Movie Article

'The Terminator': An Oral History

The cast and crew remember the film that launched a $1.4 billion franchise and cemented their place in pop culture forever

Image credit: Everett Collection

The Terminator

Thirty years ago, a killing machine from 2029—assuming the form of an Austrian bodybuilder—arrived with a lethal directive to alter the future. That he certainly did. The Terminator, made for $6.4 million by a couple of young disciples of B-movie king Roger Corman, became one of the defining sci-fi films of all time. Despite grossing $38 million, it grew into a phenomenon, spawning a five-film franchise that's taken in $1.4 billion to date and securing a place on the National Film Registry. The movie launched the career of James Cameron, who went on to direct the top two box office earners of all time, Avatar and Titanic. It also boosted Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose monotone delivery and muscle-bound swagger made a cyborg assassin the height of cool.

Originally posted Jul 17, 2014 Published in issue #1321-1322 Jul 25, 2014 Order article reprints