Arnie’s Lesser-Known Christmas Film Holds a Surprising Connection to the Terminator Series

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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Jingle All the Way” may take the crown as his most renowned Christmas movie, but there’s another lesser-known gem in his filmography that might have slipped under the radar, one where he took on the role of director.

In 1992, Schwarzenegger ventured into directing with “Christmas in Connecticut,” a TV-movie adaptation of the beloved 1940s Christmas classic. Originally aired on TNT, this movie quietly faded from prominence, falling into relative obscurity. Yet, beyond discussing its overlooked status as a hidden gem, there’s a fascinating Terminator-related Easter egg tucked away within that deserves attention.

Early in the film, a character named Tyler ascends a staircase donning a hefty leather jacket and black sunglasses—an unconventional yet somehow fitting Christmas attire. When asked about his destination, he turns back and delivers those iconic words: “I’ll be back.”

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As a quintessential line from the Terminator franchise, this Easter egg might seem obvious, but the detail that might evade some viewers is the voice delivering those words. It doesn’t match the actor playing the character, leading to speculation that it’s actually the director himself making the utterance. Upon closer listening, the voice bears a striking resemblance to the T-800, Schwarzenegger’s iconic Terminator character.

In my family, it’s long been believed that Schwarzenegger provided this hidden voice cameo, given his proximity to the scene as the director. A glance at the movie’s trailer, particularly the opening moments, captures this instance.

Now, tell us if we’re mistaken! Doesn’t that voice indeed resemble the T-800’s? If this speculation holds true, it might just be the most subtle and yet remarkable Terminator reference, largely unnoticed by the audience.

Schwarzenegger’s dual role as director and potential voice cameo adds both allure and distraction to the movie. On one hand, his directorial efforts shine through, creating a charming yet occasionally chaotic comedy. On the other, the knowledge that the Terminator himself directed it occasionally pulls viewers out of the immersion: “Oh right, the Terminator directed this.”

Furthermore, there’s a confirmed non-voice cameo by Schwarzenegger, captured briefly in the movie where he appears on the set of the fictitious TV show within the film, casually engaged in a phone conversation with a jacket draped around his legs.

This involvement of Schwarzenegger in various facets of the production adds an intriguing layer to this peculiar festive feature. Following this ’90s movie, Schwarzenegger didn’t delve into directing again. While he’s never publicly spoken about it, his absence from subsequent directorial projects doesn’t necessarily imply a lack of enjoyment. Perhaps his packed schedule post-“Christmas in Connecticut” limited his directing opportunities.

This relative obscurity within Schwarzenegger’s filmography, intertwined with a subtle Terminator connection, positions it as a hidden gem that might slip past audiences, unless, like me, you grew up with it, repeatedly viewing a well-worn VHS recording each year during the holidays. (Was there any other way to experience a Christmas movie?)

Indeed, Arnie’s other Christmas movie harbors a surprising Terminator connection, adding an extra layer of intrigue to “Christmas in Connecticut,” directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.