LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Time will not destroy “The Terminator” the way actor turned politician Arnold Schwarzenegger mangled everything he encountered when he starred in the 1984 action movie.
The low-budget film, which spawned the popular catch-phrase “I’ll be back”, was one of 25 movies listed for preservation on Tuesday by the U.S. Library of Congress for their cultural, historic or aesthetic significance.
The other titles included “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950), “Deliverance” (1972), “A Face in the Crowd” (1957), “In Cold Blood” (1967) and “The Invisible Man” (1933).
The library said it selected “The Terminator” for preservation because of Schwarzenegger’s star-making performance as a cyborg assassin, and because the film stands out in the science fiction genre.
“It’s withstood the test of time, like ‘King Kong’ in a way, a film that endures because it’s so good,” Patrick Loughney, who runs the Library of Congress film vault, told Reuters.
In the film, artificially intelligent machines running the world send Schwarzenegger’s character back in time to kill a woman named Sarah Connor, who is fated to give birth to a future resistance leader.
Made on a small budget of about $6.4 million and directed by James Cameron, who went on to make the 1997 blockbuster “Titanic”, “The Terminator” spawned two sequels and a 2008 television series called “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”. A third movie sequel is due for release in 2009.
Starring as the Terminator, Schwarzenegger popularized the phrases “I’ll be back” and later “Hasta la vista, baby,” which found their way into popular culture and became the actor’s personal catch-phrases.
Austrian-born Schwarzenegger, 61, went on to star in two “Terminator” sequels and took comedic turns in movies such as the “Kindergarten Cop” and the “True Lies.” In 2003, he was elected governor of California.
The Library of Congress every year names films for preservation that represent the broad spectrum of American culture, and the movies are not necessarily the “best” U.S. films of all time, the Washington-based institution said.
When the Library of Congress names films for preservation, they enter the institution’s vaults, where the prints are protected from shrinking, color fading and other damage that many films have suffered over the years. The Library of Congress has 500 films in its registry.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant