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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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387 ( 25)
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
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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 film that "made" Arnold Schwarzenegger a star, a household name in Hollywood and now a legend. Following his hugely successful bodybuilding career, he came to the USA and was told by many people it would never play out for him as an actor due to his huge physical size and heavy accent. How wrong they were. See more »

Goofs

(at around 14 mins) The Terminator purchases firearms at a gun store, including a short-barreled, automatic Uzi. There are strict federal laws, and California has had bans on these for decades. No gun store sells them, and no criminal enterprise would have them readily visible on the wall. Converting a long barreled semiautomatic Uzi to full auto takes completely different internal parts, a machine shop and precise tooling. 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

There are significant differences between the first video releases (Thorn/EMI and HBO Video) and the 1991 Hemdale release in relation to picture, sound and end credits. The Thorn/EMI release has:
  • A blurry picture throughout
  • The entire film soundtrack played at the wrong pitch, which sounds like it was recorded on a cassette tape.
  • The Post Production and credit to Harlen Elison is inserted right above the copyright date and timed to roll along at the speed of the credits.
The HBO Video release has the same blurry picture and high pitch soundtrack with the following changes:
  • The post production credit rolls as soon as the movie fades to black. After disappearing, a black, cheaply done title card done with "1980s HBO Font" shows the Harlen Elison credit. The previous timed credit that appeared in the Thorn/EMI release has been blacked out and timed to run with the credits. The 1991 Hemdale release has the following:
  • Soundtrack restored to play at the correct pitch
  • Picture is sharp and clear. The 1991 Hemdale and the Artisan Entertainment release are identical.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.122 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Beat Street Breakdown
(uncredited)
Performed by Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five
See more »

User Reviews

 
Schwarzenegger's my personal favorite best action classic masterpiece of all time
5 January 2018 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

The Terminator (1984) is a masterpiece, the best sci-fi action classics horror movie that started all the Terminator movies. This is Schwarzenegger's best movie and my personal favorite action film. I love this film to death it is my childhood film I grew up with it. Arnold Schwarzenegger was The Terminator T-800 Model 101 indestructible killing machine cyborg. This movie is brilliant, it has brilliant story, brilliant plot, excellent additional cast, brilliant director and writers, good special effects, it is mixed with sci-fi, action and horror. This movie deals with the war that was set in the future but the battle will be fought in the present. It deals with paradox travel trough time.

"It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop... ever, until you are dead! "

This is the perfect action film of all time and still even today over 30 years it is a cult classic. The plot and the script provides excellent dialogues. Why it is brilliant? Imagine someone did something in the future and didn't know about it and becomes a primal target for extermination from a killer cyborg from the future now in the present. That is brilliant and excellent idea and story.

Two naked men appear in different locations in los Angeles trough flash blue light and electricity they were both set in time from the year 2029 to the present year 1984. One is a human the other is an indestructible cyborg reprogramed to find and kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) the woman whose unborn son will become humanity's only hope in the future war against the machines. The other men is a human being a soldier from the future who has to find Sarah Connor and protect her at all cost. That's the basically plot for this film.

James Cameron writes and directs this film with his than wife Gale Anne Hurd who also produced this film and they both does that brilliantly. The script with the story provides a perfect action entertainment trough whole film.

Brad Fiedel does a wonderful music theme for The Terminator character and action sequences, car chases and does a drama in which Sarah and Kyle have sex together in the motel room. That's how John was later in the sequel born. Great music score for the film. I love the soundtracks from this film: Photoplay and Burnin' in the Third Degree by Tryanglz.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was at the top of his career. This movie bring his career at top of the action stars. Arnold is excellent and he performs excellent and acts brilliant as The Terminator. At one time his agent pursued Schwarzenegger to play the action hero, but Schwarzenegger wasn't interested to be an action hero he was interested to be The Terminator and he played brilliantly well and believable enough.

Before Sarah Connor was a tough bad-ass gun guerilla squad in the sequels, here she was a scared victim. A beautiful young woman who was a waitress at the diner and was just a human being leaving a teenage normal life in Los Angeles. Linda Hamilton is the only Sarah Connor no else can replace her. She is beautiful and smart and it is my favorite Linda Hamilton movie. She acts very realistic, brilliant and perfectly as the scared victim. Linda Hamilton is the best of the film.

Michael Biehn is the only Sgt. Kyle Reese no one else is or can replace him. He is excellent and brilliant I still prefer Corporal Dwayne Hicks but Kyle Reese is my favorite character from Michael Biehn he is a perfect action hero. I love Kyle Reese because he doesn't kill any human being.

Lance Henriksen from Aliens and Hard Target is in here and he plays Detective Hal Vukovich and he is very good and realistic as the detective.

Paul Winfield is Lieutenant Ed Traxler first he doesn't believe Kyle Reese story but later he witness it him self. I wish there wouldn't be deleted scene in which Kyle and Sarah finds Traxler dying and he gives Kyle a gun.

This movie has ton's of action: You see a lot of automatic weapons, shotguns and handguns used in this film and they are used well. You have a car chase between The Terminator and Kyle Reese with Sarah and both men are shooting at each other. Terminator has a stolen Police car and Kyle fires his shotgun and hits twice the Terminator once in the eye. The Terminator than crashes with the car in the wall. In the next scene you see Terminator's eye bloody. You have a great car chase by the end of the film Terminator with truck tries to kill Sarah but Kyle put's a pipe bomb in the truck and you see a huge explosion the truck explodes great special effect. Terminator shoot's with an IMI Uzi in Tech Noir night club. Killing bunch of people in which Kyle stops him with a shotgun. Terminator crash with the car in the police station and kills almost 19 cops.

When we see The Terminator been all burned out without flesh with only been endoskeleton covered with steel with his red eyes glowing that is scary when he chases Sarah is scary when I was 6 years old I screamed when I saw that skeleton cyborg attacking Kyle and Sarah.

The Terminator is a 1984 American science-fiction action film directed by James Cameron.

10/10 Bad-Ass Seal Of Approval The Terminator is a masterpiece a science fiction action horror film, a film I love to death and it is my personal favorite Schwarzenegger film. This is Schwarzenegger's best film with Predator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day I highly recommend those three films.


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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
See more on IMDbPro »

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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