As the calendar creeps quickly towards Christmas Day on the 25th of December, we’re counting down the days with a special advent calendar of festive films, revealing a set of rare images for each chosen film to surprise and delight film fans.

On July 15 1988 no-one outside the canny combo of producer Joel Silver and director John McTiernan would have figured that the actor who had brought wise-cracking, smirk merchant David Addison to the small screen in Moonlighting, and who had the Blind Date from Hell with Kim Basinger would suddenly explode on screen and create one of the most indelible characters in movie history.

But $83 million in US box office later any doubts had disappeared. He came out to the coast, got together, and had a few laughs. And we’ve been celebrating Christmas with Detective John McClane ever since.

1. Best Tagline EVER

The greatest action film ever made partnered with perhaps the greatest tagline in cinema history.

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This article was first posted on December 4, 2012