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Die Hard 3 robbery scene is so good it worried the FBI

The commitment to realism in Die Hard 3 led to a very awkward phone call for the action movie's writer, in which he was quizzed by the FBI.

Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson lead the Die Hard cast in action movie Die Hard 3

The Die Hard movies are firmly established as some of the best action movies ever made. Certainly, the Die Hard cast brought about the best kind of cinematic chaos in the thriller movies, and one sequence in Die Hard 3 took its commitment to the extreme.


90s movie Die Hard With a Vengeance features a showpiece sequence built around a robbery by Jeremy Irons’ movie villain at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York – home to thousands of tonnes of gold.

And, as it turned out, the team behind one of the best movies of the ’90s got all of their details spookily correct. So correct in fact that it raised the alarm with the FBI.

Jonathan Hensleigh, the detective movie‘s screenwriter, said on the DVD commentary for the movie (via Uproxx) that he actually had to explain his knowledge in a phone call with the authorities after the script was vetted by the New York Police Department.

He said: “One day I got a call from the FBI. They were extremely concerned about how I knew so much about the Federal Reserve, and how the Federal Reserve’s vaults were really close to a subway spur, and logistically about the aqueduct tunnel, etc. I said: ‘Well guys, the reason why I know what the vault looks like in the Federal Reserve is because they let us down there. They showed it to us.’

“The reason why I know that a subway spur is very close to the vault and that you could actually tunnel through it is because they showed us the plans and the layout. And the reason why I know there is an aqueduct tunnel coming down through Manhattan that you can drives these trucks through is because I read about it in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. So I’m really not employed by Afghani terrorists. I really don’t have any kind of secret proprietary knowledge that I shouldn’t have.”

Hensleigh managed to explain himself well enough that the FBI didn’t feel the need to lock him up, but they were so spooked by the plausibility of the robbery that they had a meeting aiming to ensure it couldn’t actually happen in real life.