The Terminator (1984)

35mm, colour, 1.85:1
mono, Dolby EX 6.1 [re-release], English

An American/British 1Production company Euro Film Funding Limited was based in London science fiction film directed by James Cameron. It was the first in a series of films that currently numbers four sequels, a theme park ride and a television series.

Plot Summary

In the near future, the defence computer SkyNet turns on humanity and conquers the world with its army of . A resistance movement fights back and is gaining ground. To prevent defeat, SkyNet hatches a desperate plan – a Terminator is sent back in time to 1984 to track down and kill Sarah Connor, the mother of the still unborn leader of the resistance, John Connor. In turn, the resistance send one of their own back through time to try to protect her.


Directed by: James Cameron
© 1984 Cinema '84 A Greenberg Brothers partnership
Hemdale presents a Pacific Western production of a James Cameron film. A Euro Film Funding Limited feature. An Orion Pictures release
Executive Producers: John Daly and Derek Gibbon
Produced by: Gale Anne Hurd
Written by: James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd
Acknowledgment to the works [Soldier and Demon with a Glass Hand] of: Harlan Ellison [credited on later prints only]
Additional Dialogue: William Wisher Jr
Director of Photography: Adam Greenberg
Edited by: Mark Goldblatt
Music by: Brad Fiedel
Production Sound Mixer: Richard Lightstone
Costume Designer: Hilary Wright
Makeup Artist: Jefferson Dawn
Hair Stylist: Peter Tothpal
Special Terminator Effects Created by: Stan Winston
Special Visual Effects: Fantasy II Film Effects Inc.
Art Director: George Costello

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator)
Michael Biehn (Kyle Reese)
Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor)
Lance Henriksen (Detective Vukovich)
Paul Winfield as Lt [Ed] Traxler
Rick Rossovich (Matt)
Bess Motta (Ginger)
Earl Boen (Dr Silberman)
Dick Miller (pawn shop clerk)
Shawn Schepps (Nancy)
Bruce M. Kerner (desk sergeant)
Franco Columbu (future terminator)
Bill Paxton (punk leader)
Brad Rearden, Brian Thompson (punks)
William Wisher Jr, Ken Fritz, Tom Oberhaus (policemen)
Ed Dogans (cop in alley)
Joe Farago (TV anchorman)
Hettie Lynne Hurtes (TV anchorwoman)
Tony Mirelez (station attendant)
Philip Gordon, Anthony T. Trujillo (Mexican boys)

Alternative Titles

Dödsängeln – Sweden
El ejecutor – Peru (advertising)
Elektroniczny morderca – Poland
O Exolothreftis – Greece
El exteminador – Peru (television)
O Exterminador do Futuro – Brazil
O Exterminador Implacável – Portugal
Terminaator – Estonia
Terminaattori – Finland (television)
Terminateur – Canada (French)
Terminátor – A halálosztó – Hungary
Terminator – Argentina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, USA (working)
Terminátor – Czechoslovakia
Terminator – förstöraren – Finland (Swedish)
Terminator – Tuhoaja – Finland
Der Terminator – West Germany
Terminatorul – Romania
De Uitroeier – Netherlands
Yokedici – Turkey

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1996)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)
Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series (2009)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
Terminator Genisys (2015)

Extracts included in
The Android Prophecy (2001)
Precious Images (1986)


Motion Picture Product Digest vol.12 n10 (16 November 1984) pp.38-39
No matter what character Arnold Schwarzenegger is supposed to be playing in his movies – whether Conan the Barbarian or a modern-day body builder or whatever – he's ways [sic] the same: as an actor, he's an automaton. It is eminently fitting, therefore, that he should be cast as a futuristic robot in “The Terminator”, a science fiction/chase thriller/monster horror movie which mixes all three genres and lends distinction to none of them. […] Moviegoers to whom this stupid notion seems provocative may well like what follows: a virtually endless spectacle of violence with innocent people being slaughtered by machine gun left and right. At intervals whole buildings are demolished, and there is a monotonous parade of car chases with more wrecks than “Bullitt” and “The French Connection” combined. To the observer with the slightest sensibility, this isn't fun – just numbing. – from a review by Richard Gertner

Empire no.142 (April 2001) p.52
What renders The Terminator so timeless (only some terrible 80s ‘boogying' in the nightclub sequence dates it), so explosive, so breathtaking, is both its subject matter – the ever pertinent threat of mankind's potential misuse of technology – and furiously paced action. Arnie is superb as the emotionally void machine who “will not stop, ever, until you are dead”, while Hamilton oozes a sublime blend of sassiness and vulnerability, as the woman who holds of mankind in her uterus. T2 may have been the box office champ, but it was its predecessor that dealt the knockout blow. – from an illustrated review by Mark Dinning



  • DVD Review no.20 (2000) p.6 – illustrated note (World News: Prepare to Terminate!)
  • Empire no.142 (April 2001) p.52 – illustrated review (by Mark Dinning)
  • Entertainment Weekly no.565 (27 October 2000) p.126 – review (by Daniel Fierman)
  • Hollywood no.12 (October 1996) p.72 (Croatia) – review (by Rade Dragojevic)
  • Motion Picture Product Digest vol.12 n10 (16 November 1984) pp.38-39 – review (by Richard Gertner)
  • Premiere April 1985 p.13 – review (by Jean-Philippe Guerand)
  • Total Film no.159 (October 2009) p.77 – illustrated article (In His Own Words James Cameron)
  • Video Watchdog no.8 p.19 – review


  • Diário de Notícias (14 April 1999) p.55 – article


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.390-391
  • The Best 80s Movies by Helen O'Hara pp.64-65 – illustrated review
  • BFI Modern Classics: The Terminator by Susan French
  • BFI Screen Guides: 100 Science Fiction Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.155-156
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer p.204
  • Film Review 1985-1986 by F. Maurice Speed p.117 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Films of the Eighties by Douglas Brode pp.127-129 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.573
  • Heroes, Monsters and Values: Science Fiction Films of the 1970s pp.4, 68
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.499
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.413-416 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.105 – credits, review
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.99
  • Psychotronic Video Guide, The p.561 – credits, review
  • Sci-fi Chronicles by Guy Haley (ed.) pp.160, 392; 340, 341; 374
  • Sci-Fi Now's 80s Sci-fi Almanac: Complete Movie Guide 1980-1989 pp.7 – illustrated article (The 15 greatest big screen bad-asses of the 1980s)
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.476-478
  • The Stop-motion Filmography by Neil Pettigrew pp.677-679
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.109 – credits, review