Friday, June 21, 2024

Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies: Action-Packed Blockbusters That Defined a Generation

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They don’t make them like Arnold Schwarzenegger anymore. Easily recognized as one of the most iconic actors in the history of film, Arnold Schwarzenegger will forever be remembered for his unique and often typecast roles. His larger than life physique, catchphrases and facial expressions inspired a generation and captured the hearts of millions of fans, who flocked to cinemas all over the world to follow the adventures of their idol. 

While he often played the strong and silent type, his movies were far from lacking any interesting dialogues and plots. Still, it was his enthusiasm and love of action that motivated him to select the roles that made him famous and restricted him to the action genre in the majority of movies.

The First Incarnation of Arnold Schwarzenegger

One of the earliest and most significant roles that Arnold Schwarzenegger was cast in was as the titular character in ‘Conan the Barbarian’ in 1982. The character of Conan was where the Austrian-born actor first learned and displayed his craft, and the surprise hit became a staple in the golden age of action movies. The direct sequel, the aptly named ‘Conan the Destroyer’, was released two years after the original and was met with similar success worldwide. Critics hailed the release as one of the definitive 80s action-adventures and viewed it as the catalyst for the ‘Arnold’ that so many had grown to love.

The Next Level

Arnold’s next major breakthrough came after he was cast as the awkward and clumsy cyborg in the sci-fi movie, ‘Terminator’. His unlikely transformation from brawny barbarian to robotic mass murderer was more than appreciated by fans, but became a revolutionary idea that changed the direction of cinema forever. The unprecedented success of the movie marked a significant turning point in Arnold’s career. The film became an instant hit and spawned a lucrative franchise comprised of four sequels and video game additions, making it one of the best selling Arnold Schwarzenegger movies to date.

Another Much-Loved Action Classic

Arnold was then cast in the 90s action movie ‘True Lies’ which was billed as one of the most over-the-top action movies to ever grace the big screen. Written and directed by James Cameron and featuring a stellar cast, the movie debuted in 1994 and became an instant hit. Audiences praised the movie for its eye-catching visuals, light-hearted feel and the undeniable chemistry between Arnold and Jamie Lee Curtis. The movie was a smash hit and is still considered to be one of the best action movies of the decade, cementing Arnold’s place as an icon of action movies.

Other Notable Mentions

While the aforementioned movies are not the only ones that Arnold did, his impressive catalogue is full of other smaller and less famous titles. These movies don’t necessarily come to mind when pondering the work of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but they are worthy of mention for their contribution to his body of work.

Below is a list of some other Arnold Schwarzenegger favourites that are definitely worth the watch:

• The Running Man (1987)

• Predator (1987)

• Kindergarten Cop (1990)

• Total Recall (1990)

• Twins (1988)

• Commando (1985)

• Red Sonja (1985)

• Red Heat (1988)

• Last Action Hero (1993)

• Eraser (1996)

Legacy and Cultural Impact

Without a doubt, Arnold had a profound cultural impact on the entertainment industry and lives on even after having retired in 2003. He was able to craft a character and a worldview that was strong, resilient and inspiring, which inspired his peers, his co-stars and many generations of fans. The sheer number of catchphrases that he coined, like “Hasta la vista”, “I’ll be back” and “Let off some steam, Bennett” still bring chills and bring nostalgia for the golden era of action movies.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is undoubtedly one of the most iconic film personalities in history and many of his movies have become timeless classics. His larger than life physique and memorable catchphrases served as inspiration for a generation and made him an inspirational personality and a cultural icon. With his retirement from acting, we are left with a legacy of action-packed blockbusters, which will continue to capture the hearts and minds of the young and old for years to come, reminding us all of the greatness of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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