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The Terminator (1984)

In 1984, a human soldier is tasked to stop an indestructible cyborg killing machine, both sent from 2029, from executing a young woman, whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director:

James Cameron
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Popularity
436 ( 49)
Top Rated Movies #244 | 7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Terminator
Michael Biehn ... Kyle Reese
Linda Hamilton ... Sarah Connor
Paul Winfield ... Traxler
Lance Henriksen ... Vukovich
Rick Rossovich ... Matt
Bess Motta ... Ginger
Earl Boen ... Silberman
Dick Miller ... Pawn Shop Clerk
Shawn Schepps ... Nancy
Bruce M. Kerner Bruce M. Kerner ... Desk Sergeant
Franco Columbu ... Future Terminator
Bill Paxton ... Punk Leader
Brad Rearden ... Punk
Brian Thompson ... Punk

Linda Hamilton Returns to Her Iconic 'Terminator' Role

Has it really been 27 years? The Terminator: Dark Fate actress lets us in on why she's back in the franchise.

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Storyline

Sent back from a dystopian 2029--where the cold machines have conquered the entire world--to 1984 Los Angeles, the indestructible cyborg-assassin known as the "Terminator" commences his deadly mission to kill humankind's most important woman: the unsuspecting, Sarah Connor. However, from the same war-torn post-apocalyptic future comes a battle-scarred defender--Kyle Reese, a brave soldier of the human Resistance Army--bent on stopping the cybernetic killer from eliminating the world's last hope. But, the Terminator has no feelings, he doesn't sleep, and above all, he won't stop until he carries out his grim task. Does our future lie in our past? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created 'THE TERMINATOR' See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The body bag Reese is put in at the end of the film is actually a suit bag owned by director James Cameron. See more »

Goofs

(at around 12 mins) The Terminator punches the door window of the car, some broken glass hangs in the window. As the Terminator is sitting in the car, the broken glass disappears in the next frame. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[the garbage truck's engine stops]
Truck Driver: What the hell? Goddamn son of a bitch...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits run while large outlines of the two halves of THE TERMINATOR cross each other. After the last directorial credit is shown, the title THE TERMINATOR zooms backward, is filled by metallic blue, and reveals itself. See more »

Alternate Versions

In Germany, the film was put on the BPJM index for youth endangering media in the mid-80s. The result was that TV versions and many VHS releases were cut down for a "Not under 16" rating. The uncut version was practically only available in video rental stores. In 1998 the film was released on DVD in both its cut and uncut form. In 2010 the film was removed from the index and the film was re-rated, this time with a "Not under 16" rating for the uncut version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Crow: Salvation (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

You Can't Do That
Performed by Tryanglz
Written by Ricky Phillips
Published by Ricky Lynn Phillips Music (BMI)
See more »

User Reviews

Arnie is cool as the bad guy, in this classic 80's action film!
10 February 2002 | by Old JoeSee all my reviews

It was funny to read that this film nearly avoided coming to our screens. With many number of studios rejecting the script and story, Terminator was nearly terminated before getting of the ground. However, one company, ORION pictures, the last resort for this movie, loved the premise of a robot running around as a man, trying to kill the mother of the savior of planet earth. Thank goodness they saw that it was a good script, because it become one of the great films of the 1980's.

In 2029, giant super computers dominate the planet, hell bent on exterminating the human race! And to destroy man's future by changing the past they send an indestructible cyborg – a terminator – back in time to kill Sarah Connor, the woman who's unborn son will become mankind's only hope. Can Sarah protect herself from this unstoppable menace to save the life of her unborn child? Or will the human race be extinguished by one mean hunk of mutant metal?

Well this film is a real blast. The cast is extraordinary. This is probably Arnold Schwarzenegger's most popular role. I cannot see why it isn't. He was great as the Cyborg that was walking around, as a killing machine. His facial expressions are sketched in my memory for life. I love the scene where see a close of his face in the police car, it was brilliant. Schwarzenegger, originally a body builder, he has had a wonderful career in the movie industry. His other great films include Predator, End Of Days, Total Recall, Eraser and was impressive in his role as Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin. His career was on hold for sometime a while back, due to injury, but he is back and I hope we get to see more of his acting talents.

Then you have the others in the cast. The other stand out in this film for me is Linda Hamilton. She was suited perfectly to the role of the feeble Sarah Connor, who is going to be the mother of the child who is going to save the world. Hamilton has had a mixed career, with her filmography including the enjoyable Dante's Peak. The good guy in Terminator was Michael Biehn, who played out the role of Sarah Connor's protector, Reese Kyle. He was very good in his role. His other movies include Aliens, The Rock, Crash and an uncredited role in the great musical, Grease.

The director of Terminator, namely James Cameron, did a great job with this film. Considering he thought up the idea from a sick bed, had it rejected that many times, it is a great credit to him. Most directors would have given up on it, but he stuck with it till he got to our screens. Thank goodness he did. The story of the Terminator is an interesting one. It has a very biblical feel to it. One man sent to help save the world, with the initials J.C., fascinated me immensely. Cameron and Co writer Gale Anne Hurd did a fantastic script for this film.

There are some unbelievable scenes in this movie. None more so then the vision we see of the metal Cyborg walking from the truck fire. The vision we see from this scene is one of the main reasons why we have the Terminator. James Cameron explained that he wanted a scene in a movie that has a machine walking from a fire in menacing fashion. He got this spot on, if you ask me. Then there are some other great scenes such as the tense stand offs that the evil cyborg has with all the humans he comes into contact with, including the first confrontation with Sarah, in addition to the meeting he has with Reese. I also enjoyed the scene where he goes through the police station. Of course this scene has one of Hollywood's most famous lines in it, that of Arnie's 'I'll be back', a classic. The final confrontation between Sarah and the Cyborg is another tension filled scene of this great movie.

So, what more can I say about this movie? It is simply brilliant. I have asked many people their opinion on this film. One such response about it was, that is too 'eightish', and that comment is fair enough. If you have the chance, grab a copy of Terminator on DVD, as it is a great 2 disc set. I must admit the first time I saw it, I did not appreciate Terminator like I do now. Perhaps I found it a tad violent, but that is to be expected of a film that is called Terminator. This movie was a great success and deserved to be with all the great work that was put into it. However more was to come, a film that was to become one of the greatest sequels in movie history. Arnie was to deliver on his promise of 'I'll be back'!

Rating: 4.5 stars or 9/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terminator See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,020,663, 28 October 1984

Gross USA:

$38,371,200

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$78,559,818
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (original release)| Dolby (DVD Re-Release)| DTS (DTS HD Master Audio)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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