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The Terminator: All you should know about this science fiction movie

by Ratan Srivastava
The Terminator

James Cameron helmed The Terminator, a 1984 American science fiction action movie. It features Arnold Schwarzenegger as that of the Terminator, a cyborg assassin sent back through time from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose unborn son would one day save humanity from extinction in a post-apocalyptic future at the hands of a hostile artificial intelligence. Kyle Reese, played by Michael Biehn, is a soldier sent back in time to defend Sarah. Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd are credited with the script, with co-writer William Wisher Jr. receiving credit for additional dialogue.

Cameron based the movie’s idea on a fever dream he had while promoting his debut picture, Piranha II: The Spawning (1982), in Rome, and collaborated with Wisher to create the concept. He sold the project’s rights to Hurd, a fellow New World Pictures alum, upon that condition that she produce the movie only if he directed it; Hurd eventually landed a distribution agreement with Orion Pictures, and executive producers John Daly and Derek Gibson of Hemdale Film Corporation were instrumental in the film’s financing and production. After knowing Cameron, Schwarzenegger decided to portray the lead character after being contacted by Orion for the part of Reese. Because of Schwarzenegger’s obligations to Conan the Destroyer (1984), filming was delayed, but Cameron found time to work on the screenplays for Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Aliens (1986). (1986). A team of artists directed by Stan Winston and Gene Warren Jr. constructed the movie’s special effects, which featured miniatures and stop-motion animation.

The Terminator defied low pre-release predictions and led the US box office for two weeks, making $78.3 million against a small $6.4 million budget. Cameron’s cinematic career was launched, and Schwarzenegger’s position as just a leading man was cemented, thanks to it. The popularity of the film spawned a franchise that included many sequels, a television series, comic books, novels, as well as video games. The Terminator was chosen for preservation inside the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2008 as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important.”

Brad Fiedel created and played on a synthesiser for the Terminator soundtrack. Fiedel was with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, when a new agent, Beth Donahue, discovered Cameron’s involvement with The Terminator and sent him a cassette of Fiedel’s music. Cameron and Hurd invited Fiedel to a viewing of the film. Hurd was concerned about commissioning Fiedel to do the soundtrack because he had only worked on television and not on feature pictures. “You know, I’m going to play this for him because it’s pretty dark and I believe it’s intriguing for him,” Fiedel said as he showed them an experimental composition he’d worked on. Hurd and Cameron were persuaded to recruit him because of the song.

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