He’s the Terminator, he’s a Kindergarten Cop, he fought the Predator, he’s…used a whole lot of guns on screen in the past 40 years, and they’re all here.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has worn a lot of hats since stepping into the public eye. While in the Austrian Army in 1965, he won the Junior Mr. Europe bodybuilding contest. He went AWOL during basic training to participate in the competition, and it earned him a week in military prison.
In 1966 he picked up a coach and began bodybuilding professionally. He had dreamed of moving to the U.S. since the age of 10 and saw bodybuilding as his ticket across the pond. At age 21, he moved to Lost Angeles in October 1968, speaking very little English and began training at Gold’s Gym in Venice. At age 23 he capture his first Mr. Olympia title in New York and went on to win that title a total of seven times.
Arnold knew he couldn’t be a top bodybuilder forever and wanted to get into acting. He thought he’d gotten his big break in 1969 when he was cast for the role of Hercules in Hercules in New York. But it was not to be. He was credited as Arnold Strong instead of his real name and his accent was so thick that all his lines were dubbed over in post production. He had small parts in a couple movies through the early 70s, including a part in Stay Hungry (1976) for which he won a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year.
However, when the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron came out in 1977, Arnold was suddenly exposed to a much broader audience worldwide and in the U.S. Soon after he almost got the title TV role of The Incredible Hulk, but was ultimately deemed to be too tall. The role went to fellow bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno.
A couple more small roles followed until Arnold entered the decade that would change his life, the 1980s. In 1982, he starred in the sword-and-sorcery epic Conan the Barbarian, and it launched him into the mainstream movie world. He followed it with a sequel in 1984, Conan the Destroyer. Also in 1984, he starred in his breakthrough role as a cybernetic killing machine from the future in James Cameron’s The Terminator. After that it is, as they say, history.
During his prolific action film career, Arnold has used a whole lot of guns on screen. Here they are, arranged chronologically, for your perusal:
And just because they’re so much fun, here are a few of Arnold’s greatest action moments on screen. Warning: adult language ahead: