How Much of Nothing Lasts Forever Is in Die Hard

  • The detective’s plane lands in Los Angeles. Page 22
  • An African-American driver picks up the detective at the airport and drives him to the office building. Page 24
  • The detecive arrives at the forty story office building. No other buildings are nearby. A guard at the front desk unlocks the door and lets him in. Page 31
  • He takes an elevator up to the office Christmas party. Page 35
  • The detective finds his daughter whose name is Ms. Gennaro with Ellis and the boss in Ellis’ lavish office. They are celebrating a big deal. Ellis tells Ms. Gennaro to show him the watch she received for the deal. The detective notices a rolled up dollar bill on Ellis’ desk. Page 37
  • The detective goes to his daughter’s office to freshen up. He takes off his shoes and socks, and wriggled his toes, remembering a tip a businessman told him once. Page 43
  • A truck pulls into the building. Detective is on the phone, then the line goes dead. Page 44
  • The music stops. A woman screams. Detective draws his gun. Page 45
  • Barefoot he runs to the staircase door. He sees the terrorists with machine guns rounding up the party-goers. Upset he can’t do more, he goes upstairs. Page 46
  • The detective explores the upstairs floors. Page 47
  • The main terorrist named Gruber walks through the lush executive floor which has a model of a bridge. The detective moves in for a closer look. Gruber is talking to the head of the company, then Gruber shoots the boss in cold blood. The detective gets up and runs for his life. Pages 62
  • He decides to signal for help. He flashes the lights in morse code. (In the movie he activates the fire alarm.) Page 69
  • One of the German terrorists arrives in the elevator to catch whoever is signaling. The German says, “We’re not going to hurt you!” Page 70
  • The detective fights with the German and ultimately breaks his neck. He goes through the terrorist’s shoulder bag, takes his automatic weapon and handheld radio. Page 73
  • He puts the terrorist in a chair and wheels him into the elevator. The detective climbs up onto the roof of the elevator and sends it down to the 32nd floor which has the hostages. The door opens, a woman gasps. “Now we have a machine gun” is written on the dead man’s shirt. The detective looks down and watches Gruber and another terrorist discuss the body. “Maybe a security guard we overlooked?” “We have to tell Karl his brother is dead.” Page 74
  • The elevator car rushes up and the detective steps onto the catwalk. He discovers the small metal door that leads to the air conditioning shaft that drops all the way to the ground. The detective goes out to the roof. Page 76.
  • The detective uses the radio on the roof. Terrorists figure out where he is and send three Germans after him. The detective runs from them, and uses the radio to call for help. “Mayday. Tell police foreign terrorists have seized the Klaxon Oil building… Many hostages…” Page 86
  • Cornered, the detective is forced to go into the air conditioning shaft. Using the machine gun as a T-bar brace, he lowers himself down by a strap. “Oh god, please don’t let me fall.” He falls, but manages to get into an air vent. Page 94
  • The detective kills a terrorist and throws him off the side of the building to get the cops’ attention. Page 106
  • The detective kills a terrorist in the board room. She has plastic explosives and detonators, which he takes. Page 108
  • “We want our equipment [meaning the detonators]… We will start shooting hostages,” says Gruber. Page 112
  • Cop car rolls by outside real slow. Page 117
  • The detective gets glass stuck in his foot — a trap laid by the terrorists. He is bleeding bad. There is a shoot out with a couple terrorists and he kills them. Page 118
  • The detective limps to a bathroom and cleans the glass out of the wounds on his foot. He gets on the radio and chats with Al Powell, an African-American policeman. “If the person who radioed for help can hear me, acknowledge this transmission if you can.” The detective gives Al the lowdown on what’s going on. Page 122
  • Police make an assault on building despite the detective’s warnings not to. Terrorists start shooting at the police. The detective takes a chair, puts the plastic explosive on it, shoves a detonator in it, piles on an electric typewriter, and ties the typewriter to the chair with the cord. Using an ax, he opens the elevator door, and rolls the chair bomb down the elevator shaft and it blows up. The building shakes. Page 128
  • Backstory on Gruber — he grew up rich and privileged. Page 133
  • After the explosion, Al Powell tells the detective, “They’re going to have to tear this sucker down.” Al says his people saw two terrorists in the elevator when the blast hit. Page 135
  • Al Powell hands the radio to Captain Dwayne T. Robinson who gets on the radio and threatens the detective. Al Powell gets back on the radio and says, “I hear you, partner.” Page 136
  • Ellis gets on the radio in front of Gruber to negotiate. “They want you to tell them where the detonators are… or they are going to kill me.” Ellis doesn’t mention his daughter, saying that the two men go way back. When the detective doesn’t give into the demands, Gruber shoots Ellis. Gruber says, “We will shoot someone else, perhaps this time a woman.” Page 139
  • Dwayne T. Robinson gets on the radio and says to the detective, “You let that man die.” Page 141
  • The detective surprises a terrorist. She has the jump on him, he kills her, but gets shot. (Similar in many ways to the scene in the film when Hans meets McClane face to face.) Page 148
  • “Hey partner,” the detective says to Al Powell on the radio. Page 153
  • Cornered up on the roof, the detective ties a firehouse around his waist. Helicopters are now flying to the roof for an assault. The terrorists fire missiles at the helicopters. The detective jumps off the roof just as the helicopters explode, and he swings into the building through the broken glass window. Page 175
  • The weight of the hose starts to pull him out the window. He claws at the belt and opens it, freeing himself of the hose just in time. Page 180
  •  “But you can blow [a building] up from a distance with the right kind of transmitter. And if you can threaten to blow it up from a distance, you might be allowed to go on your way.” This hints at the plastic explosive used on the roof in “Die Hard.” Page 191
  • Reporters interview the detective’s girlfriend on TV. Reporters are outside the building covering the story. Inspiration for Thornberg, the ruthless reporter in “Die Hard.” Page 206
  • “Karl [the brother of the terrorist who got his neck broken] was a big guy with shoulder-length blond hair: he looked like a drummer in a rock and roll band.” (Good casting job for Alexander Godunov who played Karl.) Page 192
  • Gruber figures out who the detective’s daughter is and gets on the radio with her. Page 208
  • The detective shouts at the the hostages to go downstairs, and they leave. Page 211
  • With his pistol taped to his back, the detective surrenders to Gruber. The detective quickly draws, surprising Gruber, and shoots him. Gruber goes out the window, but he’s holding onto the watch belonging to the detective’s daughter. Page 223
  • The detective throws six million dollars of the company’s money out the window. This is the inspiration for all the paper we see flying through the air at the end of “Die Hard.” Page 233
  • The detective gets to the street. Reporters and police swarm the detective. A door swings open and Karl shouts and fires at the detective. The detective is knocked down, and Al Powell shoots and kills Karl, saving the detective’s life. Page 242

The End.