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The Terminator (1984)

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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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515 ( 48)
Top Rated Movies #242 | 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 ... Lieutenant Ed Traxler
Lance Henriksen ... Detective Hal Vukovich
Rick Rossovich ... Matt Buchanan
Bess Motta ... Ginger Ventura
Earl Boen ... Dr. Peter 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
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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:

The thing that won't die, in the nightmare that won't end. 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 screenplay is officially credited to James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd, with additional dialogue by William Wisher. In reality, Cameron and Wisher were the main contributors: Wisher did the dialogue for the early Sarah Connor scenes and the police station sequences, while Cameron focused on the rest. They would update each other daily on their progress over the phone. Hurd's role was mainly in editing the script; she had put her name onto it so that it would make an easier sales pitch, but she ended up getting a full writing credit for this film and several other Terminator-related projects as a result, despite not doing any actual writing. Cameron said that he was somewhat disappointed that Hurd never set the record straight, but what annoyed him even more was that people automatically assumed that making a woman the central character was Hurd's idea, while it was in fact his. See more »

Goofs

(at around 33 mins) In the TechNoir scene, when Sarah Connor sits down, there is no Canada Dry drink in hand. Seconds later, during the same "You've got me Burning" song that is playing in the disco, the bottle is in hand. 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 the Swedish theatrical version, the shot of The T800's eye actually falling out and into the sink has been cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Come Dine with Me Canada: Rolf Kendra: Block Eleven (2013) 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

 
Nice night for a walk.
15 July 1999 | by baumerSee all my reviews

Is there a better person to play a cyborg than Arnold? For this movie he was a massively built oak tree of a man. His strange accent makes for a perfect callous robotic sounding killing machine. It's almost like his voice is a computer read out ( which I guess it is in one sense ). Terminator is one of those films that started something huge. People didn't realize it at the time, but the careers of Arnold, Cameron and perhaps even guys like Micahel Biehn, Lance Henriksen and even Bill Paxton were substantially started because of this film. And Cameron must have liked working with them so much that he gave all of them substantial roles in his next film ( Aliens ).

As we all know what the story is, I'll just tell you a bit about what is so fascinating about it. First I have to mention Michael Biehn. He has the real starring role. He is the character that has to explain everything to the audience. He has to explain this complicated story so that we know what is happening and why. It is not an easy job to do something like that and still come off looking all right. But Biehn is simply awesome in this film. A microcosm of his performance can be seen when Sara bites him. Biehn ( Kyle Reese ) replies " Terminator's don't feel pain. I do. Don't do that again. " That is such a great line delivered with the perfect expression, the perfect tone and the perfect timing. Biehn is perfect for the role.

This is also the first film that I saw as a youngster that ever warned me of the dangers of nuclear war and of the rapid advancements of machinery. Perhaps I was too young and naive to fully understand all that James Cameron was trying to say, but now that I am older, I can honestly say that the two Terminators are perfect anti nuke films. And they are so passionate with what they have to say. I like it when a film has something to say. I enjoy being entertained in the process but if you can manage both then you have a masterpiece. This is a masterpiece.

Finally. there are two other reasons to enjoy this film. One, this is the first film where "I'll be back" was spoken. Now it is part of Arnolds vernacular. Secondly, Bill Paxton is in it. And he adds spark to any film that he's in. Especially here, as the idiot punk leader that really gets the hell beat out of him, he has some great lines.

A great film.


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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:

$78,475,971
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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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