The Terminator

The Terminator (1984)

78 corrected entries

(17 votes)

Corrected entry: After the car chase in which Kyle and Sarah are being chased by Arnold, Arnold's stolen cop car crashes into the parking lot wall. When the trailing police haul Sarah and Kyle away, Arnold is missing from the car he's just crashed. Kyle has clearly stated that the Terminator will absolutely not stop until Sarah is dead. Why would he flee the scene from a few cops - given his resilience - when he could have kept after Sarah and killed her right there? Was he "afraid" of doing it in front of the police? Was he concerned about getting away?

Correction: The terminator was injured in the crash as we see later when he repairs his arm and eye. He also has no way of knowing that the police don't have weapons that could damage him (he asks for a plasma rifle at the gun shop, implying he knows little of 1980s weapons).

Yet the Terminator apparently does possess a 1980s database, allowing him to instantly operate a variety of 1980s automobiles (including tractor-trailers), use telephone directories and telephones, and even select appropriate curse words of the day. He also, obviously, possesses a database of current 1980s road atlases (allowing him to track Sarah and Kyle by physical address). It would be inconceivable to equip the Terminator with all of this 1980s data and yet not equip him with full knowledge of available 1980s weaponry, given the purpose of his mission. Thus, the "plasma rifle" request at the gun shop was either a glitch in his programming or it was a plot-hole in the movie. Just as his fleeing the scene of the car wreck was a plot-hole. The Terminator had absolutely no fear of 1980s law enforcement, as is made apparent when he destroys police headquarters single-handedly.

Charles Austin Miller

Correction: I disagree with why this is in the corrections as this assessment as earlier in the film, Sarah asks Kyle "Can you stop him?" And Reese replies "with these weapons, I'm not sure." So, obviously, the weapons that are carried around couldn't have stopped the terminator. Plus the terminator wasn't worried about the weapons being used as we see later on it goes into the police station to kill Sarah Connor, so this proves it wouldn't have been worried about the weapons being used. Also, Kyle has said to Sarah, the terminator will stop at nothing to kill her, so why stop here?


I think the weaponry concern was less of an issue than him being injured. With a damaged arm and eye and facing reinforcements he opted to withdraw and repair himself before trying again. Not to mention that Reese doesn't say: "With these weapons, I'm not sure." He specifically says, with a doubtful tone of voice: "With these weapons, I don't know."

Jon Sandys Premium member

Exactly. Not stopping for anything doesn't mean he isn't tactical.


Corrected entry: Pay close attention to the scene at the TechNoir club. Right as Reese sees what is about to go down when the Terminator approaches Sara with his gun, Reese pulls his shotgun. At this exact moment, Reese turns and cocks his shotgun and a club patron (movie extra with a pink-ish shirt) walks right in front of Reese and looks at him nonchalantly as Reese cocks the gun, as if nothing is out of the ordinary, and continues on walking. This seems odd, most people would have been shocked or jumpy if they suddenly saw somebody pull out, then cock, a shotgun.

Correction: Not if that person was drunk and/or on drugs.

Corrected entry: When the Terminator starts shooting up the Police station, Traxler goes into the room where Sarah Connor is and locks both doors, yet when Kyle Reese comes in later, he is able to open the other door in the room without a key.

Correction: He breaks the glass and unlocks the door from inside.

Ssiscool Premium member

Corrected entry: When Sarah is driving off into the storm at the end of the film, the scene is obviously shot on a blue-screen. Some of the storm appears to be real because you can see several clouds moving, but the rest of the clouds never move at all. Also, the mountains look incredibly fake. (01:43:25)

Correction: The scene was not shot on blue screen. The production did not use any CGI throughout the entire film, as the budget was severely limited. The image of the mountain was a matte painting.

Corrected entry: When Kyle is looking for Sarah in the phone book, it lists two Sarah Connors and a Sarah J. Connor. When the Terminator and Sarah look up the name, there is a Sarah Connor, a Sarah Anne Connor and a Sarah J. Connor.

Correction: I watched the scene where Kyle is looking through the phone book, and the names are correct: "Connor, Sarah", "Connor, Sarah Anne" and "Connor, Sarah J".

Corrected entry: When Arnie is in the gun store he asks for a Plasma Rifle in the 40 watt range. Surely this must be an error in the Terminator's computer files. They know enough about the past to know roughly where and when Sarah Connor lives, that he can find a phone book in a public phone booth, how to drive a 1984 car, etc., but not that a plasma rifle wasn't invented until many years later?

Correction: The gun store owner didn't ask the T-800 to pick a weapon off the shelf, he asked if he would like another type of weapon. The T-800 complied with his request and requested the gun that he would like to have: a Plasma Rifle in the 40 watt range. The gun owner didn't specify the time period that the gun had to be from, so the T-800 was perfectly justified in requesting it.

Corrected entry: The terminator cuts open its arm to repair the finger cables. But when it is reduced to a skeleton, there are no cables.

Correction: There aren't cables - just sliding poles

Corrected entry: In Tech Noir, The Terminator fires his Uzi at Reese who leaps behind the bar. In the next shot, The Terminator very briefly has the .45 Longslide he dropped earlier, the shot cuts back to Reese. It then returns to the Terminator who has the Uzi again. (00:35:55)

Grumpy Scot

Correction: Careful frame-by-frame review of the scene, cannot see the Longslide anywhere. In the 6-frame (1/4-second) shot you speak of, he is holding the Uzi - in real time, it does look a little like a handgun, but it is the Uzi.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Arnold is going to drive the truck, his eyes point in different directions. However, when he gets up as a cyborg while the truck is burning up (and in rest of the film), he can move both eyes in the same direction. (01:27:25 - 01:31:05)

Correction: "Can" and "must" are two different things. He's a cyborg, why shouldn't he be capable of moving his eyes independently of one another?

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: When the Terminator comes through at the start of the film, it has longish hair, but when it is removing its eye, its hair is shorter and spiked. When would it have gone for a haircut?

Correction: The Terminator's hair was singed off when it jumped through the fire onto the hood of the car.

Corrected entry: It is mentioned in the extra commentary that a production error caused the Endoskeleton to be made of STEEL - extremely heavy - causing Special effects shots to require multiple puppeteers. This is partly the reason why the Endoskeleton moves so slowly while the T800+organic skin moves so quickly.

Correction: Movie mistakes are about on-screen errors, not foul-ups in prop fabrication. While this did happen, hence the citation in the commentary, it cannot be said to count as a movie mistake. Even the disparity in movement speed between the flesh-covered cyborg and the exposed endoskeleton is adequately explained within the film as being due to damage sustained, so that cannot really be considered error-worthy either. I suggest that you resubmit as trivia.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: The photograph taken by the boy at the end of the film doesn't match what Sarah Conner was doing. When the boy took the photograph, she was caught unawares and wasn't looking directly at the camera, yet the picture shows her staring toward where the camera would have been.

Correction: False. She begins to glance at him as he raises the camera towards her, but he does not actually take the picture until she is looking directly at him.


Corrected entry: At the end when Sarah Conner is talking into the microphone, recording something for her future son, the boy takes a photograph of her a split second after her last word, yet the microphone isn't pictured in the photograph.

Correction: He takes the picture as she is lowering the recording device away from her face. Since the photo is of her from the upper waist and up, the microphone should not, and does not, appear in the picture.


Corrected entry: When Kyle and Sarah have changed cars and the Terminator is chasing them, they exit the car park with their headlights on, but in the next shot and the rest of the chase they are off.

Correction: Since headlights have an "off" switch, and they remain OFF for the remainder of the scene, there is no continuity mistake made. Only if they were alternating between OFF and ON between the scenes would this be counted as a mistake. He quite simply turned them off.


Corrected entry: During the first night when the Terminator chases Sarah her shoes are yellow with green laces. The next morning her socks are yellow but the shoes are now white with green laces.

Correction: White shoes can appear yellow under street lighting.

Corrected entry: At the end of the movie when the Terminator is being squished, you can see that its metal body is still shiny and clean, despite surviving 2 explosions and burning in the wreckage of a truck.

Correction: He's a machine from the future, made by other machines. Who knows what he could be made of, or what kind of coating his metal parts may have?


Corrected entry: After Traxler is shot by the Terminator, Vukovich finds him wounded, says "Ed," then jumps into the hallway and opens up on the Terminator, calling out "Hey." Lance Henriksen is just shaking the weapon in his hands; there is no muzzle flash and no spent shells eject. (00:59:55)


Correction: In fact, the gun Lance Henrikson fires does have a muzzle flash, and does eject spent cartridges. The lighting and angle of the shot just makes it difficult to see.

Corrected entry: Arnold looks on the left page of the phone book to find Sarah Connor's name but when Sarah herself looks for her name she finds it on the right page.

Correction: 1/1/84 marked the end of AT&T (Ma Bell), and the start of the Baby Bells. Pacific Bell (now SBC) was the Baby Bell for LA. It's not uncommon for large cities to have more than one phonebook, one produced by PacBell (in this case) and another independently-produced book. One likely candidate is Verizon's Superpages (launched in '84), which is produced even in markets where Verizon Communications (the land line company) has no presence. Also, the phonebook in booths is usually (in my experience) produced by the administrator of the phone (not always the incumbent RBOC) or by someone contracted by them. Thus, given the possibility and plausibility of 2 phonebooks made by different companies, it's not unlikely that this "discrepancy" would take place.

Corrected entry: When the Terminator is chasing Kyle and Sarah through the alley after the club shooting, you get his view of the chase. If you pause the movie during this scene when the screen is red and there is information being displayed to the Terminator, you'll see that it in fact "Apple Computer" programming language.

Correction: It is not Apple Programming Language - it is part of the ROM Listing of an Apple II Computer - an old dog even at the time Terminator was released.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Kyle is fighting the future battle and he jumps into the armored car, the "plasma weapon" on the back of the car is a US Army M2 .50 caliber machine gun. It's a great weapon that's been in use since 1940 and still does good work, but how would you modify it to shoot plasma bolts? And why not build an all-new plasma weapon? Military budgets must have really been cut back in the future.

Correction: We don't know how they would modify it, but the resistance also have plasma weapons, so presumably, it is possible to combine the two. They may not have had the equipment or materials to build an all new plasma weapon. They have to use what they've got. And, they don't have a military budget.

Audio problem: When the Terminator breaks into the police station, he has an auto-shotgun in his left hand, and a machine gun in his right. Before he kills the power in the building, he comes to the end of a hall, points his shotgun through a doorway, and shoots. A machine gun sound is used for the blast, instead of a shotgun sound. (01:00:28)

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Question: How exactly do both the Terminator and Kyle find addresses? We are led to believe that is the reason for the phone books, but none of the addresses in the phone books match up to the addresses where either the first Sarah is killed, nor the apartment of our Sarah.

Answer: My two cents: The T-800 Terminator does indeed, rip out the page of a phonebook for the address, but remember, he was looking for any and all Sarah Connors, not a specific address. He did not know which Sarah would give birth to John Connor, so by process of elimination he began terminating any woman with the name Sarah Connor. He did plug the first Sarah Connor (a housewife), then went to kill the other Sarah Connors in the phone book.


Answer: Kyle we are shown uses a police computer to find the addresses. The T800 just uses the phonebook as you mentioned. He rips the page out and takes it with him.

Ssiscool Premium member

Except 2 of the addresses in the phone book don't match. So how does the Terminator find them using the phonebook?


The Terminator is just blindly killing everyone in the phone book whose name is Sarah Connor (apparently a common name). Process of elimination. So, the day he arrives, unrelated women named Sarah Connor start dropping like flies, and the police believe it's the work of a serial killer. Our heroine Sarah Connor barely escapes this sweeping extermination by sheer luck and Kyle's intervention.

Charles Austin Miller

You just described the plot. Were you trying to answer the question? Because the question still stands. (As it is, it's either a mistake or plot hole in the film).


Perhaps I'm not getting the question. What is meant by "none of the addresses in the phone books match up"? Match up to what, the murder scene addresses? I wasn't aware that the murder scene addresses were prominently displayed.

Charles Austin Miller

Exactly. The addresses seen don't match. Specifically the first Sarah Connor's house number is "14239", but in the phonebook it is listed as "1823." And the real Sarah Connor lives in an apartment but the phonebook doesn't list an apartment number.


Perhaps though this all doesn't matter because phone books can quickly become outdated, the phone book he found could be over a year old. Someone moves but can still be listed in the phone book with their old address. He could have gone to the addresses but found someone else living there and then asked where the previous owner might be, and he was told (or he forced them). This might be how he found all the Sarah Connors.


Are any of the Sarah's listed as living at 1823? I've not got access to the film right now to check.

Ssiscool Premium member

The first is listed as "1823." The second is "2816." The 3rd is "309." Although after reviewing the scene and thinking about it, for "309" (which is supposedly our Sarah J Connor), the full address isn't actually seen and the apartment number could have been listed.


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