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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Blockbuster Decade: A Look Back at His Biggest Hits of the ’80s

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a name that is synonymous with action movies and blockbuster hits. Throughout the ’80s, he solidified his place as one of the biggest movie stars in the world with a string of successful films that have become classics in the genre. From his iconic role as the Terminator to his turn as a commando in the jungle, Schwarzenegger’s films of the ’80s continue to be beloved by fans all over the world. In this article, we will take a look back at some of his biggest hits from that decade and the impact they had on both Schwarzenegger’s career and the world of cinema.

1. The Terminator (1984)

Arguably the film that launched Schwarzenegger’s career as a major action star, “The Terminator” is a sci-fi classic that remains a fan favorite to this day. Directed by James Cameron, the film tells the story of a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton, whose unborn son will lead a rebellion against the machines in the future. Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of the Terminator, with his cold, unemotional delivery and imposing physical presence, is what truly made the character iconic. The film was a massive success at the box office and spawned multiple sequels, cementing Schwarzenegger’s status as a leading man in Hollywood.

2. Commando (1985)

Hot on the heels of the success of “The Terminator,” Schwarzenegger starred in “Commando,” a high-octane action film that sees him playing a retired special forces soldier forced back into action when his daughter is kidnapped by a dictator. The film is filled with explosive set pieces, over-the-top fight scenes, and plenty of one-liners delivered with Schwarzenegger’s trademark wit. “Commando” was a commercial success and further solidified Schwarzenegger’s reputation as the go-to action star of the ’80s.

3. Predator (1987)

In “Predator,” Schwarzenegger plays Dutch, the leader of a group of elite commandos who find themselves being hunted by a deadly alien creature in the jungles of Central America. Directed by John McTiernan, the film is a masterclass in tension and suspense, with Schwarzenegger delivering a memorable performance as the tough-as-nails soldier who must use all his skills to survive. “Predator” was a critical and commercial success, further showcasing Schwarzenegger’s range as an actor and cementing his status as a bona fide action hero.

4. The Running Man (1987)

Based on a novel by Stephen King, “The Running Man” is a dystopian sci-fi action film set in a future where convicts are forced to participate in a televised game show where they must fight for their lives against brutal opponents. Schwarzenegger stars as Ben Richards, a wrongly convicted cop who becomes a contestant on the show and must use his wits and skills to survive. The film is a thrilling and fast-paced ride, with Schwarzenegger delivering another standout performance that further solidified his place as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

5. Total Recall (1990)

While technically released at the end of the ’80s, “Total Recall” is worth mentioning as one of Schwarzenegger’s biggest hits of the decade. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, the film is a sci-fi action thriller that sees Schwarzenegger playing a man who discovers that his memories may have been implanted and embarks on a journey to Mars to uncover the truth. “Total Recall” is a mind-bending and visually stunning film that showcases Schwarzenegger’s ability to blend action with thought-provoking storytelling. The film was a critical and commercial success, further solidifying Schwarzenegger’s reputation as a box office powerhouse.

In conclusion, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s blockbuster decade of the ’80s was a time when he truly became an icon of action cinema. From his role as the unstoppable Terminator to his turn as a commando battling in the jungle, Schwarzenegger delivered unforgettable performances that continue to resonate with audiences to this day. His films of the ’80s remain beloved classics that have stood the test of time and continue to be celebrated by fans all over the world. With his larger-than-life personality, imposing physical presence, and undeniable screen presence, Schwarzenegger cemented his status as one of the biggest movie stars of his generation, and his impact on the world of cinema will always be remembered.


1. What was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biggest box office hit of the ’80s?
– Schwarzenegger’s biggest box office hit of the ’80s was likely “The Terminator,” which was a massive success both critically and commercially.

2. Did Arnold Schwarzenegger do his own stunts in his films?
– While Schwarzenegger did perform many of his own stunts in his films, he also had stunt doubles for the more dangerous sequences.

3. What is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite film from the ’80s?
– Schwarzenegger has said that “Predator” is one of his favorite films from the ’80s, as he enjoyed the physical challenges of filming in the jungle and working with director John McTiernan.

4. Will there be any more sequels to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ’80s films?
– While there have been several sequels and reboots of Schwarzenegger’s ’80s films, it is unclear if there will be any more in the future. Schwarzenegger has expressed interest in returning to some of his iconic roles, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

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