Sunday 3 March 2013

Patton Oswalt's Deleted Scene from "Die Hard"

Patton Oswalt used to have a MySpace profile, and way back when, he posted this little treat for Die Hard die hards (like myself). His profile, and his blogpost, have long been deleted, but I found a copy and thought I'd repost it here, for posterity. I've added photos to help you remember which of the characters he's referring to. I even asked for his blessing and got it.

So here it is. It's just a bit of fun. I hope you enjoy it!

Keep up to date with the hilarious Patton Oswalt at his website: 
(If you think this is funny, you haven't seen anything yet!)


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)
Guten tag?

They both cock their heads, confused.

They're Swedish.

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.

(to Eddie)
Told you.

Damn, I had fifty bucks on this guy.

He hands a fifty dollar bill over to Karl, and everyone leaves the room.

Nerd Alert!
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.

                 How long?

                 Thirty minutes to break the code...
                 Two hours for the five mechanicals.
                 The seventh lock...that's out of
                 my hands.

                 If our 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?

                 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:

                 ...the circuits that cannot be cut...
                 are cut automatically in response to
                 a terrorist incident...You ask for
                 miracles, Theo...I give you the FBI...

                 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.


Stephanie C. said...

Thanks so much for posting this! The DIE HARD script(s) are so much fun to dig into, and the Patton Oswalt comparison was hilarious.

Johnny Walker said...

Thanks for taking the time to post. Glad you liked it! (Now I'm intrigued what other juicy things might be lurking in those scripts... Give me a clue?)

Stephanie C. said...

Now I feel bad! By "digging in" I meant in a geeky, studying-the-structure kinda way. For such a fun film, it's so elegant in how subtly it sets the plot threads up.

The last time I felt like I was uncovering things in a script was when I got an early draft of DJANGO UNCHAINED from an agent... like or dislike, Tarantino's rise and pull in Hollywood is fascinating and kinda layered in weird ways. Sorry for the tangent, and thanks for the great reading. :) (Zombiemonkey with an updated profile.)

Johnny Walker said...

Ha! No problems. I know what you mean. It does tie everything together in a very satisfying way, and has a great structure to boot :)

Unfortunately I'm now more intrigued than ever. Care to elaborate on how you got sent an early draft? And also share your opinions on Tarantino's fascinating rise and pull in Hollywood?

You can send me an email at [the first part of my blogs website address] if that's preferable.