The Terminator

( 34 )

Overview

Endlessly imitated, The Terminator made the reputation of cowriter/director James Cameron -- who would go on to make 1997's titanic Titanic -- and solidified the stardom of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie begins in a post-apocalyptic 2029, when Los Angeles has been largely reduced to rubble and is under the thumb of all-powerful ruling machines. Kyle Reese Michael Biehn, a member of the human resistance movement, is teleported back to 1984. His purpose: to rescue Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton, the mother of the ...
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Overview

Endlessly imitated, The Terminator made the reputation of cowriter/director James Cameron -- who would go on to make 1997's titanic Titanic -- and solidified the stardom of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie begins in a post-apocalyptic 2029, when Los Angeles has been largely reduced to rubble and is under the thumb of all-powerful ruling machines. Kyle Reese Michael Biehn, a member of the human resistance movement, is teleported back to 1984. His purpose: to rescue Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton, the mother of the man who will lead the 21st-century rebels against the tyrannical machines, from being assassinated before she can give birth. Likewise thrust back to 1984 is The Terminator Schwarzenegger, a grim, well-armed, virtually indestructable cyborg who has been programmed to eliminate Sarah Connor. After killing two "Sarah Connors" who turn out to be the wrong women, he finally aims his gunsights at the genuine article. This is the film in which Schwarzenegger declared "I'll be baaaack" -- and back he was, in "kinder and gentler" form, in the even more successful Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
In this blazingly original spin on time travel, director James Cameron Titanic combined a variety of genres to reinvent the science-fiction/action thriller for the 1980s. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a futuristic cyborg sent backward in time to kill an unsuspecting young woman Linda Hamilton; the film, which catapulted Arnold to super stardom, was a breakthrough hit for Cameron, who strikes a perfect balance between emotionally engaging scenes and spectacular action sequences. J.D. Merill
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
As relentless as the taciturn titular villain, The Terminator (1984) established James Cameron as a master of action, special effects, and quasi-mythic narrative intrigue, while turning Arnold Schwarzenegger into the hard-body star of the 1980s. With a budget well under $10 million, Cameron created a dystopic, trashed future world ruled by sinister robots, before returning to a darkly ominous 1984 Los Angeles where Schwarzenegger's leather-clad cyborg fits right in. Like the adversaries in Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), the Terminator, with his computer matrix vision, embodied 1980s technological anxiety, an implacable, human-looking assassin engineered by machines and empowered through nuclear holocaust. Schwarzenegger's pumped-up physical presence, sparse dialogue, and "I'll be back" slyness rendered him both terrifying and charismatic; as with Sylvester Stallone, his body would become his signature special effect. With a time-bending romance to temper the perpetual violence, The Terminator became a sleeper hit, powering Cameron, Schwarzenegger, and producer/co-writer Gale Anne Hurd to the forefront of Hollywood action movies. As Schwarzenegger's image softened by the late 1980s, Cameron resurrected him as a "kinder, gentler" Terminator in the blockbuster sequel Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/23/1996
  • UPC: 012236023432
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: Live / Artisan
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator
Michael Biehn Kyle Reese
Linda Hamilton Sarah Connor
Paul Winfield Traxler
Lance Henriksen Vukovich
Rick Rossovich Matt
Bess Motta Ginger
Norman Friedman Cleaning Man
David Hyde Pierce Tanker Partner
Brad Reardon Punk
Stanzi Stokes
Tony Mirelez Station Attendant
Earl Boen Silberman
Richard Miller Pawn Shop Clerk
Shawn Schepps Nancy
Bruce M. Kerner Desk Sergeant
Franco Columbu Future Terminator
Bill Paxton Punk Leader
Brian Thompson Punk
Ken Fritz Policeman
Joe Farago TV Anchorman
Hettie Lynne Hurtes TV Anchorwoman
Philip Gordon Mexican Boy
Stan Yale Derelict
Leslie Morris Customer
Hugh Farrington Customer
Harriet Medin Customer
James Ralston Customer
Barbara Powers Ticket Taker
Patrick Pinney Bar Customer
Chino "Fats" Williams Truck Driver
Marianne Muellerleile Wrong Sarah
Ken Foree
William Wisher Jr. Policeman
Technical Credits
James Cameron Director, Screenwriter
Adam Greenberg Cinematographer
Cynthia Brannon Stunts
Jonathan Cain Songwriter
Maria Rebman Caso Set Decoration/Design
George Costello Art Director
John Daly Executive Producer
Jeff Dawn Makeup
Frank DeMarco Special Effects
Joe Dolce Songwriter
Jay Ferguson Songwriter
Brad Fiedel Score Composer
Roger George Special Effects
Derek Gibson Executive Producer
Mark Goldblatt Editor
Gale Anne Hurd Producer, Screenwriter
Peter Kleinow Special Effects
Richard Lightstone Musical Direction/Supervision, Sound/Sound Designer
Betsy Magruder Asst. Director
Donna Smith Production Designer
Stanzi Stokes Casting
Gene Warren Jr. Special Effects
Stan Winston Makeup Special Effects
William Wisher Jr. Screenwriter
Hilary Wright Costumes/Costume Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    The Terminator is a great piece of Sci-Fi, and provides great ac

    The Terminator is a great piece of Sci-Fi, and provides great action sequences, but it's not the star. This is clearly Sarah's movie

    At the beginning Sarah is just a girl. A waitress with a silly roommate. All she cared about was clothes and boys. She'd never really been through anything.

    Things change for when she hears about a news report about 2 women being killed, both who were named Sarah Connor. Afraid for her life she ducks into a Bar and calls the police. She is mistakenly told she'd be safe as long as she stays visible in a public place. Next thing she knows she's attacked and then in the middle of a shoot out. Her attacker was blasted several times with a shotgun and it did little more than knock him down.

    She and her protector run. Sarah learns much after that. Who her protector is - Sargent Reese. What her attacker is - a Terminator from the future, and why it wanted to kill her.

    The History of what was to come tells of a Nuclear War. An automated military defense system, codenamed SkyNet, had become self aware and declared war on the human race. The survivors were scattered, hunted, or rounded up. Skynet's machines ran night and day. The human race was close to extinction. But there was one man who taught them to fight, to storm the camps, to smash the machines into junk. He turned it around. He was a legend, a savior, a leader.

    That man's name was Connor - John Connor. Sarah was fated to be the mother of the world's greatest leader. The Terminator wanted to kill her to prevent John from ever even being conceived.

    Next the police capture Reese, and take Sarah. They offer her their explanations of what she'd seen. Assuming the Terminator had been wearing body armor and had been on drugs. To their minds Reese was their killer and a lunatic.

    They come close to convincing Sarah. Then the Terminator attacks the Station. Gun fire erupts from all directions, dozens of cops die. The attack lets Reese break free and rejoin Sarah. Though he gets shot in the process.

    Once they were far enough away they spend the night hiding out. Sarah bandages Reese's wound. Her first field dressing. Throughout the night she hears more about John and the legend she herself will become. She starts using Reese's first name, Kyle, after he gives her a message from John.

    They make their way to a motel. Kyle buys supplies, which they use to create homemade explosives. Following that, Kyle's stories of the war touch Sarah. She falls for him, and they spend a night making love.

    Almost immediately after they finish the Terminator arrives. Chasing them through the streets on a motorcycle. That ends with their vehicle wrecked, and it's motorcycle destroyed. Next thing Sarah knows it had hijacked a gasoline truck, and is coming to run her over. Splitting up Sarah runs, while Kyle manages to plant an explosive on the truck. The flames engulf the truck and the Terminator.

    Kyle was wounded but alive. Sarah and Kyle embrace, thinking it was over. Then from the flames the true Terminator emerges. It's clothing and skin incinerated. Finally Sarah sees her enemy for what it really is. A metal Skeleton. It was damaged. One leg almost useless, and it speed reduced. But it was still coming and still lethal.

    Running scared they break into the nearest building, an industrial factories. Kyle activates as many machines as possible, to make tracking them harder. Then he collapses from his injuries. Finally touching the strength inside her, Sarah re-motivates him by ordering the soldier Reese back on his feet.

    In his final battle Reese keeps himself between Sarah and the Terminator, before planting an explosive within it's lower chest. The blast blows the Terminator in half, and sends shrapnel in ever direction. Sarah catches a piece in her leg, and Kyle is killed.

    Sarah was holding Kyle's body when the Skeleton's upper body reached for her. It had been playing dead, hoping she'd come for Kyle. Sarah couldn't stand on her leg, and the Terminator no longer had legs. Each could only crawl. Eventually Sarah is cornered, the Terminator's hand reaching for her.

    Then she realizes what she'd just crawled through. A massive industrial press. As she reached for the activation switch she changes. Her speech patterns, her facial expression, the look in her eyes, and her entire entire body language shifts. Taking on the form that Kyle, and the Resistance used. Finally revealing the Warrioress she was fated to be.

    Activating the press flattened the skeleton, and shattered it's CPU. The Terminator was at last Terminated.

    In the epilogue Sarah was pregnant. Her mind struggling with the paradox. Eventually her son would have to send his father on a mission, knowing Kyle would die in the end.

    She'd learned about the future from Kyle. When Skynet rose, John would be ready, and so would she. Kyle would not have died in vain. She would never stop fighting. Her war had just begun.

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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Although Terminator 2 is definitely the best Terminator film, as

    Although Terminator 2 is definitely the best Terminator film, as many people would agree, Terminator was still a classic, defining sci-fi film that deserves worthy credit without a shadow of a doubt. The original Terminator helped in definining the sci-fi action movie industry and is, in my opinion and many other people's opinion, one of the all time best sci-fi movies of all time. I had previously already upgraded Terminator 2 to Blu-Ray, but I figured it was time to also do the same with the original Terminator, because it's no less deserving of that in my opinion. Just like Alien 1 & 2, so is Terminator 1 and 2 as far as classic awesomeness. I recently encountered this addition of Terminator on Blu-Ray and decided that I simply had to have this edition of it, and now I do. Many of the younger generation of nerds/geeks out there I've ever talked to are not familiar with these films, and I made sure to let them know that they needed to look into them. Sure, they're a bit older and the special effects are decidedly not the most amazing, but they're still awesome films that every sci-fi & action lover should watch, so if you're reading this and you have never seen the Terminator films, or even the Alien films for that matter, get on it!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome :)

    Good movie, the 2nd is good too

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The TERMINATOR. He will never stop hunting you...and this movie will never stop haunting our minds.

    In the year 2029, machines rule the world. A few small bands of humans "survivors of the nuclear war between man and machine", under the lead of John Connor, fight these artificially-intelligent monsters. Finally, the humans emerge victorious, and the machines are virtually defeated. But they have another plan. They will destroy John Connor by killing his mother before he is born. They send through time the TERMINATOR, a cybernetic organism "flesh-covered robot", back to the year 1984. It will stop at nothing, until its mission -- to kill Sarah Connor -- is completed. In this science fiction phenomenon of a film, we see screenwriter/director James Cameron at his best. For over two decades, this movie has held its iconic position as one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time. He tells a story of the future, but gives a feeling of legend, of a struggle of incomprehensible proportions, a dark story that seems like there is no possibility of victory. But Cameron does not leave us in utter depression, but always leaves a glimmer of hope. Throughout the film, we are treated to Brad Fiedel’s perfectly-matched soundtrack, and one of the greatest pieces of modern movie music ever recorded --- the haunting TERMINATOR theme. This is a movie that is highly recommended, to both sci-fi fans and non-sci-fi fans. It supersedes those bounds, and falls into a class all its own. ---Ryan Robledo, author of the Aelnathan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Terminator

    This movie is okay but is quite cool at the same time. A machine from the future travels back to correct something as to destroy a woman who's future son who's a leader to a group of soldier like survivors in an all out war against the machines toward mankind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie, Dated Effects.

    This is a good movie over-all. James Cameron is a brilliant man(despite Titanic), and Arnold Scwarzenegger is a good machine. Linda Hamilton and Michael Beihn are equally matched. The only problem I had about it were the the effects. All though I like it when he is performing surgery on his arm. It's just that sometimes I get uncomfortable whenever I feel like I'm looking at a darn puppet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My favorite Sci-fi flick of all time!

    The Terminator is one of the most important films of our time. James Cameron is a genius. I knew it then. And, of course, it's apparent to everyone now. James makes flawless films. Even taking into account the lack of high-tech special effects in the first Terminator compared to the wizardry we have today, you have to realize this is an all time great! This movie never loses it's punch or appeal---even twenty years later! James gives us a gutsy female heroine (Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor) long before they became popular. (Look at ''Charlie's Angels''.) But Cameron writes characters who are REAL. Who doesn't identify with Sarah Connor? The always underrated Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese is as superb as he is darling and appealing. Check out Bill Paxton (who would go on to be featured in and eventually star in more of Cameron's films) in the opening sequence as an unfortunate ''punk'' and his punk friends who meet the Terminator! And wonderful Arnold Schwarzenegger is perfect as the single minded killing machine. Arnold and James make wonderful movies together. Who doesn't enjoy an Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi flick? As James Cameron has said about Arnold, (not exact quote)-He takes direction very well and can physically and emotionally do exactly as the director envisions. Arnold is just great and just keeps getting better. When I first saw this film, I told friends I thought that was funny when Arnold said ''I'll be back.'' It is a truly captivating line....I was right! That line became Arnold's most famous ''catch phrase''! You cannot miss seeing this movie and no home DVD/Video library should be without it! Yes, this movie is A#1 in my book-----exciting, frightening, riveting, romantic and unforgettable. If you don't love it, you're simply not a sci-fi movie lover. This one is the best of them all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A well known loser of a movie? no way

    Great action movie. In response to a previous review, the terminator character works so well as a villain because of his lack of dialogue. He is a machine programmed to do one thing, kill. Also, there is no way the sex scene was ''senseless.'' How else are we to know that Kyle is the father of John Connor? Maybe that reviewer would prefer that Sarah and the terminator have a 15 minute conversation discussing her night with Kyle. I'm sure everyone would watch that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    thats an awsome terminater movie on dvd

    i seen it on dvd and it blew me away along with terminater 2 the ultimate edition on dvd it has a whole load of stuff about the t2 movie in the other disk its a two disk dvd with graphics and the sneak preview of the terminater 2 in three d at universal studioes in hollywood and that will blow all the terminater fans away becuase it has live action mixed with the three d movie and it goes from middle of the terminater 2 movie right into the fight with the machines and then on and the real acters are fighting infront of the movie screen and then they jump right into the movie screen with the futuristice battle with the machines the dvd of the terminater 2 the ultimate edition will blow you away it did me all the way i highlly recommend the t2 the ultimate edition to all the terminater fans and there is the third movie coming to theaters on july 4 2003 its the third installment to the terminater series and it takes place with the battle with the machines in the future and arnold battles a female terminater in the new movie too i know im going to see it on opening night and the sneak preview night at midnight

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A well known loser of a movie.

    This movie may be famous but not good. Arnold Schwarzzeneger is a waist. He hardley has any lines and the sex scene is completely sensless. :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    cool

    I thought this movie was really cool,it had lots of blood and i think that arnold schwarzenegger was great for the role of the terminater.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Well done DVD

    MGM has done a nice job of bringing ''The Terminator'' to DVD. Of special interest is the new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix: a full-bodied, high-impact soundscape that vastly improves on the rather thin, mono original. (The original soundtrack is also included.) Special features, and some neat ''Easter eggs'', are also fine. Definitely worth buying!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I KNEW IT!

    I KNEW IT! FOR THE PAST 6 MONTHS I HAVE TRIED TO FIND THE FIRST TERMINATOR MOVIE I REALIZED THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE RE-RELEASED AND THAT'S GOOD BECAUSE A MOVIE THIS GOOD DESERVES THE FULL DVD TREATMENT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2009

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    Posted November 24, 2008

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted December 5, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews