The Terminator is a 1984 American science-fiction action film written and directed by James Cameron, produced byHemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, a cyborgassassin sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose son will one day become a savior against machines in a post-apocalyptic future. Michael Biehn plays Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future sent back in time to protect Connor.
The Terminator topped the American box office for two weeks and helped launch Cameron's film career and solidify Schwarzenegger's. It received critical acclaim, with many praising its pacing, action scenes and Schwarzenegger's performance. Its success led to a franchise consisting of four sequels (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys), a television series, comic books, novels and video games. In 2008, The Terminator was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the American National Film Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.