SCRIPT: "TERMINATOR" by James Cameron


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Motel Room, later: Sarah and Reese in each other's arms. Lying across his chest, she surveys his face as his eyes close drowsily. Sarah's hand moves out of frame. After a moment Reese looks down, puzzled.

REESE: What are you doing?

SARAH(continuing doggedly): It's called tickling. In one more second, you'll be begging for mercy.

Reese seems unperturbed. Finally he begins to squirm.

REESE: I don't think I like this very much.

SARAH: You're not supposed to.

Now Reese is becoming desperate. A grimace spreads across his face. It becomes a grin. Then he's laughing, trying to escape but she won't let him, and they collapse, laughing together. Sarah gazes at his grin, a glimpse of the Reese that might have been, in another life.


Late, and in joking fashion, Sarah feins throwing a bag at Kyle.

SARAH: Think fast!

Kyle grins, approaching her. A moment later the grin vanishes at the sound of dogs barking outside. Reese is off the bed in an instant, crouched tense, eyes alert. Feral as ever.


The German Shepherd, barking furiously, lunges foward repeatedly, at the end of a chain. A dark figure moves by in the F.G., out of the dog's reach. The digitized view is image-intensified, bright and stark as a lunar landscape. The lunging dog is near the row of rooms facing the parking lot. We approach the doors.

The barrel of the AR-180 is visible at the bottom of frame. The nearest vehicle parked in front is a large pickup truck with two dirt bikes lashed in the bed, seen prominently as we pass. The POV approaches a door. Number 14. The door is kicked open. Moving inside. The assault rifle sprays the room, exploding the indistinct forms on the bed. Staccato glare. Approaching the bed.

Nothing there put the shredded remain of sheets and pillows. The POV shifts to the back door, which is ajar, and moves toward it. Through the door. Revealing an empty yard. Reese is under the dash, playing with the wires. Sarah lies on the seat, clutching the nylon satchel, which bulges with the explosive charges. She has dressed hastily and is barefoot.

REESE: Light it now.

Sarah has been holding a Bic lighter near the tip of a fuse. She thumbs the flame on. The fuse catches as Reese twists the wires and the engine starts to turn over.


Terminator spins at the sound of the truck engine catching. He runs the length of the suite, stops outside the front door. Whips the AR to his shoulder. The truck is backing wildly across the lot Terminator turns, looking as a sizzling sound becomes audible. Pipe charge, lying just inside the door, in the shadows. The fuse is burning. Terminator takes two leaping strides forward and the charge explodes.

The front of the building is blown to kindling. Terminator is flung forward by the blast. The truck shoots out of the parking lot and tears down the street. Terminator lies face down, motionless as the debris from the blast settles. A young guy on a Honda 750 crosses the parking lot and stops near him, running forward. Terminator starts to get up, moving slowly.

RIDER (crouching beside him): Don't try to move, buddy.

Terminator shoves the cyclist aside and approaches the bike, which is still running. Digitized POV, approaching the cycle. The image reduces to graphic outlines, with separate systems color-coded. It breaks down suddenly into individual side, top, and pan views. All in less than four seconds. On the freeway, Reese slides the truck into an on-ramp and guns in onto the freeway, burying the throttle.

Traffic is light...a few 18-wheelers. The truck tops out at 110 and he holds it. They flicker rapidly through pools of light and shadow. The pickup truck hurtles forward. An interchange flashes by in an instant. Pacing with the truck, looking back as a single headlight arcs radically across all lanes behind them and grows brighter, closing.


Terminator on the bike. He is tucked, getting as much speed as possible out of the 750. He unslings the assault rifle. Raises it against the windstream in a one-handed pistol grip. In the truck, Reese motions Sarah to keep her head down. He pulls the Colt Python from his coat pocket. Steering with his elbows, he checks the load. Snaps the cylinder shut.

Glances in the rear mirror. Turns the wheel. Behind them, Terminator closes on the pickup. The truck swerves suddenly, diving around a tractor-trailer. Terminator leans hard to follow. The pickup and Terminator swerve at high speed. Reese uses the slow semis as static obstacles. He misses them by inches, Tires squealing.

Through the front window Sarah sees the back of a semi-trailer hurtles toward them, straight ahead. Reese feints rightIGHT and then skids left. He slides toward the trailer in a four-wheel drift as Terminator commits to the right. Terminator, over the barrel of the AR, as he fires. Passing truck-trailer, bullets strafe across it as the pickup vanishes behind.

Terminator skids the bike, barely missing an abutment, and is forced onto an off-ramp. Terminator roars down the off-ramp without slowing. Runs the red light at the bottom at a hundred miles an hour. Climbs the on-ramp. In the truck, Sarah is buffeted as Reese fights to control the skidding truck. Terminator appears, converging rapidly as the on-ramp joins the freeway.

REESE: Switch places with me.

She slides over him while he keeps the hammer down. On the freeway, Reese is out the window to the waist, aiming double-handed. He fires. Once. Twice. Again. They enter an interchange. Ahead lies a long, sweeping curve, two lanes wide and elevated. Terminator rocks back from a round between the eyes that bares metal, the fires.

Bullets rake the pickup. The windows are blown out. The side mirror explodes. Reese is hit. Drops the .357. Sarah screams and weaves, barely in control. Sarah reaches across and pulls Reese's limp body back inside. He slumps on the seat, moaning. Stunned.

SARAH: Kyle...oh God...

He has a bullet in the chest. Another has broken his arm. Sarah feels all hope recede.

CUT TO FREEWAY - NIGHT: Terminator crosses behind the truck, coming up on Sarah's side. He FIRES. Sarah shrieks as the doorpost next to her head CLANGS WITH HITS. The short burst EMPTIES THE GUN. It CLATTERS TO THE PAVEMENT a moment later, discarded. Terminator draws the .38. Takes aim.

Sarah SCREAMS. HITS THE BREAKS HARD. CRANKS THE WHEEL. GLASS behind her EXPLODES with gunfire. SWERVING VICIOUSLY the truck SLAMS THE BIKE, sending it FLYING INTO A GUARDRAIL. Terminator goes over the handle bars at a hundred miles per hour.


Sarah fights the wheel, losing control of the slewing pickup. Terminator hits the pavement, tumbling, rolling, sliding with a chattering screech and spraying sheets of sparks as flesh strips away and steel screams on concrete. The pickup swaps ends violently, smashing into the guardrail. Terminator hits the guardrail, bounces up, tumbles along the top and then pitches out into space.

Terminator smashes to the pavement in the middle lane and lies there, face-down. Still. Sarah is slammed hard as the truck grinds to a stop against the guardrail. She checks Kyle. He is barely conscious. Sarah heaves open the door. Runs to the guardrail. Looks down. After a long moment Terminator slowly rolls over and sits up. He rises, a mass of blood. Clothing and skin in tatters. Headlights flare behind him and an airhorn blares.

A double-trailer Kenworth gasoline tanker smashes him down and under with a metallic crash. Under the tanker, Terminator rolls, clattering, and the mass blurs above him. He ricochets between the pavement and the speeding undercarriage until a stray bounce flings him up into the rear suspension. At the guard railing, Sarah looking down, she raises one fist into the air triumphantly.

SARAH: Alriiight!

In the tanker cab, the stunned driver hits the brakes. His partner grabs his arm.

PARTNER: Don't stop.

They lock eyes for a moment.

DRIVER: I have to, man.

CUT TO FREEWAY/TANKER: ANGLE UNDER THE REAR TRAILER Terminator clings with inhuman strength to the rear suspen- sion. The pavement blurs by beneath him. The air brakes howl.

CUT TO FREEWAY OVERPASS - NIGHT: Sarah watches the truck roll on without leaving a body in its wake. She feels a premonitory dread.

CUT TO FREEWAY/TANKER - NIGHT: Beneath the braking semi, Terminator CRAWLS UPSIDE DOWN, hand over hand like a HUMAN FLY, toward CAMERA. The left eye GLOWS LIKE A COAL in the dark. As the pavement stops beneath him he drops off and rolls out from under the truck.


Tanker cab: The driver looks around in astonishment as his door is ripped open. Terminator appears. A grisly apparition. He flings the driver out and takes his place behind the wheel. Ignoring the terrified partner, he examines the controls.


From Terminator's POV, in digitized cyborg-vision we see an abstract of the instruments. The shift lever is extended graphically down into a three-dimensional schematic of the transmission. Analytical data prints out rapid-fire. On the freeway from the railing, Sarah sees the tanker below as a body falls beside it, rolling.

The truck swings in a slow arc, tearing through the dividing fence. He heads back toward her on the wrong side of the freeway. She stares in numb horror. The nightmare refuses to end. She runs to the crippled pickup and sees a front tire flat, shredded by a crumpled fender. She searches the cab frantically for the keys to the motorcycles.

Finds them above the sun visor. Sarah leaps into the bed of the pickup and attacks the motorcycle strap-downs frantically. Panting with terror she rolls the bike off the truck. It crashes on its side and she falls on it painfully. Straining until she cries out involuntarily, she lifts it upright. Kicks the engine over.

The tanker crashes back through the divider and starts up the overpass. Sarah is trapped in that concrete corridor. She kicks for her life. The bike catches for a moment. Dies. The truck bellows, down-shifting on the curving grade. Sarah kicks again and again, crying out with each stroke. Again and again, furiously. The engine catches.

SARAH (rapidly): Come on, come on, come on ...run, you...

The bike runs with a healthy roar. From the face of the tractor-trailer, the retaining wall blurring by. Terminator's red eye can be seen through the windshield. Sarah drags Reese, stumbling,to the bike, props him on the seat behind her. He clutches the satchel weakly.

SARAH: Hold on real tight, okay?

She guns the engine and roars off. The tanker demolishes the pickup, a moment later, tossing it over the side like a beer can. Sarah hits level freeway with a quarter-mile lead on the tanker, but the little bike is overloaded and she can't coax it above seventy-five. The tanker roaring forward, shifting up through the gears. Kyle, his head lolling on her shoulder. He starts to fall sideways.

SARAH (shouting): Hold on, goddamnit!

He rouses slightly, gripping her tighter. Sarah starts to zigzag desperately across all four lanes. The truck stays with her, closing, its trailer whiplashing violently. The truck is right behind them as then enter a tunnel. A half-mile of exitless concrete and strobing fluorescent lights. Kyle blinks and looks back at a solid wall of metal and lights looming behind them. Sarah hunches down. They hit eighty.

The leviathan dwarfs them, its big tires roaring like the hubs of Hell. The tanker is twenty feet behind them as they clear the tunnel. Sarah dodges to one side and locks the brakes. The bike slides, fish-tailing. The truck roars past, hitting the air-brakes. The trailer forces her closer and closer to the guardrail as Terminator tries to sandwich her. The bike slides to a stop.

The rearmost set of trailer wheels slams into the guardrail right in front of Sarah. Sarah emerges from a cloud of tire smoke, cutting across all four lances behind the stopped semi. Sarah tries to ride down the steep embankment but loses control, spilling the bike. She and Kyle tumble down the slope. She scrambles, half-dragging Kyle, through a row of trees at a chainlink retaining fence.

She crawls under the fence, tugs Kyle and the satchel through after. Sarah looks up at the source of a sudden thunderous roar. The tanker appears above them, grinding over the embankment. It rolls down the steep slope, flattening trees. Sarah and Kyle scramble up and run across the storage lot of a modern factory comples of low buildings. Kyle struggles to keep up, holding the satchel.




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