‘A Christmas Story’ star Peter Billingsley settles ‘Die Hard’ Christmas movie debate

Dec 24, 2023, 3:23 PM

Bonnie Bedelia and Bruce Willis in 'Die Hard.' “A Christmas Story” star Peter Billingsley is ma...

Bonnie Bedelia and Bruce Willis in 'Die Hard.' “A Christmas Story” star Peter Billingsley is making a pretty good case on the long-standing debate about whether or not “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie. (Archive Photos, Moviepix/20th Century Fox/Getty Images)

(Archive Photos, Moviepix/20th Century Fox/Getty Images)

(CNN) — “A Christmas Story” star Peter Billingsley is making a pretty good case on the long-standing debate about whether or not “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie.

In fact, his argument was so good that he managed to convince “Die Hard” cinematographer Jan de Bont – who was also a skeptic on the matter – that the Bruce Willis-led action movie is a holiday classic despite its mid-summer release date.

“Can we have a healthy debate? Can we make the argument to you of why it’s a Christmas movie?” Billingsley proposed to de Bont on a recent episode of his podcast “A Cinematic Christmas Journey.” 

Billingsley starts off by saying the film is bookended by two key holiday-centric songs. Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” opens the film, which Billingsley labels “a great Christmas song,” and the end-credits song is “Let it Snow!” by Vaughn Monroe, a Christmas classic.

He goes on to argue that “production design put Santas everywhere,” and that the film’s central location is at a Christmas party. And of course, there’s the scene that Billingsley describes as the “iconic ‘ho ho ho’ moment” where Willis’s John McClane “decorates the dead body and puts it into an elevator.”

“But I’ll leave you with this,” Billingsley told de Bont. “Most importantly, I think it embodies the themes of Christmas of acceptance, forgiveness, love and family.”

With a nod of approval, de Bont smiles and says, “Okay, I’m sold now.”

In a clip posted to Billingsley’s Instagram, he and his co-host Steve Byrne are seen laughing and rejoicing as de Bont accepts their argument.

Starring Willis, Bonnie Bedelia and the late Alan Rickman, “Die Hard” first premiered in July 1988 and follows a New York City Policeman who, on Christmas eve, attempts to save hostages taken captive by a terrorist group at a holiday party.

Willis, however, has a different idea of what kind of movie “Die Hard” is.

“Die Hard is not a Christmas movie!” He proclaimed during his 2018 Comedy Central Roast. “It’s a Bruce Willis movie, so yippee-ki-yay… and good night!”

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‘A Christmas Story’ star Peter Billingsley settles ‘Die Hard’ Christmas movie debate