What is in this article?:
- HVAC in Popular Movies: Did Hollywood Get It Right?
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
- Community, Season 2, Episode 21, "Paradigms of Human Memory," and Season 3, Episode 1, "Biology 101," Episode 6, "Advanced Gay," Episode 21, "The First Chang Dynasty," and Episode 22, "Introduction to Finality" (2011-2012)
- 24, Season 5, episodes 12 ("6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.") and 13 ("7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.") (2006)
- The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
- Mission: Impossible (1996)
- Die Hard (1988)
- Adventures of Superman, Season 3, Episode 7: "Olsen's Millions" (1955)
- The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
- Aliens (1986)
- Ocean's Eleven (2001)
- Dr. No (1962)
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
- Die Hard 2 (1990)
- No Country for Old Men (2007)
- Entrapment (1999)
- About the author
An engineer and film critic takes a look at 13 movies and three TV series whose makers were not about to let HVAC fundamentals get in the way of a good story.
Die Hard (1988)
In this action classic, which launched a five-film, nearly $1.5 billion (and counting) franchise and made a movie star of television actor Bruce Willis, New York City police detective John McClane is visiting Los Angeles, attempting to reunite with his estranged wife at her company’s holiday office party when terrorists seize the building, taking everyone hostage—everyone, that is, except McClane. Forty-three minutes into the film, McClane finds the rooftop air-handling unit and jumps into the duct. He has to jump through the prop fan, which is turning slowly at about 60 rpm for some unfathomable reason. As in all of the “Die Hard” films, the duct is quite substantial and easily supports McClane’s couple hundred pounds. There is never any actual airflow in the duct—it does terrible things to the hair. Seven minutes later, falling down the elevator shaft, the plucky officer grabs a branch duct that is ventilating the shaft for reasons unknown.