Action Movie Anatomy hosts Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai break down 1984’s The Terminator!
The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction action film directed by James Cameron. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, a cyborg assassin sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose son will one day become a savior against machines in a post-apocalyptic future. Michael Biehn plays Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future sent back in time to protect Connor. The screenplay is credited to Cameron, along with producer Gale Anne Hurd. Executive producers John Daly and Derek Gibson of Hemdale Film Corporation were instrumental in the film’s financing and production.
The Terminator topped the US box office for two weeks and helped launch Cameron’s film career and solidify Schwarzenegger’s. It received critical acclaim, with many praising its pacing, action scenes and Schwarzenegger’s performance. Its success led to a franchise consisting of four sequels (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys), a television series, comic books, novels and video games. In 2008, The Terminator was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.