti-capitalist? Probably not. But it does make the movie anti-selfish-jerk.

Questions About Greed

  1. Greed can be about more than just money. What other characters in Die Hard are greedy, and what are they greedy for?
  2. In what way does Holly's watch symbolize greed?
  3. In what way does Gruber's greed for money make him different from McClane?

Chew on This

It's not greed that makes Gruber bad—it's ego.

The greediest person in Die Hard is actually Chief Robinson. He's greedy for glory, and that makes him a terrible cop.

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