November 27, 2021

Terminator 2: how the images of a terrible news item were incorporated into the film

Monument of the action film, Terminator 2 celebrates the 30th anniversary of its French release. The opportunity to recall that the filming schedule met, in cruel irony, a tragic news item that was going to set fire to the powder in the United States …


This October 16, Terminator 2 blows out the 30 candles of its French release. And yes, already …

Forced to boost his creativity in the face of an obvious lack of means, James Cameron was already able to deliver a masterpiece of the SF film with Terminator, while brilliantly laying the foundations for a franchise that has, alas, steadily declined over the years.

But this is obviously not the case with Terminator 2, which entered the Pantheon of action films through the front door, with scenes as jubilant as they were cult, with revolutionary special effects. Between a Schwarzy who has arguably never been so fit, playing a Terminator this time on the right side of the fence, the transformation of a fragile Sarah Connor in her debut into an absolute icon of the Badass heroines of cinema, his staging that has not aged a bit, and casually powerful themes (nothing less than the future of Humanity), not to mention the company’s budget – colossal for the blow -, Terminator 2 is a landmark film in the history of American cinema.

You may not know it, but the filming schedule of the film encountered, in cruel irony, a tragic news item that would set the United States on fire in the weeks that followed.

The main photography of the film ran from October 9, 1990 to March 28, 1991. On the night of March 3, 1991, the crew was filming the famous opening sequence of the film, in a former Bikers bar called The Corral, located in a corner called Monte Vista, Foothill Boulevard, in Los Angeles.

At the same time was taking place not far behind, almost at the same address, a scene of a completely different nature. It was there that, after a chase, Rodney King was beaten up by a group of LAPD police. The victim of a taser, King fell to his knees before getting up. He then received a second taser shot, which knocked him to the ground. He got up nonetheless and, faced with his resistance, two policemen beat him with their sticks.

A beating that lasts nearly 1min20, during which King will receive 56 batons and several taser shocks, before being finally handcuffed and dragged to the side of the road while waiting for an ambulance, under the glance of twenty other police officers who will not intervene.

As it turns out, part of this beating sequence can be seen in the background in the footage where Arnie retrieves the dark glasses from the bar manager’s shirt pocket. Here is a screenshot with the affected background area:

In the audio commentary for the film, James Cameron will confirm that he shot at this location that same evening, across the street. Chilling …