The Terminator

The Terminator (1984)

11 suggested corrections

(17 votes)

The Terminator mistake picture

Revealing mistake: At the end of the film just before the tanker truck explodes you can clearly see the tow rope pulling the tanker forward. (01:29:00)

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Suggested correction: I thought it was some tow-rope too at first, but it appears just to be a piece of metal stuck into the bumper. You can see the piece of metal sticking out of the truck right after it crashed into the blue car. In that shot, you see just the piece sticking out and it's not attached to anything. Plus, in the next shot of the piece of metal, you can see it's not attached to any part of the truck that would allow it to be towed from.

Bishop73

The Terminator mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the Terminator enters the police department and he bends over to say "I'll be back" you can see through his shades and he has both of his eyes, despite cutting one out in an earlier scene. (00:59:35)

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Suggested correction: I have literally just watched this scene, you can't see his eyes at all. Even with the brightness turned right up. You can see the outline of his eye sockets but no eyes. Yes, we should be able to see the red of the missing eye, but we don't know if the Terminator has the ability to turn this on or off at will. With the technology available at the time of the films release, one definitely wouldn't have been able to tell any difference.

Revealing mistake: When the Terminator invades the police precinct to kill Sarah, there is a part where he shoots a cop in the butt with his shotgun (right before he short circuits the building's wires). If you pay attention, the cop is smiling and giggling as he takes cover - before he is blasted. (01:00:45)

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Suggested correction: He's definitely not giggling and I wouldn't call it a smile. Maybe he's grimacing, but I seen him just wincing at the situation he's in. At best you could say he's a bad actor, but poor acting isn't a valid movie mistake that I know of.

Bishop73

The Terminator mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When Schwarzenegger rises to his feet after getting blasted out the window, a production vehicle and a couple of huge stage lights behind him are visible. (00:36:50)

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Suggested correction: No production vehicle is visible and that definitely is not a stage light.

There is a stage light top right corner of the screen behind a black square light blocker.

The Terminator mistake picture

Revealing mistake: In the scene were Kyle and Sarah are speeding away from Arnold in the truck, Arnold starts shooting the truck with Kyle driving. When Sarah and Kyle decide to switch (passenger, driver), the camera shows them switching but there is a stuntman in place of Kyle. If not he has gained some weight in the cheeks and grown a big mustache during the course of 2 seconds. (01:24:30)

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Suggested correction: This scene don't have cuts. In this moment, a shadow covers the face of Reese, causing confusion, but still be Michael.

Other mistake: Why does the Terminator have a HUD (Head-up-Display) or a GUI (Graphical User Interface)? This is a stupid mistake in many movies with cyborgs or androids. A machine itself does not need a HUD. A HUD is an interface for humans to help us interact with machines. A machine does not need a graphical interface to interact with itself. A machine can interpret the reality around internally using machine code within its CPU using zeros and ones. There is no need to project a HUD in the eyes of the terminator. (of course it looks cool and the viewer gets the information that the Terminator is a machine, but in reality it would be - let's say - a stupid redundancy to build in a monitor into a camera).

Goekhan

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Suggested correction: The terminators are AI, since AI doesn't exist for real yet (not on that level) you don't know what it needs or how its supposed to function. Since these terminators are supposed to look and act like humans as they are infiltration units Skynet has build them to operate like humans as well. To help with thinking and acting like a human Skynet has build in a HUD in the optics so it will keep its focus on the visuals and not switch to internal sensors and computing when acting out it role as a human, that would look unnatural. With your logic its stupid for the terminator to put on sunglasses too, but it does anyway because it thinks like a human.

lionhead

Gotta disagree - the sunglasses are it trying to fit in/cover damage, not "think like a human." All "thinking" can be done internally. It's like saying modern smartphones need stats displayed on the inside of the screen which we can't see - there's zero need for them, because in order to display that information, the information has to exist in the machine already. And if it already exists, the machine already has access to it, without then displaying it on something else.

Jon Sandys Premium member

But it's not a smartphone. It's an AI, an AI built to be as human as possible. Whatever is operating its brain has external sensors and possibly an external computer telling it new data (like for example date, target location, primary objectives) which isn't directly part of its own brain. You can see that in the third movie when the Terminatrix gets confirmation about identifying its primary target, and it gets excited from it. The data it receives is coming from somewhere else and the terminator is reading from it, receiving it through an interface in the eyes. Probably in the future they have a direct link to Skynet telling them what to do and when they go to the past that link with Skynet is turned into a computer database with an interface for the terminator to communicate with.

lionhead

And how does this Skynet-upload to the terminators make the terminators more human if these information are displayed in a HUD? I am human too and never received any information into my eye as a projection (not without computers or Google glass or something like that). You are talking about simple data transfer, no need for a HUD and especially not to make the terminator more human (cause we humans do not have natural born HUDs in our eyes or brains). You are mixing up two things which really don't belong together. I was talking about recognition of environmental data in the first place and data processing of these. Still I don't see any need to HUD these information. We humans do not have HUD and are 100% humans. Your logic "HUD to become human" doesn't make any sense with or without a skynet data link.

Goekhan

It's not a simple little robot that uses sensors and act on them with a simple binary CPU, its an AI. It has optics, like I said it receives information and its displayed in the optics so it would not be distracted from acting human, turning inside itself to process it. You can give bad examples about us not having HUDs all you want but we get all outside information from our sense, 4 of them located in the head. We turn our attention to those senses when new information arrives. The Terminators get information input the same way, through the optics. They are build like a human. It can hear sound through its ears and smell from its nose. It sees with its optics, new information displayed upon them. What's so hard about that?

lionhead

Because we don't have HUDs to display all that info, and we work just fine as human. All the information is dumped directly into our brains. The Terminators would work likewise - there's literally no need to have a visual interface - it's a pointless middleman between the sensors and the processor which only exists because it looks good on film.

Jon Sandys Premium member

I see where youre going with this and I would theoretically agree if (and that's the big if) the HUD-Display would be an extra device which the Terminator puts on his head. I agree if the human-emulation-part would be mostly human and the HUD part would be a standalone extra. Problem is they put both into one machine. Which means the whole construction is not a human emulation device with the aim "developing by mimicry humans." If so then the terminator-race isn't doing well by puting non-human things into their human-emulation-machines.

Goekhan

It's just way the machine is put together. There could be many reasons for the machine to have a HUD, like power efficiency or even they were forced to do it this way since the CPU it needs was too large to fit in the skull. Instead of directly interfaced it reads external inputs through the HUD in its optics. Not because it wants to, but because it has to. Might not seem all that logical and efficient, but I'm saying there can be a reason for it. Even information concerning itself is done this way because it can't connect with itself directly. Programs, software tell it what is going on. If my computer would have optics and the ability to read its quite handy when it needs to read off other machines and programs, ones that are not necessarily connected to it. It would seem the terminator brain, the CPU, the AI, is separated from the robotic body. The only thing connecting it with the rest of the body is the optics, giving it information.

lionhead

Power efficiency? Putting information which came from "the eye" in the CPU and then back again into the CPU would cost double power and CPU size, cause you are doing anything two times. You are jumping now from "HUD for being human" to other translucent arguments. And your computer could have optics and read off other machines yes but it could do that without HUD. You only need a webcam and OCR. Reading data directly from inside other machines yes we call that bluetooth. However in none of these there is an extra machine outside the machine for the machine. It is always integrated into the machine and processing is internal.

Goekhan

Its all assumptions versus assumptions. I never said the HUD was there for the machine to "be more human", I said it was there because the terminator needs to keep its focus through the eyes to prevent it going internal whenever there is outside information. This all assuming the CPU in the brain isn't connected directly to the rest of the body, because of capacity and power issues. Again, all assumptions but what do you expect from sci-fi? Is it a mistake in the movie? Hardly.

lionhead

Suggested Idea: Firstly, I agree that if the terminator type CPU operates as a binary machine (such as a laptop or smartphone) all internal communication would be in 1's and 0's. Even our current computers, which may output hex code to dump files is for the benefit and 'readability' of humans. However, a theory: I believe the HUD on the Terminator may be some kind of 'diagnostic' feature which was built in to the original machines which were first developed by humans. I may be over thinking this (it is just a movie) however if you look at some remote operated drones and such, information is provided on a HUD for the benefit of human operators (in an areal drone, this may be altitude, heading, speed etc). My theory would be that perhaps this 'diagnostic' is an integral part of the CPU and Skynet did not want to 'risk' disrupting processes by restructuring the processor architecture (these must be built in very sophisticated factories, assumed to have remained from before the war due to the complexity of them). If I were a super efficient AI - personally I would see a huge advantage in removing it (think Windows - how much processing power and effort goes into 'pointless' graphics for the benefit of the user, such as the animations when you copy a file). Your modern computer has processor cycles to spare, but in the terminators I would guess these would be less so - hence the assumptions that it is less risk rather than just Skynet just 'never got around to it'.

This can be one of the reasons why the terminator has a HUD. One of the most plausible I'd say. Skynet build these terminators fast, not sophisticated, eventually they are all based off a human used robot as displayed in T3. All they did was improve its combat capabilities and human mimicking.

lionhead

Continuity mistake: When Sarah is sitting in the bar after talking with the police, there is a drink in a glass on the table in front of her. The scene cuts away and when it cuts back, it is a small bottle, not a drink glass. (00:33:45)

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Suggested correction: When she sits down, there's two empty mugs and two bottles, but she doesn't have her own drink. The scene cuts to the Terminator coming in, and then we see her with her drink (a bottle and the glass). But enough time for someone to bring it to her.

Bishop73

Plot hole: When Sarah is at the police station, the chief tells her something like, "Your mother will be here in a little over an hour." Meaning she is already on her way there. The Terminator reads the address book to find out Sarah's mother is at Big Bear. At the hotel, Sarah is talking to her "mother" (the Terminator). If her mother was on her way to the police station, why is she still at the cabin?

chrisco125

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Suggested correction: Big Bear Lake is actually just "a little over an hour" from Los Angeles (up to two hours at most). Sarah spoke to her mother on the phone at the motel, the day after the police station shootout. Keep in mind, all three of them are being hunted by law enforcement as armed fugitives who killed a bunch of police officers. It's possible it could have been longer. After they escape the police station in the subcompact car, they drive for hours until they run out of gas and push the car off the side of the road, find a drainage tunnel and talk about the future. Sarah has "her future dream" and she and Reese wake up in the morning. The next day, they then have to hitchhike back to Los Angeles to get supplies (If you watch the deleted scenes and read the script, Sarah decided the only way to stop the T-800 was to build bombs and blow up Cyber Dynamics, the predecessor to Cyberdyne Systems). Assuming Sarah's mother arrived at the police station after the shootout, with hundreds of police around and finds out her daughter is involved, she was questioned for hours and then went home. Which is the best thing she could do is wait for her at home for Sarah to call since pagers and cell phones are not readily available or affordable for most people in 1984. Regardless, Sarah didn't call her mother's cabin from the Tiki Motel until the next evening, at the very least.

Revealing mistake: In the scene where the tanker explodes, we see the cabin of the truck getting blown up. Then in the next shot, we see no flames have even reached the cabin, and it explodes again, this time with flames.

keiko

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Suggested correction: This is one of those incidences where they intentionally show the scene multiple times. We in fact watch the semi blow up three times.

Bishop73

Continuity mistake: When Reese and later the Terminator go through the phone book to locate Sarah Connor, the second Sarah is listed as Sarah Ann Connor. Later, when Traxler and Vukovich are discussing the death of the second Sarah, Traxler reads the name on the police file as Sarah Louise Connor.

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Suggested correction: A similar mistake was already corrected. When Vukovich says "girl number 2", he says she was killed earlier this afternoon, not that she was the 2nd victim. Sarah Louise Connor was shot first.

Bishop73

While Sarah is having pizza in a pizza place, the reporter confirms that "2 hours earlier" Sarah Ann Connor was the second victim.

Continuity mistake: As Kyle and Sarah hijack the black pick-up truck, the bandage on Kyle's hand is missing.

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Suggested correction: No, the bandage is still on his right hand the whole time. There's a few moments you can see it when he's pulling the man out of the truck. There's no camera cut when he starts to back up and you can see a little bit of the white bandage. But with the shadow and the way he's holding his hand, it could look like it's not there.

Bishop73

Audio problem: When the Terminator breaks into the police station, he has an auto-shotgun in his left hand, and a machine gun in his right. Before he kills the power in the building, he comes to the end of a hall, points his shotgun through a doorway, and shoots. A machine gun sound is used for the blast, instead of a shotgun sound. (01:00:28)

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Trivia: At the beginning of the film, Sarah listens to an answering machine recording of her boyfriend cancelling a date. The voice on the answering machine belongs to James Cameron.

Deidra Goins

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Question: How exactly do both the Terminator and Kyle find addresses? We are led to believe that is the reason for the phone books, but none of the addresses in the phone books match up to the addresses where either the first Sarah is killed, nor the apartment of our Sarah.

Answer: My two cents: The T-800 Terminator does indeed, rip out the page of a phonebook for the address, but remember, he was looking for any and all Sarah Connors, not a specific address. He did not know which Sarah would give birth to John Connor, so by process of elimination he began terminating any woman with the name Sarah Connor. He did plug the first Sarah Connor (a housewife), then went to kill the other Sarah Connors in the phone book.

Scott215

Answer: Kyle we are shown uses a police computer to find the addresses. The T800 just uses the phonebook as you mentioned. He rips the page out and takes it with him.

Ssiscool Premium member

Except 2 of the addresses in the phone book don't match. So how does the Terminator find them using the phonebook?

Bishop73

The Terminator is just blindly killing everyone in the phone book whose name is Sarah Connor (apparently a common name). Process of elimination. So, the day he arrives, unrelated women named Sarah Connor start dropping like flies, and the police believe it's the work of a serial killer. Our heroine Sarah Connor barely escapes this sweeping extermination by sheer luck and Kyle's intervention.

Charles Austin Miller

You just described the plot. Were you trying to answer the question? Because the question still stands. (As it is, it's either a mistake or plot hole in the film).

Bishop73

Perhaps I'm not getting the question. What is meant by "none of the addresses in the phone books match up"? Match up to what, the murder scene addresses? I wasn't aware that the murder scene addresses were prominently displayed.

Charles Austin Miller

Exactly. The addresses seen don't match. Specifically the first Sarah Connor's house number is "14239", but in the phonebook it is listed as "1823." And the real Sarah Connor lives in an apartment but the phonebook doesn't list an apartment number.

Bishop73

Perhaps though this all doesn't matter because phone books can quickly become outdated, the phone book he found could be over a year old. Someone moves but can still be listed in the phone book with their old address. He could have gone to the addresses but found someone else living there and then asked where the previous owner might be, and he was told (or he forced them). This might be how he found all the Sarah Connors.

lionhead

Are any of the Sarah's listed as living at 1823? I've not got access to the film right now to check.

Ssiscool Premium member

The first is listed as "1823." The second is "2816." The 3rd is "309." Although after reviewing the scene and thinking about it, for "309" (which is supposedly our Sarah J Connor), the full address isn't actually seen and the apartment number could have been listed.

Bishop73

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