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MythBusters exclusive: Die Hard’s iconic skyscraper glass-shattering scene put to the test

Jon Lung
Jon dead-eyes the pane and shoots, launching Buster the dummy through the glass

The MythBusters have broken in 2018 by testing an iconic glass-shattering movie stunt from Die Hard.

Hosts Brian Louden and Jon Lung do their best “Yippee ki-yay” impersonation by testing the iconic stunt of shooting out a skyscraper window and then swinging a person through it.

The stunt — one of the most famous scenes from the 1988 movie — has a simple setup, as Jon Lung aims to shoot out a quarter-inch thick pane of glass with a 9-millimeter handgun just as Buster the dummy falls through it.

The pane of glass shatters just fine after one shot but this little sideline experiment highlights the need for split-second timing on the part of Bruce Willis’ Die Hard character, John McClane.

Timing, as they say, is everything!

Buster the dummy gets the short end of the stick and is the first to try…but the experiment proves to be a success and validates the stunt.

The amount of time between the shot and the actual attempt at swinging through the window is a life and death ballet, just one second too soon and the person who tries this physical feat could be shredded like lettuce by shards of glass.

Fun Die Hard fact: Bruce Willis was cast in the film 12 Monkeys because of the glass scenes in Die Hard. The director, Terry Gilliam, was struck by how Willis improvised his lines during the scene where he pulls the broken glass out of his foot  after shooting out the window and running through it all.

Watch an exclusive clip from MythBusters below!

MythBusters airs Wednesdays at 9 pm ET/PT on Science Channel.


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