A human soldier is sent from 2029 to 1984 to stop an almost indestructible cyborg killing machine, sent from the same year, which has been programmed to execute a young woman whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director:

James Cameron
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Popularity
492 ( 124)
8 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:

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

In James Cameron's original treatment, Sarah Connor has an old figure skating injury that was fixed with a couple of surgical pins, and the Terminator cut the legs open of the first two Sarah Connors to find this identifying mark. In the novelization of the story, the pins were instead inserted into her leg after it was broken during her final fight against the Terminator. SkyNet knew Sarah had surgical pins in her leg, but not when or why she got them. The Terminator was therefore looking for a sign of an injury she had not yet sustained. See more »

Goofs

Around the 8:40 mark when John is asking the police officer the name he responds "May 12th, Thursday". If this is supposed to be 1984, May 12th was a Saturday. See more »

Quotes

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


Soundtracks

Intimacy
Performed by Linn Van Hek
Written by Linn Van Hek, Joe Dolce
Published by Dolceamore Music
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User Reviews

Compelling science fiction
24 June 2002 | by Aidan McGuinnessSee all my reviews

For the gift of `Aliens' and `The Terminator' I am willing to forgive Cameron's `Titanic'. The key plot concept is beautifully simple - machines take over the earth in the future. Machines are eventually over thrown by one man. Machines travel back in time to kill man's mother, thus preventing him being born and stopping their own defeat. One human also travels back to stop the machines from killing his leader's mother.

`The Terminator' is a classic good versus evil struggle, with little in the way of greys clouding the issue. The terminator is an unstoppable brutal remorseless killer, and it perfectly suits Arnold Schwarzenegger's limited acting abilities. His few lines, including the infamous `I'll be back' are all well judged and timed, and give a great feeling of precision and inhumanity to his character. Coupled with his chiselled features, he's the best choice for the role. Michael Biehn is playing a character type that he'd reprise two years later in Cameron's `Aliens' - the human tough guy: he's got the fight, but still the ability to love and care for people. His features are well chosen for this and although his delivery of lines is hardly exceptional - they tend to come out in the same tone of voice - he's able to carry his part. Linda Hamilton is the woman-thrown-into-chaos, somewhat reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley character in `Alien', although Hamilton doesn't have Weaver's strength of presence. All the actors are, for an action science fiction, above average and so never distract.

It's the script, with Cameron's force behind it that lifts the movie from mediocrity. Yes, there's a certain amount of corniness - the `we loved a life time' element for example - but the movie has a real sense of conviction present. The movie believes in itself and, through its passion, will make you believe too. There's a general sense of darkness in the movie - rarely do we see daylight, and, when we do, it's often the soft light of dawn. There's a nice sense of tension in the action scenes, helped not only by Cameron's camera work but also by an excellent electronic score (including a fantastic brooding credit sequence). Sure some of the SFX look clunky in these days of `Attack of the Clones' and `The Fellowship of the Ring', but they still work. There's a certain sense of inevitability, intertwined with hope, permeating the picture that creates a mood I particularly enjoyed and that's harder to find in the current crop of science fiction movies.

`The Terminator' is not a perfect picture. The movie lags in some parts, and the romance element is fairly contrived. Despite all that the movie brims with energy and promise, a script that mostly delivers, characters you can enjoy, and the ultimate Arnie role. Well worth catching. 8/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

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:

$78,371,200
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (original release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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