After Die Hardwas released in theaters in 1988, it became one of the biggest action movies of all time. It starred Bruce Willis, who was best known for the TV series Moonlighting. But after Die Hard, Willis officially became a movie star.
But as great as the original Die Hard is, there is one moment that has perplexed many viewers for years. And it involves an actor who was an unknown to many at the time. It's Alan Rickman, who played the main bad guy, Hans Gruber.
And McClane does buy it, at first. They have some light banter, and McClane gives Clay a cigarette. Then he gives Clay a gun. But when Gruber reveals his true self and tries to shoot McClane, he finds the gun isn't loaded. McClane had figured him out. But how?
De Souza said it had to do with scenes that were later deleted. “Originally, they get off the truck, the camera craned up, you saw them in a circle and Alan Rickman says, 'Synchronize your watches,'” he said. “They all put their arms out in a circle with the camera moving down and they all had the same Tag Heuer watch.”
De Souza further explained, “If you notice, the first guy Bruce kills almost by accident going down the steps, he searches the body, looks at the IDs.” But in a longer cut of that scene, “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.”
De Souza said it was cut after they came up with a new ending. While filming, they added the part where the terrorists were supposed to escape in an ambulance parked in the garage. But this presented a problem.
In the “synchronize your watches” scene, you could see that there is no ambulance in the garage, even though it needed to be there the whole time. Since this messed with the film's continuity, the scene was cut.