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The Terminator (1984)

A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

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Cast

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Shawn Schepps ...
Bruce M. Kerner ...
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Brad Rearden ...
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Storyline

A cyborg is sent from the future on a deadly mission. He has to kill Sarah Connor, a young woman whose life will have a great significance in years to come. Sarah has only one protector - Kyle Reese - also sent from the future. The Terminator uses his exceptional intelligence and strength to find Sarah, but is there any way to stop the seemingly indestructible cyborg ? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

La sua missione e una sola: distruggere, uccidere... (Its mission and only one: to destroy, to kill...) (Italian DVD) See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terminator  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,400,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$38,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Like many other Orion Pictures releases the rights to The Terminator have been scattered. When the film was first released on home video in 1985 Thorn/EMI Video was the distributor. The company eventually folded into HBO/Cannon Video and issued a reprint of the VHS with their new banner in 1986. HBO Video also did one other video release. All of the Thorn/EMI and HBO Video releases omit the Orion Pictures and Hemdale Film Corporation logos at the start of the movie. (Orion distributed the movie in North America and co-financed it with Hemdale). Hemdale Home Video did one other VHS release of the film around the same time the sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) was released to theaters. This version uses the Hemdale Film Corporation logo as do all of the subsequent Live Home Video releases. Live bought the rights from Hemdale after they went defunct in 1995 for home video releases. Live eventually sold their library to Artisan Entertainment who reissued the film on VHS, once again with the Hemdale logo. In 2001 as part of the Orion Pictures library, Artisan sold the rights to MGM who owned most of Orion's library at the time and still do to this present day. The MGM releases retain the original Orion Pictures logo which was used when the film was originally released to theaters. See more »

Goofs

Both Reese's and The Terminator's outfits change inexplicably throughout the film. Reese first steals a pair of trousers and then a long gray coat and a pair of sneakers, but in the next scene he is shown also wearing a T-shirt. The Terminator wears a military style jacket for the first part of the film, but when he returns to the apartment to "operate" himself he is wearing a leather jacket which he keeps wearing for the rest of the film. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Under Construction (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Burnin' in the Third Degree
Performed by Tryanglz
Written by Tane McClure (as Tahnee Cain), Mugs Cain, Dave Amato, Brett Tuggle,
Ricky Phillips
Published by Any Garage Music (ASCAP)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Compelling science fiction
24 June 2002 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See 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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