This action packed movie was released in 1988 and it was a hit! The star of the movie, Bruce Willis, was already well-known for his TV role in ‘Moonlighting’. However, this lead role certainly changed up his appearance for his fans and because of this, he became a major movie star! However, there is one scene in this epic movie that has always made the audience question how the main character, McClaine, knew that the German terrorist (who was posing as a hostage) was actually a terrorist. It was a pivotal point in the movie when the two were confronted and the hero hands the “hostage” a gun that wasn’t loaded when tried to shoot McClaine with it! That’s how we knew that McClaine was not fooled by the terrorist who tried to pass himself off as a hostage. Let’s take another look at this movie and then answer this question:
1. He became an action hero.
This movie solidified his status as an action-movie hero!
2. The franchise.
It was so popular that four more sequels followed.
3. The bad guy.
This was played by Alan Rickman and to this day, there is one moment that still has audiences confused.
4. The two meet.
When the German terrorist, Gruber, runs into the main character, McClane, he cleverly gets out of being caught.
5. He’s a hostage.
In order to get away with being the bad guy, he decides to pass himself off as one of the hostages.
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6. He tests him.
McClaine looks like he believes that Gruber is a hostage and he even hands him a gun but when Gruber tries to shoot McClaine, the gun is not loaded!
7. Audiences wonder ‘how’?
So, how did McClaine know that he was a terrorist and not a hostage?
8. Screenwriter, Steven E. De Souzahas explains:
The scenes leading up to this were deleted. De Souza said, “Originally, they get off the truck, the camera craned up, you saw them in a circle and Alan Rickman says, ‘Synchronize your watches.’ They all put their arms out in a circle with the camera moving down and they all had the same Tag Heuer watch.”
9. The clues.
De Souza goes on to explain, “If you notice, the first guy Bruce kills almost by accident going down the steps, he searches the body, looks at the Ids. He looks at the watch, which gets another laugh because you’re thinking he might steal the watch. As he kills each guy, he notices they all had the same watch.”
10. Again with the watch.
Therefore, when McClaine meets the “hostage” he was supposed to notice that he was wearing the same watch. However, this scene was cut. Why?
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11. Alternate ending?
De Souza decided to cut the scene when they came up with a new ending where the terrorists were supposed to escape in an ambulance. However this was cut too!
12. Lots of confusion.
The reason the ambulance scene was cut was because the ambulance was missing when they shot the scene to “synchronize your watches”.
Now we know how McClaine knew he was the German terrorist. Too bad those details were cut and the audience was left in the dark about ’how’, until now.