Moviegeek5: 1980s Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is known for more than his impressive bodybuilder body and thick Austrian accent. The actor with the almost unpronounceable surname is also know as one of the greatest action stars ever and despite turning 70 years old recently he is still going strong! From a small town in Austria, Schwarzenegger first made fame as a bodybuilder, winning five Mr. Universe titles and seven Mr. Olympia titles before catching the acting bug. From his break-through as James Cameron’s Terminator model T-800 in 1984 to comedy Twins and buddy cop movie Red Heat in 1988, the 1980s was a big decade for the Austrian Oak, who quickly became a household name and one of the very top persons to put on your movie poster if you wanted to sell tickets to an action movie. We have selected five of his movies from the 1980s to celebrate his 70th birthday this year.


The Terminator (1984)

After all these years the Terminator still remains Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ultimate signature role! It is not just because he has reprised the role several times but because it is such a great and iconic one. The part as a cyborg turned out to be perfect for the Austrian’s accent, which only enhanced the stiffness in his language making it more robot-like. With Arnold’s towering posture and intimidating physique, his killing cyborg was a creature of nightmares and the collaboration between him and director James Cameron turned out to be a match made in heaven with mutual respect and one they returned to with Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), True Lies (1994), and a confirmed future Terminator movie.

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Commando (1985)

This 1985 action spectacle saw Arnold Schwarzenegger as seriously pissed off retired Special Forces Colonel John Matrix, blowing his way through bad guys to rescue his kidnapped daughter (a very young Alyssa Milano). With a simple story line (ex something cool gets a reason for vengeance, seeks it and gets it) and a tough looking Arnie firing huge weapons with his bulking arms, this was a perfect match for the action fans of the 1980s and was well received by both critics and the audience. Even though today’s audience may sigh at some of the obvious special effects mistakes, the movie is still pure entertainment!


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Predator (1987)

Together with Terminator this is probably the most popular Arnold Schwarzengger vehicle from the decade and a genuine action sci-fi classic. Arnie was first choice for the role as Dutch, the leader of an elite special forces team on a mission to rescue hostages from guerrilla territory in Central America. As we all know, they find something completely different. The movie is loved and renowned for its well-working special effects and the intense battle between Dutch and the alien and can best be described as an alien-hunting testosterone-fest.


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Twins (1988)

With Ivan Reitman’s romantic comedy Twins, Shwarzenegger showed he can do more than action movies. Opposite Danny DeVito he starred as one half of perhaps the most unlikely twins in history. The goofy movie has plenty of charms and showed a softer side to the Austrian actor than previously seen, but somehow he managed to play the kind-hearted Julius as convincingly as a special force officer. The movie was a huge success and in 2012 the development of a sequel was confirmed.


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Red Heat (1988)

The buddy cop action film Red Heat saw Schwarzenegger teaming up with comedian James Belushi. With the tagline: “Moscow’s toughest detective. Chicago’s craziest cop. There’s only one thing more dangerous than making them mad: making them partners”, the movie is almost explained. Though one of the lesser known movies on the list, it is a movie that shows a strong performance from the Austrian oak where his accent once again is put to good use. The difference between schwarzenegger and Belsuhi gives a good balance in a movie that can easily be recommended to fans of 1980s action movies.


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