Over a five-decade-year career, Arnold Schwarzenegger has appeared in many trailers for many films. The perfect way of seeing how he’s changed over the decades, here are all of them in a row, from Hercules In New York (1969) to The Last Stand (2013), complete with withering comments and pub-fodder trivia, just the way you like it…
Hercules In New York (1969)
Director: Arthur Allan Seidelman
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnold Stang, James Karen, Ernest Graves, Tony Carroll
Film in a sentence: Hercules, son of Zeus, is sent down on a beam of light to the world of men, where he becomes a professional wrestler and is socially awkward near pretty girls.
Best bit in the trailer: A 22 year old Arnold speaking with a posh acting school American accent: “I’m tired of the same old faces, the same old things, this bizarre voice.”
Arnold fact: On its original release, Arnie was credited as “Arnold Strong” to play off his Mr. Universe fame and the name of his co-star, Arnold Stang.
Pumping Iron (1977)
Directors: Robert Fiore, George Butler
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu
Film in a sentence: A warts-and-all docudrama about the politically-charged world of professional bodybuilding, with the young Arnie manipulating his competitor, Lou Ferrigno, into losing his confidence.
Best bit in the trailer: Arnold explaining his cheeky kiss – “You got to do that. This girl maybe didn’t have a kiss for years, I might as well give her a break.” – as well as the male prisoner who says he wants one too.
Arnold fact: For its 25th anniversary DVD re-release, a follow-up movie called Raw Iron was included as an extra on the disc, which revealed that over 100 hours of footage was shot before being whittled down to 85 minutes.
Conan The Barbarian (1982)
Director: John Milius
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman
Film in a sentence: A young, incredibly ripped sword-swinger seeks to avenge his parents’ deaths by sorceror-cum-snake charmer Thulsa Doom (Jones) by poking his head with a sharp metal stick.
Best bit in the trailer: Thanks to some clunky editing, James Earl Jones abruptly turning into a snake with a hood.
Arnold fact: Arnold had to ease off on his regular workout during shooting as his bulging muscles made swinging the Atlantean sword difficult.
Conan The Destroyer (1984)
Director: Richard Fleischer
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Grace Jones, Olivia d'Abo, Sarah Douglas
Film in a sentence: A young, incredibly ripped sword-swinger seeks to resurrect his ex-girlfriend by fetching a magic horn and giving it to a treacherous Queen (Douglas).
Best bit in the trailer: Aside from “But his biggest triumph… was at the box office”, it has to be the look on Arnie’s lemon-sucking face as he swings his sword about near the end.
Arnold fact: The guy inside the resurrected massive-horned-fish-thing that slaps Arnie about the chops? That’s Andre The Giant in a ridiculous rubber suit. To see a jaw-dropping still of Wilt Chamberlain, Arnie and Andre, click this way.
The Terminator (1984)
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton
Film in a sentence: A robotic death-distributer from 2029 arrives in 1984 Los Angeles to kill Sarah Connor (Hamilton), the mother of a future freedom fighter, with only fellow time traveller (Beihn) standing in his way.
Best bit in the trailer: It’s a face off between the flying cap and “You’re dead, honey.” “You’re dead, honey” wins – but only just.
Arnold fact: At one point O.J. Simpson was in line to play The Terminator, but the producers thought he’d be "too nice" to be taken seriously as a cyborg assassin from the future.
Red Sonja (1985)
Director: Richard Fleischer
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brigitte Nielsen, Sandahl Bergman
Film in a sentence: A young, surprisingly-not-that-ripped sword-swinger seeks to avenge her family’s death by joining forces with Lord Kalidor (Schwarzenegger) and poking Queen Gedren's (Bergman) head with a sharp metal stick.
Best bit in the trailer: Metal snake wrestling! Weirdly loud sword-swooshing noises! Broken table bad guy catapulting! “I make it a rule never to take a woman unless she can beat me in a fair fight”! It’s almost impossible to choose. Oh, all right then, metal snake wrestling.
Arnold fact: Arnold HATES this movie, and it signaled the end of his adventures in sword and sorcery movies. "I tell [my kids], if they get on my bad side, they'll be forced to watch Red Sonja ten times in a row,” says Arnie. “Consequently, none of my kids has ever given me much trouble."
Director: Mark L. Lester
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Vernon Wells
Film in a sentence: Retired Delta Force badass takes time out from carrying massive trees and petting deer to take down a South American dictator and rescue his kidnapped daughter, Chenny. Sorry, Jenny.
Best bit in the trailer: “I lied.”
Arnold fact: Gene Simmons, Kiss’s lead tongue-waggling monochrome clown, was originally offered the Matrix role, as was Nick Nolte, for whom the script was recrafted to make him an out of condition Israeli Mossad agent. Needless to say, that all went out the window once Arnie was on board.
Raw Deal (1986)
Director: John Irvin
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathryn Harrold, Darren McGavin, Sam Wanamaker
Film in a sentence: Small-town sheriff (and former FBI hardnut) Mark Kaminsky fakes his own death to take on mobster Luigi Patrovita (Wanamaker). Some other stuff happens, but to be honest, it really isn’t very interesting.
Best bit in the trailer: Aside from Arnie’s delivery of the words “poetic justice”, the stand-out moment is when he slicks back his hair in a seemingly never-ending suit.
Arnold fact: The director of Raw Deal, John Irvin, also brought the world the beautiful 1979 BBC adaptation of John Le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Director: John McTiernan
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall, Bill Duke
Film in a sentence: Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer and his elite team of ultra-manly goddamn sexual tyrannosauri get picked off one by one by a dreadlocked semi-invisible extra-terrestrial with a peculiar line in eyewear.
Best bit in the trailer: If you can choose between “Knock knock”, “Ain’t got time to bleed” and “If it bleeds, we can kill it”, then you’re a damn sight less argumentative than we are.
Arnold fact: Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as The Predator, but quit when he realised he’d be spending the whole film unseen in a red lobster-like special effects suit. Redesigned for his replacement, Kevin Peter Hall, the outfit had a completely different look for the finished film.
The Running Man (1987)
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Dawson, María Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto
Film in a sentence: Very loosely based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Running Man sees a rather muscular prisoner competing for his life in an incredibly dangerous version of Big Brother, only with slightly fewer politicians in cat outfits and more chainsaws in people’s intestines.
Best bit in the trailer: Putting the clunky “I’ll be back” to one side, Arnie’s epic jail beard deserves a mention, but there’s something about the seemingly never-ending letter cascade at the end that’s just so gloriously ‘80s.
Arnold fact: The host of The Running Man is played by Richard Dawson, whose day job was presenting the much-loved game show Family Feud – known in Britain as Family Fortunes.
Red Heat (1988)
Director: Walter Hill
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Ed O'Ross
Film in a sentence: A ruthless Russian cop comes to Chicago to hunt down Georgian drug kingpin Viktor Rostavili (Ed O'Ross) with the help of his new brash detective partner Art Ridzik (Belushi).
Best bit in the trailer: Arnold’s ‘chicken bus’ scream. All together now... “YEEEEEEARRRRRRGH!”
Arnold fact: Arnie watched 1939 classic Ninotchka to prepare for the role. That’s right, this is Arnie doing Greta Garbo.
Director: Ivan Reitman
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Kelly Preston
Film in a sentence: The result of bizarre genetic experiment to produce the ultimate human being, a pair of twins are born: one (Schwarzenegger) hyper intelligent and phyisically perfect, the other (DeVito) left with the rest of the “sperm milkshake”. Antics ensue.
Best bit in the trailer: Though Arnie’s “Born to be bad” T-shirt takes some beating, perhaps the best of a bad bunch is DeVito saying “I love it when you hit people!” – if only because it’s exactly what the audience is thinking.
Arnold fact: In an alternate universe, Hulk Hogan and Christopher Lloyd star in this movie. In reality, they were offered it, but ended up doing Suburban Commando together instead.
Total Recall (1990)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside
Film in a sentence: A bored construction worker heads to a memory implant service to have something exciting fired into his noggin before something goes terribly wrong and he ends up getting his ass to Mars. Or does he?
Best bit in the trailer: Arnie’s massive head. No, not the lady head with the explosive surprise – the huge red-then-blue Arnie head that floats through space at the beginning for no apparent reason. That one.
Arnold fact: All of the crew succumbed to a virulent stomach infection during the film’s Mexico-based shoot – the only ones to escape were producer Ronald Shusett and Schwarzenegger himself, the former by drinking only boiled or bottled water, the latter by only eating food especially brought in from America.
Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Director: Ivan Reitman
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed, Linda Hunt
Film in a sentence: Pet ferret-owning Los Angeles Police Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes undercover as Kindergarten teacher to find a key witness to a murder case, learning a lot about love and stuff and junk on the way.
Best bit in the trailer: “HA HA HA HA HA HA” is excellent, as is Arnie’s pronunciation of the word “tuchus” but there’s something about The Governator strumming a ukulele (while wearing a stringed hat) that sets it apart.
Arnold fact: In Arnie’s home state of California, it’s illegal to own a ferret as a pet. Arnie himself backed this ban on pet ferrets during his time in power.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong
Film in a sentence: A reprogrammed T-800 Terminator faces off against a shape-shifting liquid metal T-1000 Terminator (Patrick) in 1995 Los Angeles as he defends the now kick-ass Sarah Connor (Hamilton) and her young bequiffed son, John (Furlong).
Best bit in the trailer: There are many great moments in the T2 trailer, but the sight of Robert Patrick’s face shot clean through, silver sheening from inside his skull, still packs a punch over 20 years later.
Arnold fact: "Hasta la Vista, Baby" became "Sayonara, Baby" for Spanish viewers. Incidentally, considering his $15 million salary and his total of 700 words of dialogue in the film, "Hasta la Vista, Baby" cost Cameron and his team $85,716.
Last Action Hero (1993)
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O'Brien, Charles Dance, Anthony Quinn
Film in a sentence: Movie-loving youngster Danny Madigan (O'Brien) is sent inside an action movie starring his hero Jack Slater (Schwarzenegger) before the bad guys break out into the real world and things get seriously, confusingly, worryingly meta.
Best bit in the trailer: Arnie’s Hamlet remains one of the best things in the actual film, but the T-1000 and Basic Instinct cameos are still delightful and that beautiful Shane Black line, “Could I speak to the drug dealer of the house?”, is the perfect reminder of what a great film this could have been – in a fictional universe, perhaps.
Arnold fact: To help promote the film, an unmanned NASA rocket had the film’s logo painted onto the side for the princely sum of $500,000.
True Lies (1994)
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Art Malik
Film in a sentence: Counter-terrorism agent Harry Tasker has been fooling his wife (Curtis) into thinking he’s a computer saleman for years – but after an Islamic terrorist organization gets involved, his attempts to spice up their marriage take a dangerous, rocket-filled turn.
Best bit in the trailer: The horse in the lift. There’s nowhere else in cinema you’re going to see a horse in a lift. Fact.
Arnold fact: Jamie Lee Curtis was initially reluctant to perform her own stunts during the helicopter rescue scene, but after James Cameron said he’d be holding the camera himself, she agreed to do it.
Director: Ivan Reitman
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Emma Thompson
Film in a sentence: Thanks to movie science, gynecologist Dr. Alex Hesse becomes pregnant and… um, that’s about it really.
Best bit in the trailer: “My nipples are very sensitive.”
Arnold fact: There’s another film with a very similar plot to Junior called Rabbit Test. Directed by Joan Rivers in 1978 – yes, that Joan Rivers – it stars Billy Crystal in his first leading role and was not a financial success.
Director: Charles Russell
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan, Vanessa L. Williams
Film in a sentence: Witness Protection officer John Kruger must look after Lee Cullen (Williams) after she uncovers an illegal arms deal that involves pulse rifles that can shoot through walls.
Best bit in the trailer: The CGI crocodile that could never be turned into luggage anyway, if only because it’s, you know, CGI.
Arnold fact: One for Commando fans, this one – when Arnie goes to Lee’s house, he is seen wearing a T-shirt that says “Let’s party!” on the back.
Jingle All the Way (1996)
Director: Brian Levant
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Jake Lloyd
Film in a sentence: Workaholic mattress salesman Howard Langston needs to get the last Turbo Man action figure in the store or his son (Lloyd) will hate him and his smartarse neighbour (Hartman) will show him up.
Best bit in the trailer: You may want to mute the sound to avoid the Seinfeld-like bass, but if you turn the volume up near the end, you get to hear what a foley artist thought Arnold Schwarzenegger punching a reindeer would sound like.
Arnold fact: The Christmas parade was actually shot at Universal Studios in late May. Perhaps slightly more interesting than that, the plot was based on the frenzy surrounding the cabbage patch dolls in the ‘80s. Emphasis on the “slightly” there.
Batman And Robin (1997)
Director: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Robert Swenson
Film in a sentence: *Supported by Bane (Swenson) and Poison Ivy (Thurman), a pun-loving scientist with an obsession with ice takes on the Caped Crusader (Clooney) and the Boy Wonder (O’Donnell) in a fight to finish off a much-loved superhero franchise.
Best bit in the trailer: *Danny Elfman’s theme remains a thing of beauty – until they fiddle with it at the end.
Arnold fact: Schumacher has stated that if Arnie had turned down the role of Mr. Freeze, he would have approached Sylvester Stallone with the part. Feel free to let your mind boggle... NOW.
End Of Days (1999)
Director: Peter Hyams
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollak, Robin Tunney
Film in a sentence: *Retired cop Jericho Cane must protect the woman destined to have Satan’s child (Tunney) from Satan himself (Byrne) before midnight on New Year's Eve, 1999.
Best bit in the trailer: Arnie shooting a knife’s blade clean off before some evil priests do something evil with it.
Arnold fact: Guillermo del Toro and Sam Raimi were both offered to direct End Of Days but turned it down. What's more, the film was planned as a Tom Cruise vehicle before he decided to do Magnolia instead.
The 6th Day (2000)
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Rapaport, Tony Goldwyn
Film in a sentence: In 2015, helicopter pilot Adam Gibson discovers he’s a clone – or that there’s a clone of himself out there living his life, he’s not sure – and so he must shoot and punch the people responsible for it all.
Best bit in the trailer: Arnie taking on Arnie in a race to get to the chopper. Needless to say, Arnie wins.
Arnold fact: Originally called The Sixth Day, producers decided to rename it The 6th Day to avoid any confusion with The Sixth Sense. Say it out loud and hear the difference yourself!
Collateral Damage (2002)
Director: Andrew Davis
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elias Koteas, Francesca Neri
Film in a sentence: Firefighter Gordy Brewer avenges the death of his wife and child by heading to Columbia to kill the terrorist responsible for their deaths.
Best bit in the trailer: Um, that Metallica T-shirt John Leguizamo is wearing is pretty cool.
Arnold fact: Arnie is never shown firing a gun in this film. Completely incidentally, this is not a very good film.
Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003)
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Kristanna Loken
Film in a sentence: A reprogrammed T-850 model 101 Terminator goes back in time to deal with a T-X Terminator (Kristanna Loken) sent to kill off members of the future human resistance.
Best bit in the trailer: Arnie busting through a toilet cubicle, fists out. The shot of a crane ploughing through an entire building also deserves a mention, if only because Arnie put up $1.4 million of his own salary to make sure it happened.
Arnold fact: A trademark of the previous two films, the words “Come with me if you want to live” are never spoken in the film. Instead, Arnie says, “Do you wanna live? Come on!" The jury is not out on whether this is a better line.
The Expendables (2010)
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, David Zayas
Film in a sentence: A group of muscle-bound mercenaries attempt to overthrow South American dictator General Garza (Zayas) by shooting pretty much everything that moves.
Best bit in the trailer: In terms of Arnoldness, the dig at Stallone’s Rambo exploits – “Give the job to my friend here, he loves playing in the jungle” – is probably the best, if only because that’s all he actually says in the trailer.
Arnold fact: Arnie performed his cameo in The Expendables for free, taking just six hours to shoot the first scene to show Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger on screen together before heading back to his political duties.
The Expendables 2 (2012)
Director: Simon West
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme
Film in a sentence: A group of muscle-bound mercenaries take on an ever-so-evil ever-so-French French bad guy called Jean Vilain (Van Damme) to avenge the death of one of their number as well as stop the whole world from going boom.
Best bit in the trailer: Best stunt – the motorcycle into a helicopter. Best CGI – the plane going into the cave. Best one-liner – after ripping off a Smart Car’s door, Arnie saying, “My shoe is bigger than this car.” Best instance of Arnold Schwarzenegger saying “I’m back!" – Arnold Schwarzenegger saying “I’m back!”
Arnold fact: In the German dub of Expendables 2, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone's have the same voice actor. This is confusing for German people.
The Last Stand (2013)
Director: Kim Ji-woon
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rodrigo Santoro, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville
Film in a sentence: Faced with a Mexican cartel blasting through his quiet border town, sheriff Ray Owens arms up his men to take them on.
Best bit in the trailer:** **Arnie headbutting/falling through a door before crumpling into a heap. “How are you Sheriff? “Old.”
Arnold fact: Director Kim Ji-woon is the man behind The Good, The Bad, The Weird, a beautifully bonkers spaghetti Eastern. If that’s anything to go by, The Last Stand is going to be a pretty amazing film – for many, many reasons...