Top Ten Arnie Films

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Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Having previously been a bodybuilder  (an occupation for which he drew attention in the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron), Austrian actor Arnold Schwarzenegger always yearned to move into the acting industry. Following his seventies screen debut (Hercules in New York), bit parts followed in the lead up to his starring role in smash-hit Conan the Barbarian, a swords ‘n’ sandals epic in which he played a young barbarian avenging the death of his parents at the hand of a cult. Arnie returned for sequel Conan the Destroyer in 1984.

The Terminator 
(1984)
With a thirst for action films in the 80s, Schwarzenegger’s profile was further raised by a whole array of the rollicking rides, including Raw Deal (1986), Red Heat and the action-comedy Twins (both 1988). However, none of these roles would have been offered to him had he not taken what many deem to be his signature role: The Terminator. In James Cameron’s sci-fi classic, Arnie played a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor in order to prevent the birth of an oncoming human saviour. Uttering the line ‘I’ll be back’ worked quite well for Schwarzenegger too.

Commando
(1985)
A critical and commercial success, in Commando, Schwarzenegger plays a retired elite Black Ops Commando who launches a one-man war against a group of criminals who abduct his daughter in order to get him to get an exiled dictator back into power. Writer Jeph Loeb (producer of television sensation LOST) revealed that first in line for the role was Kiss front man Gene Simmons, but Arnie embraces the role by playing Colonel Matrix with a fervour unlike any other.

Predator (1987)
John McTiernan’s beloved sci-fi action horror follows an elite special forces team, led by Arnie’s Dutch, on a mission to rescue hostages from guerrilla territory in Central America. They soon become aware that they are being hunted by a technologically advanced extra-terrestrial who dispatches them one by one (naturally). Despite receiving negative press at its time of release, Predator has endured as something of a cult; two sequels and two crossover films have since been produced, with Arnie involved in none of them. A reboot at the hands of Iron Man 3 director Shane Black has just been greenlit.

Total Recall
(1990)
Apparently one of the most expensive films made at the time of release, Total Recall is a futuristic sci-fi which many Arnie fans hold dear to their hearts; when Douglas Quaid goes on a virtual vacation to Mars, an unexpectedly harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real – only is it real? Famed for his many one-liners across his back catalogue, this mind-bender features the brilliantly-delivered line of dialogue: ‘Consider dat a divorce’ as he shoots his double-crossing wife (played by Sharon Stone).

Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Ivan Reitman’s comedy thriller stars Schwarzenegger as John Kimble, a touch police detective who must go undercover as a kindergarten teacher to catch a drug dealer. Beating out the likes of Bill Murray, Patrick Swayze and his Twins co-star Danny DeVito to the role, the film has endured as a slice of fun action to watch with all the family – something Arnie achieved with Last Action Hero (1993), Junior (1994) and Christmas staple Jingle All the Way (1996).

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
James Cameron’s sci-fi sequel follows Sarah Connor and her son John hunted by a more advanced and ever-deadlier terminator – this time Robert Patrick’s memorable villain T-1000. In a contrast to the previous film, Schwarzenegger here plays a good incarnation of the Terminator, this time sent to protect the Connors – so essentially playing a machine with a heart, and in the process showcasing his range of acting abilities.



True Lies (1994)
An extended remake of French film La Totale!, True Lies SAW Arnie re-team with his Terminator director James Cameron in an action which sees his lead character Harry Tasker leading a double life performing covert missions for the US government under a counter-terrorism task force unbeknownst to his wife Jamie Lee Curtis and daughter Dana. This was the first film with a production budget of over £100m.

The 6
th Day (2000)
This underrated Arnie action film follows family man Adam Gibson who is cloned without his knowledge or consent. Set in a futuristic world (the year 2015, would you believe…), Roger Spottiswoode’s film gives Schwarzenegger plenty of well-choreographed scenes to chew in, and zippy one-liners to throw the audience’s way.

Sabotage
(2014)
Sabotage marks not only Arnold Schwarzenegger’s long-awaited return to his action roots- for director David Ayer’s action thriller, Schwarzenegger allows Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Terrence Howard and Josh Holloway to join him as they go after a mysterious assassin who is trying to get rid of them one by one. With an awesome team like that, the movie easily keeps action lovers excited and on the edge of their seats.

Sabotage is released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 15th 2014 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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