Finally seeing The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day back to back got me thinking. Not about the danger of killer robots (though that is a pretty big deal), but about the sheer quantity of unforgettable movie lines that have passed through Arnold Schwarzenegger’s thickly accented lips. Obvious examples from the Terminator movies include “I’ll be back!”, “Come with me if you want to live!”, “Hasta la vista, baby!”, and the one in the image above.
But even when he’s not an unstoppable killing machine, Arnold still has a way with words. For all his failings as an actor (and a human being), he can certainly make otherwise insignificant turns of phrase stick in your head. Coming out of any normal actor’s mouth, “Fuck you, asshole!” would smack of gratuitous vulgarity. Arnold’s unique enunciation makes it funny and convincing—here’s a man who’s visibly straining to use the English language. Whether he’s in an action movie or a bad Ivan Reitman comedy, he gives such excessive passion to his line readings.
In honor of the Governator’s superhuman quotability, I welcome you to vote for your favorite line. Or, if you have other favorites, leave them in the comments below! (Here’s a video compilation if you need ideas.)
Thanks for participating! I’ll announce the results a week from today.