Synopsis by Hal Erickson
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).
man-vs-machine, cyborg, killing, killler-robot, on-the-run, rebel-leader, technology, time-travel, protection, unborn-child, future, post-nuclear-holocaust
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance