The 50 Best Villains in Movie History

38. Hans Gruber

Played By: Alan Rickman
Movie: Die Hard (1988)

It's telling that, only three days away from the sequel's release, we have no friggin' idea who the villain is in A Good Day to Die Hard. Five movies deep, the action franchise has consistently been worth caring about for one reason: Bruce Willis' resilient, wisecracking blue-collar hero, John McClane. The foreign and/or domestic bad guys he contends against are cardboard in comparison.

Well, all except one: Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber, the cunning terrorist who triggers McClane's life-saving trajectory in the 1988 original, Die Hard. Aided by his armed thugs, Gruber takes over L.A.'s Nakatomi Plaza building in order to walk away with the $640 million in bonds stashed inside. Not the type to let hostages  stew in fear, Gruber executes people in cold blood and orchestrates a plot to explode the remaining captives.

Sadly for him, Gruber dies much easier than McClane, but the fact that we still remember his name, unlike every other Die Hard baddie, is quite the accomplishment. —MB

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