TIFF Bell Lightbox Presents The Rise of Beefcake Cinema: ‘The Terminator’ was Cameron’s titanic before ‘Titanic’
Directed by James Cameron
Written by James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd and William Wisher Jr.
Probably James Cameron’s most perennial film, The Terminator effectively launched the career of both himself and his cyborg assassin lead, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oft emulated, this comparatively low-budget sci-fi action thriller was Cameron’s titanic before Titanic.
The film stars Schwarzenegger as the titular terminator, a cyber-assassin sent from a post-apocalyptic 2029 to track down and eliminate Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) in 1984 Los Angeles. The future mother of a famed rebel, the terminator is sent by his mechanical overlords to kill her, thus preemptively erasing the existence of her son, John, and the subsequent rebellion.
Likewise, but in an effort to save both Connors, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), a member of the rebellion, is also sent back to 1984, and must act as Sarah’s protection from an unstoppable force.