Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 18
  • Action, Sci-Fi
  • 1984
  • 108 mins

The Terminator

The Terminator

Synopsis

The sci-fi action-thriller that launched the careers of James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger into the stratosphere. Still endlessly entertaining

About

Rent this film now on Film4oD Or rent other films that stand the test of time now on Film4oD

Cameron came to this low-budget science fiction movie with a single directorial credit to his name, the silly exploitation film Piranha II: The Spawning. The best that Schwarzenegger could boast from his screen career was a touching turn in Stay Hungry and an attention-grabbing appearance in the body-building documentary Pumping Iron. Both would go on to bigger things, but none that would equal the imagination or vigour of this frenetic thriller.

Already Cameron's favourite themes are evident in this taut, economical tale of the duel between a killer robot (Schwarzenegger) and his human nemesis, Reese (Biehn), over Sarah Connor, the woman (Hamilton) whose unborn child will in the 21st century save humanity by destroying the machines that have taken over the world.

In Cameron's films it is always the women who are the natural leaders, the survivors. Also, from a director who is famously in love with technology, the film is obsessively technophobic. The secret of its success is certainly not in its originality - science fiction author Harlan Ellison threatened legal action until he was awarded a writing credit - but lies in its relentless energy, and Schwarzenegger himself as the taciturn monster, who in the course of the action delivers fewer than 100 words of dialogue.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rick Rossovich, Paul Winfield, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen
  • Director: James Cameron
  • Screen Writer: Gale Anne Hurd, James Cameron, William Wisher Jr
  • Producer: Gale Anne Hurd
  • Photographer: Adam Greenberg
  • Composer: Brad Fiedel

In a nutshell

The original and best film from the franchise - iconic, heady, dark and exciting. Arnie is just so much cooler when the T-101 is the enemy.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    About Elly

    Taraneh Alidoosti stars in a gripping, award-winning mystery-thriller from Oscar-winning Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi.

  • Film4

    Odd Thomas

    Anton Yelchin stars in Stephen Sommers' charged adaptation of Dean Koontz's supernatural novel.

  • Film4

    Action Month 2016 on Film4

    A whole month of action favourites every night at 9.00pm throughout June.

  • Film4

    Kick-Ass 2 on Film4

    Jim Carrey, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloƫ Grace Moretz star in Film4's first play of the darkly comic sequel to Kick-Ass.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Five questions for Jim Gillespie

    We grabbed five minutes with Jim Gillespie after his Edinburgh International Film Festival directing masterclass to put five burning questions to the man behind I Know What You Did Last Summer, whose

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Clio Barnard's Dark River starts shooting

    Principal photography has commenced on Dark River, the third feature film from writer/director Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant), starring Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Saving Mr Banks), Mark Sta

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share