Trivia: The scenes in the restaurant that Sarah works at was filmed at Carrows Restaurant located at 815 Fremont Ave. South Pasadena, CA. (00:11:30)
Trivia: The production of the film was dealt a severe blow when Linda Hamilton broke her ankle and tore several ligaments just before shooting began. The production schedule was rearranged to shift most of the running scenes toward the end of shooting, and even so Hamilton had to do all of those scenes on an ankle which wasn't even close to healed and had to be taped up every day.
Trivia: The factory that the Terminator gets crushed in is called Kern's Of California located at Bolo East Temple Ave. in Industry, CA. (01:32:00)
Trivia: The exploding tanker truck shot was done with miniatures. Director James Cameron originally wanted to do a full-size tanker explosion, but couldn't because they were shooting in a particular area of downtown Los Angeles that was directly in front of the police armory, and the LAPD wouldn't give permission.
Trivia: James Cameron originally wanted Lance Henriksen as the Terminator, and Henriksen really got into the idea of playing the character. Cameron scheduled a meeting with executive producer John Daly to show how great Henriksen would be as the Terminator. Unfortunately Henriksen showed up early - in full makeup, with bits of metal exposed and utterly in character - and frightened the hell out of everyone in the building before Cameron arrived and was able to reassure everyone.
Trivia: Because the production was so short on time, the "Future War" segments with the Ground H-Ks were filmed from the ground up. Fantasy II built the treads section, and then they filmed those shots. Then they added the torso section on top of the treads, and filmed those bits. Finally they added the head to the body and shot the full-on views of the H-K.
Trivia: Originally, the leg injury Sarah suffers from the Terminator exploding had a greater significance. When the Terminator killed the other Sarah Connors it was going to cut open their legs, with the revelation that it was checking for a fracture the 'correct' Sarah had incurred. The twist was that Sarah would actually get the fracture from the Terminator itself, showing that its presence had in fact changed the timeline (a counterpart to Kyle being revealed as John's father).
Trivia: The original concept for the Terminator films came to Cameron in a fevered dream he had in Rome - a persistent mental image of a mechanical figure standing in flames. Cameron has since admitted that he gets frequent inspiration from nightmares and that "pleasant, happy dreams are sort of a waste of time."
Trivia: Due to laser technology still being in its infancy in 1984, the AMT Hardballer (the '.45 Longslide with laser sighting') that the Terminator uses required 10,000 volts to turn on the helium-neon laser, and 1,000 volts to maintain its brightness for close up shots. To accomplish this, the gun was wired to both a battery pack hidden in Arnold's jacket, and a switch that he held in his other hand.
Trivia: In the end credits it says "Acknowledgment to the works of Harlan Ellison." Ellison was a prolific writer, including writing the "Star Trek" episode "The City on the Edge of Tomorrow." Ellison claimed "The Terminator" was based on his "The Outer Limits" episode "Solider." The matter was settled for an undisclosed amount with the acknowledgment to be included in the credits, which was done on the home releases. Cameron has denied Ellison's claim and disagreed with adding the acknowledgment.
Trivia: Ironically, Arnold was the most outspoken critic of his iconic line during filming, arguing both that his accent would mangle the pronunciation of 'I'll' and that a machine would not use contractions in its speech. Cameron refused to change the line to his suggestion of "I will come back", so Arnold just gave it his best and was shocked when suddenly the number one request from fans was for him to repeat the very line he'd been vehemently against.