The Terminator

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The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction film about a human-looking, apparently unstoppable cyborg who is sent from the future to assassinate the eventual mother of a resistance leader.

Directed by James Cameron. Written by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd.
The thing that won't die, in the nightmare that won't end.taglines

Kyle Reese[edit]

  • [as he and Sarah prepare special explosives] John Connor gave me a picture of you once. I didn't know why at the time. It was very old - torn, faded. You were young like you are now. You seemed just a little sad. I used to always wonder what you were thinking at that moment. I memorized every line, every curve... I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you. I always have.

Sarah Connor[edit]

  • You're terminated fucker!


[the Terminator is checking out a gun store]
Terminator: The 12-gauge auto-loader.
Pawn Clerk: That's Italian. You can go pump or auto.
Terminator: The .45 long slide, with laser sighting.
Pawn Clerk: These are brand new; we just got them in. That's a good gun. Just touch the trigger, the beam comes on and you put the red dot where you want the bullet to go. You can't miss. Anything else?
Terminator: Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.
Pawn Clerk: Hey, just what you see pal!
Terminator: [looks around] The Uzi nine millimeter.
Pawn Clerk: You know your weapons, buddy. Any one of these is ideal for home defense. So uh, which will it be?
Terminator: [pointing shotgun towards the door] All.
Pawn Clerk: I may close early today. [takes out forms] There's a 15-day wait on the hand guns, but the rifles you can take right now. [sees Terminator loads shell into shotgun] You can't do that.
Terminator: Wrong. [kills clerk]

[Kyle Reese has successfully rescued Sarah Connor from being killed by the Terminator at a disco]
Kyle: All right, listen. The Terminator's an infiltration unit: part man, part machine. Underneath, it's a hyperalloy combat chassis, microprocessor-controlled. Fully armored; very tough. But outside, it's living human tissue: flesh, skin, hair, blood - grown for the cyborgs.
Sarah: Look, Reese. I don't know what you want from...
Kyle: Pay attention! I gotta ditch this car. [parks car] The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy. But these are new, they look human. Sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. I had to wait till he moved on you before I could zero him.
Sarah: Look, I am not stupid, you know. They cannot make things like that yet!
Kyle: Not yet, not for about 40 years.
Sarah: [disbelieving] Are you saying it's from the future?
Kyle: One possible future. From your point of view. I don't know tech stuff.
Sarah: Then you're from the future too - is that right?
Kyle: Right.
Sarah: Right.
[They struggle together, she bites his hand in her attempt to escape]
Kyle: [coldly] Cyborgs don't feel pain. I do. Don't do that again.
Sarah: [weakly] Just let me go!
Kyle: Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can't be bargained with. It 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!

Sarah: Reese. Why me? Why does it want me?
Kyle: There was a nuclear war. A few years from now, all this, this whole place, everything, it's gone. Just gone. There were survivors. Here, there. Nobody even knew who started it. It was the machines, Sarah.
Sarah: I don't understand.
Kyle: Defense network computers. New... powerful... hooked into everything, trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination.
Sarah: Did you see this war?
Kyle: No. I grew up after. In the ruins... starving... hiding from H-K's.
Sarah: H-K's?
Kyle: Hunter-Killers: patrol machines built in automated factories. Most of us were rounded up, put into camps for orderly disposal. [pulls up his right sleeve, exposing a mark] This is burned in by laser scan. Some of us were kept alive... to work... loading bodies. The disposal units ran night and day. We were that close to going out forever. But there was one man who taught us to fight, to storm the wire of the camps, to smash those metal motherfuckers into junk. He turned it around. He brought us back from the brink. His name is Connor. John Connor. Your son, Sarah... your unborn son.

[Kyle Reese has shared his origins and what he knows about the Terminator with Dr. Silberman]
Dr. Silberman: Why didn't you bring any weapons, something more advanced? Don't you have, uh, ray guns? Show me a piece of future technology.
Kyle: You go naked. Something about the field generated by a living organism. Nothing dead will go.
Dr. Silberman: Why?
Kyle: [frustrated] I didn't build the fucking thing!
Dr. Silberman: Okay, okay. But this cyborg, if it's metal...
Kyle: Surrounded by living tissue!
Dr. Silberman: Oh, right, right. [pauses the interrogation tape] This is great stuff. I could make a career out of this guy! You see how clever this part is, how it doesn't require a shred of proof? Now, most paranoid delusions are intricate, but this is brilliant! [resumes the interrogation tape] Why were the other two women killed?
Kyle: Most of the records were lost in the war. Skynet knew almost nothing about Connor's mother. Her full name, where she lives. They just knew the city. The Terminator was just being systematic.
Dr. Silberman: Uh-huh. Okay, now let's get back to where I was...
Kyle: [interrupts] Look! You've heard enough! I have answered your questions! Now I have to see Sarah Connor!
Dr. Silberman: I'm afraid that's not up to me.
Kyle: Then why am I talking to you? Who is in authority here?
Dr. Silberman: Please, I...
Kyle: [interrupts again] Shut up! [glares at the camera] You still don't get it, do you?! He'll find her! That's what he does! That's all he does! You can't stop him! He'll wade through you, reach down her throat, and pull her fucking heart out!

Terminator: I'm a friend of Sarah Connor. I was told she was here. Could I see her please?
Desk Sergeant: No, you can't see her. She's making a statement.
Terminator: Where is she?
Desk Sergeant: Look, it may take a while. Want to wait? There's a bench over there. [points to bench]
Terminator: [looks around, examining the structural integrity of the room, then looks back at him] I'll be back.

[Kyle and Sarah escape the Terminator's assault at a police station and hide in an abandoned house to tend to his wounds]
Sarah Connor: Would you talk about something?
Kyle Reese: What?
Sarah: I don't know. Anything. Just talk. Tell me about my son.
Kyle: He's about my height. He has your eyes.
Sarah: What's he like?
Kyle: You trust him. He's got a strength. I'd die for John Connor.
Sarah: Well, at least now I know what to name him. I don't suppose you know who the father is so I won't tell him to get lost when I meet him.
Kyle: John never said much about him. I know he dies before the war-
Sarah: Wait! I don't want to know. So, was it John that sent you here?
Kyle: I volunteered.
Sarah: Why?
Kyle: It was a chance to meet the legend... Sarah Connor. Taught her son to fight, organize, prepare from when he was a kid. When you were in hiding before the war.
Sarah: You're talking about things I haven't done yet, in the past tense. It's driving me crazy. Are you sure you have the right person?
Kyle: I'm sure.
Sarah: [angry, irritated] Oh, come on. Do I look like the mother of the future? I mean am I tough, organized? I can't even balance my checkbook! Look Reese, I didn't ask for this honor and I don't want it, any of it!
Kyle: Your son gave me a message to give to you. [recites message] Thank you, Sarah, for your courage through the dark years. I can't help you with what you must soon face, except to say that the future is not set. You must be stronger than you imagine you can be. You must survive, or I will never exist.

[a very pregnant Sarah Connor refuels at a gas station. She takes the time to record something]
Sarah Connor: The hardest thing is deciding what to tell you and what not to. But I guess I've got a while yet before you're old enough to even understand these tapes. They're more for me at this point just so I can get it straight. Should I tell you about your father? Boy, that's a tough one. Will it affect your decision to send him here, knowing that he is your father? If you don't send Kyle, you can never be. God, a person could go crazy thinking about this. I suppose I will tell you. I owe him that. Maybe it'll help if you know that, in the few hours we had together, we loved a lifetime's worth. [stops recording because a boy took a Polaroid of her; she couldn't understand his rapid Spanish] What did he just say?
Gas Station Clerk: He says you're very beautiful and he's ashamed to ask you for five American dollars for his picture but if he doesn't his father will beat him.
Sarah: Pretty good hustle, kid. [raises four fingers] Cuatro.
Boy: Si, si! [accepts two two-dollar bills] Gracias. [leaves but utters a rapid warning]
Gas Station Clerk: He said there's a storm coming.
Sarah Connor: [contemplatively] I know.


  • In the 21st century, a weapon will be invented like no other. This weapon will be powerful, versatile and indestructible. It will feel no pain. No pity. No remorse. No fear. It will have only one purpose: to return to the present and prevent the future. This weapon will be called the Terminator.
  • It came from a war-torn future to destroy the past. Its target: an ordinary woman - Sarah Connor. Her only ally: another traveler through time.
  • The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire. Their war to exterminate mankind has raged for decades, but the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present. Tonight...
  • In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created the Terminator.
  • The thing that won't die, in the nightmare what won't end.
  • Your future is in his hands.


  • There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.
    • Although John Connor recalls this as part of the message his future self had given to Kyle Reese to pass along to Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and a version of this line appears in some script drafts, Kyle Reese never actually recites this line in the film.

About The Terminator[edit]

  • Before Terminator came out I began to hear from people, 'Gee, there's this script they're going to shoot that reads an awful lot like your script for Soldier. Now Soldier had been available on videocassette for many years.Demon with a Glass Hand had won all the awards but Soldier was right there in popularity.
Now, I get invitations to everything and anything, but for some reason, I never got an invitation to the screening of The Terminator.
It was not my desire to find a similarity. I was sitting in there thinking, 'Please don't let it be.' But if you took the first three minutes of my Soldier episode and the first three minutes of The Terminator, they are not only similar but exact. By the time I left the theater, I knew I had a case against someone who plagiarized my work.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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