SCRIPT: "TERMINATOR" by James Cameron

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Tight on car side window, as a figure approaches, reflected in the glass. A fist punches through the window, shattering it. The thief unlocks the door and gets behind the wheel. It's Terminator. With a blow from the heel of his hand, Terminator smashes loose the ignition assembly and strips the wires with a brutal twist of his fingers. Touching the proper wires he starts the car.

Pawn shop: Terminator walks past the long display window of an enormous pawnshop emporium. Signs declare, among other things, Guns and Ammo in red block letters. Terminator passes the appliance section, and the pictures on a row of TV sets distort and break-up sequentially as he walks by, returning to normal behind him. He enters the store.

Tight on glass countertop as an AR-180 Assault Rifle with scope is laid beside a number of other guns: a Colt K-Model .45 ACP, a Smith and Wesson .38 four-inch, a Beretta .225 ACP.

TERMINATOR (V.O.): ...the twelve guage Autoloader...

The clerk, who looks like a sick lizard, pallid and paunchy, takes the rifle from a wall rack. He lays it beside the arsenal of perfectly legal anti-human artillery already on the glass counter. Terminator scans expressionlessly for additional selections.

CLERK: That's Italian. You can go pump or auto.

TERMINATOR: The 45 Longslide with laser sighting.

CLERK: These are brand new. We just go 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: A phased plasma rifle in the forty watt range...

CLERK (annoyed): Hey just what you see, pal.

He indicates the display case and wall racks with a minimal gesture.

TERMINATOR: The Uzi 9 millimeter.

CLERK (setting it out): You know your weapons, buddy.

Terminator examines each in turn, working the actions with curt, precise movements.

CLERK (continuing): Any one of these is ideal for home defense. So, which will it be?


The clerk digs deep and finds a scrap of a smile.

CLERK: I may close early today. There's a fifteen day wait on the hand guns, but the rifles you can take right now.

Instead of replying, Terminator takes a box of shotgun shells from a stack on the display case. Terminator has calmly begun feeding the shells into the shotgun.

CLERK (continuing): You can't to that...

TERMINATOR (evenly): Wrong.

He raises the barrel and pulls the trigger. The gun thunders.

Tight on Kyle Reese's hands as they make the last few strokes with a hacksaw to sever the wooden stock from the riot gun. It clatters to the ground, leaving a short stump, like a pistol grip. Reese hefts the weapon. He is crouched in an underground service tunnel below a busy street.

Shadows of people walking across a grating in the sidewalk above him flicker past. They can't see him in the darkness below their feet as he checks the gun's action carefully. He slips it under his overcoat where it hangs from a jerry-rigged sling. Reese emerges from a stairwell behind a service station, his overcoat done up to the top button.

He walks through the sparse morning crowd on the cluttered, overbuilt commercial street. He is out of sync. A stranger in a strange land. He holds himself tightly reined, cautious and feral as he moves among the unconcerned pedestrians. His eyes flick rapidly about. He is seeing this Babylon for the first time. Reese stops at a hole-in-the-wall take-out stand. He watches people walk away with food. Moves closer. Scrutinizes the next man as he orders.

TAKE-OUT CUSTOMER: Gimme a falafel with yogurt dressing and, uh, Baco-bits.

The counterman hands him his food and change wordlessly as Reese steps up.

REESE: Gimme a falafel with, uh, yogurt and Baco-bits.

The counterman barely looks up as he passes the mess through the window.

COUNTERMAN: That'll be one-sixty.

He glances up and Reese is gone. He leans half out the window.

COUNTERMAN (continuing): Hey! Son-of-a-bitch.

Alley: Reese crouches in an Alley, out of sight of passersby, wolfing his food. The sauce runs down his sleeve but he doesn't notice.

Pay phone: The yellow Maverick pulls to a stop beside a pay phone. moving with Terminator, as he gets out, walks to the booth and rapidly pulls its occupant out by his greasy T-shirt, flinging him backward into the parking lot. The guy is bear-like, slab-handed, but Terminator doesn't even glance back as he steps in to take the man's place.

MAN (outraged): Hey, man...

A woman's voice, a faint reedy monologue, issues from the dangling receiver. Terminator leafs rapidly through the directory. Angle - C.U. pages flipping, Angle - macro shot, as Terminator's finger comes to rest beside a now-familiar listing: Conner, Sarah

Standard-issue L.A. suburban street with kids racing Big Wheels. A house, toy-littered lawn and mailbox. By the curb, is a child's plastic truck. There is the sound of a car engine approaching, and the front of the yellow Maverick appears, stopping at the curb. Its front tire crushes the toy. Terminator steps out of the car, pauses by the mailbox to check the name, and strides toward the house.

A young boy, playing in the driveway, watches him pass. The boy's dog, a small Terrier, growls low and mean, crouching back from Terminator. He rings the doorbell and waits, motionless. The door opens a few inches, held by a security chain, revealing a frail middle-aged woman in apron and rubber cleaning gloves.

TERMINATOR: Sarah Connor?


Terminator breaks the chain and shoves the door open. She gasps and stops in her tracks as Terminator smoothly pulls the .45 from under his jacket and snaps the cocking slide. The good-looking, intense-eyed man in the strange clothes raises the pistol and aims it at her face. It all seems unreal in that half-second before he fires.

The silence stretches for several beats. Then five more shots. Terminator, standing with the .45 aimed down at the dead woman, just out of frame on the floor. He unhurriedly removes the spent clip, reloads the weapon and replaces it under his jacket. Crouching down, he turns the woman's body over, confirming that she is dead.

Terminator walks out, without expression as neighbors flee in terror.

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