If AI were to create an action hero based on the history of American cinema, it would probably create someone like Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne, Bruce Willis’ John McClain, or Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Indeed, even if Austrian-American actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has starred in some of the most iconic action films of all time, his idiosyncratic acting style and tall posture make him something of a cinematic mystery.
Starting his career as a champion bodybuilder long before he started living in Hollywood, Schwarzenegger got his first role in a fantasy film. Hercules in New York where he played the main character. Instantly attracting the attention of Hollywood moguls, he later landed the lead role in the 1982 film. Conan the Barbarian before his career took off with the release of James Cameron’s film Terminator in 1984.
The fame of the actor will only grow until the end of the decade, appearing in his favorite action movies. commando, John McTiernan Predator and 1987s Running Man, Adapted from the 1982 Stephen King novel of the same name. Having built a filmography of classic films, Schwarzenegger has a strong global fan base and has even dated rotten tomatoes in 2017 to talk about his six favorite films of all time.
Topping his list is the Steven Spielberg classic. Alien, released in 1982 which tells the story of an alien who crash-lands on Earth and befriends a young boy. “I think that [E.T.] was a whole new way to entertain,” he told the publication, adding, “Spielberg did an amazing job on it. It was literally for everyone to enjoy. I mean, it doesn’t matter – women, men, young, old – everyone can enjoy this film.”
Second on his list is a 1970s favorite. Godfather, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, won three Oscars in 1972, including Best Picture. “I think when you talk about action movies, the story goes with the action. And again, you know, very well developed characters and all that. I mean, Godfather without a doubt one of the best of its kind,” Schwarzenegger says of the classic.
Third place is occupied by another gem of classic Hollywood – the musical by Robert Wise. Sounds of music, Starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Speaking of the movie, Terminator the actor explained, “This is Austria: the music, the look. I think it was indeed a film with a very interesting story, but it visually sold my homeland in such an exciting way. And of course I went to all the different places where the scenes were filmed, and all that in Salzburg, in the Alps and all that. It’s really a spectacular, entertaining film.”
Continuing the theme of American classics, the actor chose a film by James Cameron. Titanic since 1997, praising the director as he states, “I thought it was just really well done, the visuals, the personal stories about the people, the character development, the action, and then the end. It was an emotional rollercoaster ride – and the music. Everything was exactly 10”.
Clint Eastwood’s Revisionist Western, Best Picture winner, Unforgiven, is Schwarzenegger’s penultimate choice, calling the director and main star “my idol”. Continuing, he added: “I always idolized him even before I came to America. I loved his western films and followed his career very closely, then became friends with him and really admired him. Extremely experienced as a producer, as a director, the music he writes for his films, acting, directing – I mean everything.”
Favorite movies of Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Alien (Steven Spielberg, 1982)
- Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
- Sounds of music (Robert Wise, 1965)
- Titanic (James Cameron, 1997)
- Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)
- Western world (Michael Crichton, 1973)
Schwarzenegger’s last choice was a 1973 sci-fi western. Western worldbased on the book Jurassic Park written by Michael Crichton. “It just had the most profound effect on me,” the iconic action star said, adding: It just had the most profound effect on me – which made me really interested in the game. Terminator. Because Yul Brynner plays a broken car and it’s a very well made film, a very well written film.”