The Terminator

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.

Phil C.

Trivia: Lance Henriksen was originally considered for the role of the Terminator but was dropped in favour of Arnold and instead cast as Vukovich. Henkriksen would however later go on to be cast as the android Bishop in 'Aliens'.

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 name of the nightclub, "Tech Noir", was a deliberate allusion to "film noir" - director James Cameron hoped that critics might be interested in the kind of filmmaking they were doing with this film, the references to the dark side of technology.

Phil C.

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.

Phil C.

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.

Phil C.

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.

Phil C.

Trivia: Before the T-800 prepares to invade Sarah's apartment, a female police dispatcher can be heard saying, "A 3-11 in progress at Bob's Liquor, corner of Third and Cameron." Possible nod to the writer/director?

Deidra Goins

Trivia: Then-newcomer Bill Paxton has one of his first movie appearances at the beginning. He is the thug with the blue hair. (00:05:49)

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 dog at the motel is named Wolfie and belongs to James Cameron.


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."

Phil C.

Trivia: The Terminator arrives at Griffin Park in Los Angeles where he is overlooking the city skyline in the beginning. (00:04:00)

Trivia: This is the only Terminator film set in the same year it was released; all the sequels are set in either the near or distant future from their years of release.


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.

Visible crew/equipment: After the Terminator arrives in 1984, he begins to walk over to a short concrete wall and looks at Los Angeles over it. A second before the shot ends, the shadow of a camera is visible to the left of screen. (00:05:05)

Casual Person

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Question: I've always wondered, what's the significance of the kid pointing a wooden gun and making 'pew pew' noises at Reese when he enters the human hideout? Is it meant to be purely a bit of comical play between the two, or a subtle inference that mankind will never be able to abolish its inherent desire to destroy itself, even in the face of total extinction?

Answer: Its simply a child being a child and playing, but more than anything, showing the innocence of the children that inspite of the near death of the human race all around them, there's still time to play and be... human.


Answer: I've always thought it was to show that these children didn't know anything else. They hadn't had a childhood due to the war against the machines and all they knew was to shoot guns because that's all they've seen people do.


Answer: I think it refers more to the irony fact the kids innocently playing soldiers, would soon become real soldiers in a fight for their lives.

Answer: I agree with the playing and innocence aspects, as well as some comic relief. Toddlers/children prepare for possible future roles in life by mimicking adults' behaviors. What the child lacks is a sense of danger, showing no fear (or guilt) "shooting" a much larger person who knows how to kill. The child also lacks an understanding of consequences of behavior and meaning/permanence of death.


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