R 1984 | 107 mins | Science Fiction
In the future, man-made technology will evolve into unstoppable killing machines capable of traveling back in time to murder the unborn. Makes you eyeball your Roomba a little differently, no? Director and co-writer James Cameron's sci-fi opus is so much more than a dark '80s action flick; it holds up as a tense, relentless journey into what could be. So when the internet becomes self-aware and sends Arnold Schwarzenegger to kill us all, well... we can't say we didn't see it coming.
Trailers + Extras
Top 10 Fun Facts
- Director James Cameron acknowledged that his inspiration for The Terminator came from two episodes of the '60s sci-fi show The Outer Limits. The lesson here? Re-runs are your friends! The next time you're up late flipping channels, you just might stumble across an idea for a billion-dollar franchise.
- Watch the fingers! Michael Biehn's characters have been bitten on the hand in every James Cameron film in which he's appeared: Aliens, The Abyss, and this one.
- Believe it or not, the man we now call "the Governator" was not the original choice to play Cameron's ruthless killing machine. Early sketches of the character resembled actor Lance Henriksen, who was later cast as Detective Vukovich instead.
- Also considered for the role of the Terminator: Mad Max himself, Mel Gibson. Just think, if things had worked out differently we'd have an Australian guy running California instead of an Austrian one.
- The producers also thought about casting O.J. Simpson as the Terminator, but worried he might be "too nice" to be believable as a cold-blooded killer. No comment.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger finally got the part, but that didn't mean they were gonna let him talk: his voice is used in only 16 lines of dialogue (or 17 sentences, if you're counting at home).
- The Terminator's infamous line "I'll be back" appeared in the script as "I'll come back." Hey, when you've only got 16 lines to work with, you've got to make them your own!
- Canine cameo: Wolfie, James Cameron's German Shepherd, appears at the Tiki Motel.
- Schwarzenegger and Biehn only share the screen once during the entire film-can you find it? (Here's a hint: it happens at Tech Noir.)
- Semi-symmetry: early in the film, the Terminator drives over a toy eighteen-wheeler. Later on, he's run over by the life-size version of the exact same big rig.