Schwarzenegger collage by Gil Hildebrand
Born on July 30th in Thal, Styria in Austria, Arnold Schwarzenegger has appeared in over 30 films, although his acting career was put on hold when he was Governor of California, where his efforts were limited to cameos in The Expendables and The Kid and I. In 2011, Arnold announced his onscreen comeback.
But ever since the 1980s and 1990s, it has been a long while since Arnold starred in a truly great action movie today, and a movie and role as equally memorable to Conan and The Terminator. It definitely got me thinking about the movies that I have enjoyed of his that I would count as being my favourites.
Here is my countdown of my favourite 10 former governator movies & in no particular order:
The Running Man (1987) - Over-The-Top, outrageous, action-packed, like a high-octane The Price is Right with villains that will fit right into any Saturday Morning cartoon series
Total Recall (1990) - Great twists, wonderful special effects & action in this Paul Verhoeven sci-fi thriller with another early appearance of Sharon Stone as Douglas Quaid's crazy wife. Was (sadly) remade in 2012, & unsurprisingly it bombed at the box office.
Commando (1985) - Arnie's version of John Rambo with some memorable & funny lines and cool action scenes in this offbeat action classic, with Rae Dawn Chong acting as the innocent bystander, who finds herself caught up in the madness and mayhem, as John's unlikely accomplice.
True Lies (1994) - If it wasn't for the existence of Terminator 2, this would have been my favourite Arnie flick. A fantastically fun, super spy flick with great performances from Arnie, Jamie Lee Curtis, & an amusing turn by Bill Paxton and Tom Arnold especially
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) - The first Terminator was terrific, but T2 just turned it up a notch with impressive CGI visual effects that were a huge improvement over the first movie. Arnie as Terminator is a lot more rounded and fleshed out as a character compared to the first outing as the then-antagonist turned main protagonist.
Red Heat (1986) - Chemistry and interplay between Arnie and James Belushi as a pair of mismatched cops who don't see to eye was fantastic, they feed off each other so well. Great action and suspense, a good narrative and a surprisingly good acting performance by Arnie himself
Jingle All The Way (1996) - Despite being heavily slated by critics, Jingle All The Way is a highly amusing & entertaining example of how to do a festive action comedy. Funny, corny and thoroughly consistent humour that the likes of Twins and Junior could only wish they'd had. Favourite Arnie action comedy film.
Predator (1987) - Is Commando set in the jungle with a blood- thirsty, murderous alien on the rampage and spiralling death counts. But for the use of the word 'f*****', this is intense, suspenseful & makes you wonder why he should have perhaps returned for the sequel as well.
Raw Deal (1986) - Another typical 80s B-movie action effort. The plots aren't great and despite the unconvincing female supporting lead character, the script needing some improvement in places and being slightly cheesier than his other action movies, Arnie still does what he is so good at doing, and that's kicking ass.
Kindergarten Cop (1990) - Cutesy, at times amusing, entertaining with great support from Pamela Reed as John Kimble's partner-in-crime. I prefer this over Twins, but with a better script, it would have yielded for an even more satisfying action comedy film.