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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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Top Rated Movies #240 | 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:

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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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:

$78,475,971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Biehn initially thought the movie would be a silly low-budget time-travel movie, but decided to audition anyway. Any misgivings he had about taking part in the film were instantly abated when he met James Cameron, who showed him detailed storyboards and gave him an expressive overview of the story, winning him over by his passion and clarity of vision. Biehn would be a frequent collaborator of Cameron over the next decades. See more »

Goofs

None of the addresses in the phone book that the terminator consults for "Sarah Connor" match the address above the door of the first Sarah Connor he visits and kills. 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 Lady Terminator (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Be Back
/ Police Station & Escape
Music & Lyrics by Brad Fiedel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Terminator has heart. Cameron might be well advised,less is more.
28 January 2011 | by axlrhodesSee all my reviews

Many people look back at the films of James Cameron and suggest that the smaller, the budget, the tighter the limitations, the better the end product. Films like Avatar, Titanic and True Lies had huge budgets and drew in even bigger box office but many still yearn for the Cameron that gave us The Terminator and Aliens which were huge movies but packed a far bigger punch artistically. My feelings all these years on are that Cameron has earned the right to make those huge movies but i have to admit to preferring his earlier body of work. The Terminator is a nightmarish, time travelling science fiction film told at a breakneck pace and delivered with confidence and style. The film has a very gritty, underground look to it and does a great job of telling its story amid the frenetic action. There is also a huge slice of horror and suspense thrown in, an impression that has diminished in the years since it's release due to inferior sequels. Viewed as a standalone piece however, The Terminator is fine piece of work from a director with a very clear vision.Everyone knows that The Terminator is the film that gave us Arnold Schwarzenegger but when i look back at the film, it has heart and its the Michael Biehn character, Kyle Reese, that provides it Artistically speaking,Cameron might be well advised that less is more.


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