It's just a bit of fun. I hope you enjoy it!
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HANS GRUBER, German criminal mastermind, meets with a crew of international, professional thieves.
Thank you all for coming. I trust your respective flights were uneventful.
(He reads from a Filofax)
Your presence indicates to me that each of you has reviewed my plan for the Nakatomi heist, and that you've agreed to participate. You will each receive a generous share of the $640 million in negotiable bearer bonds we will steal from the vault.
Hate to speak out of turn, but I had a question about that.
We all did, as a matter of fact.
Yeah. And since I'm the one with the charming personality, I'll elect myself group spokesperson.
(he turns to the Karl and Tony)
They both cock their heads, confused.
Oopsie. I keep forgetting. I owe you guys a Swiss Miss.
Uli eyes a bowl of M&Ms in the middle of the conference table. Eddie watches Uli intently.
(under his breath)
C'mon…c'mon, just take one.
I heard that.
Well, you've been eyein' them candies ever since you got in here.
Well, I'm a nervous eater. I've got a wicked sweet tooth when I'm nervous.
What is there to be nervous about?
Well, there's one hole in the plan. At least, there's one detail you've left out.
Every conceivable detail has been paid attention to.
Except the electromagnetic lock on the vault. You know I can't crack it. None of us can.
I've got that all figured out.
Well, could you maybe share it with us? That's what we're all nervous about. We like the whole blowing the roof to cover our escape, and the driving away in the ambulance during all the confusion.
But we've all invested a lot of time and money, not to mention many of us have traveled a long way.
All the way from Italy, in my case! I am almost out of my favorite cigarettes!
So we need you to tell us exactly how you'll crack the electromagnetic lock.
Hans stares everyone down. This is a crucial moment, and will decide whether these sober, risk-averse professionals will proceed.
I would much rather surprise you with the solution during the heist.
You're serious? All of this build-up, and we're going to have to take it on faith you've got it worked out, plus be excited about it being a surprise?
Everyone stares at Hans, then at each other. This does not look good.
Yep! I think I speak for everyone when I say a surprise might be kind of fun!
It's worth the risk!
I'm so pleased.
Uli finally steps back from the M&Ms. He doesn't take one.
Damn, I had fifty bucks on this guy.
He hands a fifty dollar bill over to Karl, and everyone leaves the room.
Excuse me while I geek out a bit. I ended up reading the script, and as it turns out, this particular issue was covered...
VAULT ROOM - 31ST FLOOR 73 Hans and Theo enter the safe room. The huge corporate safe looms in front of them. Theo places three kit bags onto a table and rolls up his sleeves. He swivels a computer console into handy reach, sits down. HANS How long? THEO Thirty minutes to break the code... Two hours for the five mechanicals. The seventh lock...that's out of my hands. HANS If out plan works...the FBI will get rid of it for us.
Theo grins, begins typing.
But the line was cut, presumably to keep the audience in the dark, so it's possible they did discuss the plan -- but we didn't see it. Well, that could have been the case if it wasn't for this exchange (also from the original script)...
293 INT. VAULT ROOM - NIGHT 293 Hans and Theo lean over a monitor watching a DWP truck near the parking garage. THEO * (tapping the screen) There's the city engineers...they're going into the street circuits...But who are these guys in the suits? HANS That's the FBI...ordering them to cut * the building's power. They're as regular as clockwork...or a time lock... ON Theo's look: HANS ...the circuits that cannot be cut... are cut automatically in reponse to a terrorist incident...You ask for miracles, Theo...I give you the FBI... THEO When you're hot, you're hot.
(I'm glad they cut Theo's last line!)
So it seems that this little inconsistency was introduced as part of a rewrite, or at least that's the only reasonable explanation I can think of for having Theo be completely in on the plan in one scene, but still need it explained to him later. I seem to recall McTiernan saying during his commentary that the script wasn't finished when they started shooting. I guess it's stuff like this that he was referring to.
Whatever the reason, I do think it works better the way it happens in the film. Yes, it's not quite logical, but it's much more of an enjoyable moment for the audience when the plan's cleverness is revealed... which leads directly into the "joyous" moment that McTiernan was so keen on getting when the vault finally opens.
As he explains it: In Die Hard, the villains are the protagonists, and McClane is the antagonist. As such, we need to feel their joy when they get what they want. It's an usual twist, but it works brilliantly, and our excitement probably would have been dampened if we knew exactly what was coming.