The Terminator

Trivia: Arnold only has 16 lines.

Trivia: At the beginning of the film, Sarah listens to an answering machine recording of her boyfriend breaking up a date. The voice heard on the answering machine belongs to James Cameron.

Deidra Goins

Trivia: The skulls seen in the future segments were actually used as part of a technique to make the model set (and all the HKs on it) look bigger than it actually was. Fantasy II littered the set with little skulls that were about 3/4 of a inch in size and then placed a normal sized skull in the foreground for some shots. This created an illusion known as 'forced depth perception' which makes you continually think the scale of the picture you're seeing is larger than reality. An inexpensive but very effective trick.

Trivia: Michael Biehn gets bitten by Sarah Connor in Terminator, by the child in Aliens, and again in the Abyss. All three films were written and directed by James Cameron.

Allister Cooper, 2011

Trivia: Before the Terminator drives up to the house of the first Sarah Connor, there is a shot of the house from the street. In this shot, you can see a small toy truck which looks exactly like the one the Terminator uses at the end of the film. In the next scene, you can see how the truck is run over and crushed by the car that pulls up. A small hint of what might happen in the future of the film. That model truck is one of those what the filmmakers made for filming the truck-blows-up scene.

Trivia: The final image of the Terminator in the film - where its red eye winks out after it had been crushed in the press - was actually one of the cheapest and simplest shots to create. It was done after principal photography had wrapped, when Cameron decided they needed the final shot. The press was made of foam core spray-painted silver, the eye was taken from one of the endoskeleton models and fitted with a small LED that was dialed down, the ring of metal that falls off was made of tinfoil, and the smoke wafting across was cigarette smoke blown on-camera by somebody out of the camera's field of view. Simple - but one of the most powerful images in the film.

Phil C.

Trivia: The classic line, "I'll be back." was originally scripted as "I'll come back."

Deidra Goins

Trivia: The body bag that Reese is zipped up into at the end of the film is actually a suit bag that belonged to director James Cameron. They needed a pickup shot and Cameron happened to have the bag in his car, so he pulled it out and presto, instant body bag.

Phil C.

Trivia: Michael Biehn gave a very impressive reading for the part of Reese, but Cameron didn't like the fact that he had such a prominent Southern accent. He called Biehn's agent and said that they loved the reading, but didn't want Reese to have a pronounced accent like that. The agent was confused: "What accent? He doesn't have an accent." It then transpired that Biehn had in fact just come from an audition for "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" that morning, and hadn't shaken off the accent yet. So they had him come in for another reading, verified the lack of accent, and offered him the part.

Phil C.

Trivia: The start of shooting was delayed for two days because The Terminator's custom leather jacket didn't fit him correctly.

Trivia: The "smoke" effect coming off Terminator's jacket during the scene where he is riding on the hood of Reese and Sarah's car in the alleyway outside Tech Noir was created by pouring a mild acid onto the jacket. Arnold begged for an alternative method, as the idea understandably made him rather nervous, but eventually he agreed to it.

Phil C.

Trivia: The Tunnel that Reese & Sarah throw pipe bombs at the Terminator is called The Second St. Tunnel between Hill & Figueroa St. in downtown Los Angeles. (01:24:15)

Trivia: If you watch the flying HKs you may notice the turbine pods on the sides look a little 'flat' at times. This is because Fantasy II had to start shooting the future war segments before they finished the small scale models so they built the body of the HK and then stuck cardboard on the sides so they could get the passing shots done. Then they added the engines.

Trivia: The Tiki Motel is at 7301 Santa Fe Ave. in Huntington Park, CA. This is where Sarah & Reese make pipe bombs. (01:14:15)

Trivia: After the Tech Noir shootout, the Terminator takes out a hapless policeman (One-L-nineteen) and steals his car (and later impersonates his voice). This cop is played by Bill Wisher, a friend of Cameron's and co-writer of the script. Wisher also appears in "Terminator 2" as the shocked mallgoer with the camera, after the T-1000 throws the Terminator through the wall.


Trivia: A "steel fist" machine rig was used to punch through the windshield of the car in the alleyway scene. The rig was so heavy that the car couldn't be moved, so instead they moved the brick wall behind the car to give the appearance that the vehicle was in motion.

Phil C.

Trivia: Reese arrives in a Alley on 7th & Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. This is also the same block they filmed the Tech Noir nightclub. (00:06:10)

Trivia: The "Tech Noir" shooting was done in a building in LA that used to be a restaurant. The set was so realistic that the night after shooting wrapped, people were trying to pay to get into the "club". Producer Gale Anne Hurd recalls that "we were so desperate for cash at that point that we almost took their money, but better sense got hold of us and we declined the paying patrons."

Phil C.

Trivia: The Alamo Gun Shop is located at 14329 Victory Blvd. Van Nuys, CA. It is now a used car lot. Across the street is also where the Terminator throws the biker from the phone booth. (00:13:10)

Trivia: The department of Water & Power was used as the parking garage located at 111 N. Hope St. in downtown Los Angeles. (00:47:30)

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: 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: 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: O.J. Simpson was going to play the Terminator but the directors thought he wouldn't be taken seriously.


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: 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: 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: 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: New comer Bill Paxton makes a cameo appearance at the beginning. He is the one with the blue hair. (00:05:49)

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: When "Stan Morsky" calls Sarah and leaves a message, it's director James Cameron who speaks.


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


Trivia: Though she's a registered Democrat, Linda Hamilton voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican candidate, in California's 2003 recall election that saw Schwarzenegger become the state's governor.

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More for The Terminator


Kyle Reese: Listen! And understand. That Terminator is out there! It can't be bargained with, can't be reasoned with! It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop. EVER! Until you are dead!



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.