From Terminator to governor and back again, Arnold Schwarzenegger stands virtually unmatched in his status as one of the most popular and influential action stars of the past few decades. The actor has left countless beloved films in his wake, including some that have changed the face of cinema forever. So narrowing down his extensive filmography to the best of the best is a tall order. Still, here’s our take on the six most unforgettable Schwarzenegger films. For the record, we’re limiting this list to one entry per franchise.
1. Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Before The Terminator gave him his most famous role, Schwarzenegger found his breakthrough role as the Robert E. Howard character. At the time, the actor was better known as a bodybuilder, and that physique certainly serves him well here, as Conan seeks revenge from a cult leader played by none other than James Earl Jones. The film — directed by John Milius and co-written by Milius and Oliver Stone — has aged far better than most sword-and-sandals epics of the era and, despite its underwhelming 1984 sequel, remains popular with fans. Schwarzenegger reportedly is still in line to reprise the role for a long-delayed coda to the Conan story.