SCRIPT: "TERMINATOR" by James Cameron

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Pizza Parlor: Tight on a TV screen, a news cast in progress.

ANCHORMAN (V.O.): ...police had no further comment on the apparent similarity between the shooting death of an Encino woman earlier today...

Sarah is watching the TV, which is suspended over the bar. The place is a crowded, post-movie hangout, raucous with laughter and videogames. The newscast continues, ignored by all except Sarah.

ANCHORMAN (V.O.) (continuing): ...and this almost identical killing two hours ago of a Venice resident with virtually the same name. Sarah Ann Connor, a 24 year old legal secretary, was pronounced dead at the scene in her beachfront apartment...

A customer gestures for the bartender's attention.

CUSTOMER: Hey, can we change this and catch the ball scores.

BARTENDER (reaching for the knob): Sure.

Sarah leaps half over the bar, startling everyone.

SARAH (shouting): Leave it where it is!

ANCHORMAN (V.O.): other connections between the two victims has been established. (pause) On a lighter note, these was cause for celebration at the L.A. Zoo today, as...

Sarah leaves her half-finished pizza and beer, getting up in a daze. Followed by puzzles glances, she makes her way through the crowd. In the crowded hallway by the restrooms, Sarah goes to the single payphone and seizes the directory. She flips rapidly through it, then stops, looking down. She sees that her name is next on the list. The book slips out of her fingers. Sarah turns and scans the crowd.

She's getting looks, covert and otherwise, like any unaccompanied girl on a Friday night. But is that all they mean? Sarah back into the women's restroom. Sarah stumbles numbly to the sink. She splashes her face with cold water. In the mirror her terrified reflection looks back. Why me? She hears a loud clatter and spins around. It's just a drunken woman fumbling with a toilet stall door. Sarah edges back out into the corridor. Sarah walks stiffly to the pay phone. It's out of order.

Sarah exits the pizza place into the sparse crowd on the sidewalk. As she passes a figure leaning against the wall just outside, the man turns his head to watch her. It is Reese, his gaze impassive. Streetlight catches the burn scar on his cheek. He is motionless, sinister in his long coat. Sarah shudders. She walks on, moving toward and through approaching groups of pedestrians. They seem to be glancing at her. Was it always like that and she just never noticed?

Sarah looks over her shoulder. Reese is gone. She resists the urge to run. On the opposite side of the street an LAPD cruiser glides slowly by. Sarah is about to call out but a bus blocks her view and when it had passed, the car is turning away down a side street. She passes a large window with Technoir written on it, and ducks quickly through the door.

As Reese approaches, her knuckles clench white as he reaches the entrance and walks by, unhurriedly, without a glance inside. She turns and scan the gloomy interior, which reveals itself to be less than savory. Pool tables and upper-middle lowlife in submarine depths of smoky haze. Sarah draws stares, menacing in their own right, as she weaves between the pool tables to the back of the bar. Her hands are trembling as she drops a dime in the pay phone and dials.

VOICE (V.O./RECORDED): You have reached the Los Angeles Police Department Emergency Number. All lines are busy. If you need a police car sent out to you, please stay on the line...

Sarah holds the receiver pressed to her ear, glancing around, fear feeding on frustration.

Sarah's Apartment Building: An LAPD black-and-white sits at the curb in front of Sarah's building with two cops inside, drinking coffee. Through the open window we hear the dispatcher's voice on the radio.

DISPATCHER (V.O.): ...two eleven in progress at Seven-Eleven market, Third and Tamarac. One suspect believed to be armed...

The car pulls out with lights and siren on. A moment later, Terminator rounds the corner of the building and climbs the stairs to the entryway. He surveys the bank of call buttons, then turns to consider the barred security gate. Inside the apartment, Ginger ties her terry-cloth robe and, leaving Matt in a dead sleep, pads through the dark apartment.

Down the hall, past the phone with Traxler's message. Through the dark living room. She has her Walkman in the pocket of her robe and bops to herself in the silent gloom as she enters the kitchen. When she opens the refrigerator to remove snack fixings, the light briefly illuminates the kitchen and in that moment, something moves in the foreground.

Ginger backs toward the counter with her arms full of snack stuff. A sudden crash. A flurry of motion behind her. She spins, dropping half her load. Ginger fumbles for the lightswitch. Revealing Pugsley, sitting there blinking innocently among overturned spice bottles on the counter-top.

GINGER: Shoo. Go on. I'll make a belt out of you.

Pugsley disappears into a large fern by the window and Ginger sets about her task, slathering crunchy peanut butter on stalks of celery.

Rustling curtains play patterns of streetlight over Matt's sleeping face. The sound of a faint breeze. The balcony, empty. The sliding door is open. Matt's eyes open at the sound of a quiet, repeated clicking. A five-inch blade of an industrial razor-knife reaches full extension in Terminator's hand, right above Matt. It slashes viciously downward, Matt rolls and the pillow is slit open where his throat had been.

MATT: Whoah!

Terminator catches him by the hair and slashed down again. Matt grabs the wrist in both hands. The enormous muscles of his arms, which seem capable of bench pressing a Chrysler, strain and knot against the pressure of the killer's single arm... And still the blade moves closer to his throat. With a final heave Matt deflects the down-pressure sideways and the blade snaps with a clink against the headboard.

Matt rolls off the bed, spins and slams his fists together into Terminator's temple. He picks up a brass deco lamp and brings it down with piledriver force. Unperturbed, Terminator knocks the lamp away and hurls Matt over the bed. Matt crashes through the glass doors and slams against the balcony railing. In the kitchen oblivious to the noise, Ginger croons in rock-and-roll ecstasy, singing to a celery stalk as if it were a microphone.

Back to the bedroom, Matt heaves himself up, powerful body gleaming with sweat and hurls himself upon the intruder. The titans crash into a dresser, reducing it to kindling. Then into the closet door, exploding the full-length mirror. Terminator places one hand on either side of Matt's barrel chest. Sinks his finger into the flesh. An inhuman grip. Matt is raised off the floor, contorted with agony, above the other's head.

In the hallway, Ginger returns from the kitchen with a plate full of celery stalks and a glass of milk. Ginger pauses to set the plate on top of the glass, freeing one hand to open the door. An explosion of splinters as a shape smashes through the door right in front of her . . . Matt's body propelled halfway through the door by enormous force. Ginger shrieks and leaps back, flinging milk and all into the air.

The door begins to open the pressure of Matt's body creates resistance. Ginger screams and backs away. The door is wrenched open and Terminator steps through with the massive .45 drawn. HANDHELD WITH GINGER, the walls blur by as she runs. TIGHT ON TERMINATOR as the pistol RISES INTO FRAME, aligning with his eyes.

BOOM! LOW FAST DOLLY WITH GINGER as the bullet punches into her shoulder, pitching her on her face outside the bathroom door. LOW WIDE ANGLE as she crawls forward, gasping, drowning. The implacable figure looms behind her. Her expression is agony and reeling, nauseating terror. And incomprehension: Why am I suddenly dying? Her eyes roll, showing the whites, like a horse tethered in a burning stable.

CUT TO BATHROOM: Ginger scrabbles pathetically for a grip on the tile floor as she pulls herself into the bathroom. She clutches the rim of the toilet.

LOW ANGLE PAST HER, ON TERMINATOR, as he stands behind her. PAN UP, off her. He takes aim. And empties the clip. He calmly reloads.

CUT TO HALLWAY/BEDROOM: CLOSE ON PHONE MACHINE, as the telephone rings loudly in the ensuing silence. Terminator spins, drawing an instantaneous bead on the source of the sound, but doesn't fire.

GINGER'S VOICE (recorded) Hi there. (pause) Ha ha ha, fooled you. You're talking to a machine...

C.U. - TERMINATOR, motionless, listening.

GINGER'S VOICE (recorded, continuing) ...but don't be shy, it's okay. Machines need love too...

Terminator turns abruptly back to Ginger's body. He turns it over, assuring himself that she is dead.

GINGER'S VOICE (continuing, recorded): talk to it and Ginger, that's me, or Sarah will get back to you. Wait for the beep.

There is a loud tone and the incoming call is heard.

SARAH'S VOICE (on machine): Ginger, this is Sarah...

Terminator's head snaps back and he freezes, listening. He rises slowly as Sarah's voice continues. TIGHT ON HIS UNBLINKING EYES.

SARAH'S VOICE (on machine, continuing): ...I'm in this sleazy bar called Technoir on Pico but I'm too scared to leave. I'm really scared, kiddo...

CUT TO Technoir BAR - NIGHT: Sarah cups the telephone's mouthpiece with her hand and glances around frequently.

SARAH (continuing, into phone): ...I think somebody's after me and I sure hope you play this soon 'cause I need you and Matt to come pick me up. The police keep transferring me around, but I'm going to try them again.


SARAH (continuing, B.G.): The number here is 468-9175. Call me, kiddo. I need you. It's Technoir on Pico. Bye.

Terminator is rapidly and methodically rifling the contents of Sarah's small desk. Siren's wail, approaching. He picks up a small card. It is Sarah's college I.D. card, complete with color photo of her. Terminator's eyes, as he tosses the card down, after a fraction of a second's scan. Picks up something else. Sarah's address book, Terminator pockets this and slips out the balcony door. Climbing over the railing, he is gone.

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