Gale Ann Hurd shares and discusses deleted scene from The Terminator

The Terminator
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The producer of the 1984 science fiction classic recalls why a forward-thinking scene from the movie was ultimately cut. 

There aren’t many better one-two punches in Hollywood filmmaking than 1984’s The Terminator and its blockbuster younger brother, 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day. As the Film Stories podcast recently explored, the first film wasn’t originally conceived with a sequel in mind but nonetheless, the two films stand together as a testament to filmmaking ingenuity, creativity and hard work.

Gale Ann Hurd was the producer of The Terminator and recently took to social media to highlight a deleted scene that was removed from the final cut of the film. It’s an interesting scene too, showing two employees from Cyberdyne Systems discovering a computer chip and cyborg arm, a moment that would lead to a key plot point in the film’s sequel.

So why wasn’t this moment kept in the original film? Well, according to Hurd, it’s because the acting wasn’t up to scratch. Why? Because the men featured in the scene weren’t actors. Says Hurd:

“The Terminator financier John Daly’s Hemdale Films had an output deal with Orion Pictures but hadn’t yet made a hit (that changed with our film and Platoon). They insisted we use financier friends not actors in this scene, which ruined it for us. … They were paid as actors, via the Taft Hartley act. I think he insisted they be in the film because the financiers were promised a return on their investment and had yet to receive one. Daly never believed the film would be a success. … The film cost $6.4 million…which seemed like an awful lot to us at the time!”

Because the ‘actors’ weren’t professionals, the scene wasn’t deemed good enough and was left on the cutting room floor. It’s a shame given how well the moment links into Terminator 2: Judgement Day but probably proved to be a wise move. You can see the scene for yourself on Flashback FM’s YouTube channel below. The story provides a fascinating insight into how a such a classic film was just about cobbled together financially, sitting nicely alongside star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recollection (in his memoir, Total Recall) that Hurd and director James Cameron couldn’t even afford to buy him lunch when they first met with him about starring in the movie.

The film would go on to become rocket fuel for the careers of Hurd, Cameron and Schwarzenegger and the rest is Hollywood history. You can catch the deleted scene below.

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