Hans Gruber

Hans Gruber, portrayed by Alan Rickman, is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the film Die Hard. In the novel Nothing Lasts Forever, on which Die Hard is based, his name is Anton "Tony" Gruber. In 2003, the American Film Institute declared Hans Gruber the 46th greatest villain in the past 100 years of film. A less known Hans Gruber appeared previously in Daniel Mann's Our Man Flint in 1966 and was portrayed by Michael St. Clair.

Gruber was originally a member of a fictional German terrorist organization named the Volksfrei movement (approximate translation: 'Free Peoples'), until he was expelled. Now only concerned with personal gain, he concocts an elaborate robbery scheme using a terrorist pretense as a cover to manipulate the authorities in his plan. He leads his gang of thieves on Christmas Eve to take control of Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles and steal the $640 million in negotiable bearer bonds that are being held in a high-security vault. Meanwhile, they also take all of the civilians in the tower hostage with the intention of killing them all to fake his and his gang's deaths to facilitate their escape.

However, Hans unexpectedly must match wits with John McClane, a cop from New York City, played by Bruce Willis. McClane eventually drops Gruber from a window of the tower and kills him, providing ostensible motive for his brother, Simon Gruber, the antagonist of the third film of the Die Hard franchise, Die Hard: With a Vengeance. His primary weapon is an Heckler & Koch P7 pistol, but he occasionally wields an Heckler & Koch MP5 like his comrades, and even gets a hold of McClane's Beretta 92 pistol at one point, albeit with no ammunition in it.

< Prev   Next >