Jingle All the Way might be the most famous Arnold Schwarzenegger Christmas movie there is, and that’s fair. But you might be missing out on another excellent holiday flick from the iconic actor, and it’s one he actually directed.
Back in 1992, Arnold Schwarzenegger opted to direct Christmas in Connecticut, a TV-movie adaptation of the classic 1940’s Christmas movie. It ran on TNT, but quickly faded into obscurity. Now, we could talk about how this is the best Christmas movie you never saw, but right now we’re focusing on an incredible Terminator Easter egg you need to know about.
In one of the earlier scenes in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, a character named Tyler walks up the stairs wearing a bulky leather jacket and black sunglasses (very Christmassy). When he’s asked where he’s going, he turns around and says those beautiful words: “I’ll be back.”
As one of the most iconic action movie lines of all time, that’s an easy Easter egg spot.
But the thing that makes this particular ‘80s movie reference really stick out is a hidden detail that we think some might miss. If you listen very carefully, the voice saying those words sounds awfully familiar, and nothing like the actual actor who’s playing the part.
It’s always been canon in my family that those words are spoken by the director himself. It makes perfect sense. He was right there. You can hear watch the moment yourself in the first few seconds of the trailer below:
Tell us we’re wrong! Doesn’t that sound exactly like the T-800 himself? If it’s true, then this might just be the best Terminator reference of all time, and nobody seems to know about it.
The fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger directed this is both a blessing and a curse. For one, he actually did a stand-up job in the chair, since this is a charming comedy at best, and a chaotic, entertaining mess at worst. But equally, nothing will take you out of a movie more than occasionally stopping and thinking: “Oh yeah, the Terminator directed this.”
What’s more, there’s even a confirmed non-voice cameo from Schwarzenegger, which you can see below. He’s sitting on the set of the fake TV show that takes place in the movie, with a jacket wrapped around his legs, talking on the phone.
It’s very brief and hardly noticeable unless you’re looking for it, but my god, Arnie’s all over this strange little festive feature.
It’s worth noting that, after this ‘90s movie, Schwarzenegger didn’t direct anything else again. Considering how he was more than happy (that we know) to insert himself into the project in multiple ways, we doubt this is because he didn’t enjoy working on it. Mind you, he never talks about it, so how are we to know?
We like to think he just got too busy after this to direct anything else. Frankly, this makes it a hidden gem in his filmography, and one that you’re likely to miss unless you grew up with it and rewatched a batted VHS recording every year like me. (I mean, was there any other way to watch a Christmas movie?)
For more, check out the best alternative Christmas movies to watch this year, or take a look at the best Christmas horror movies for something a little different. You can also read our explainer on Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone’s old feud.
For all the best movies soon to come, check out our breakdown of the new movies headed our way. Finally, don’t miss our feature on why Emma-Jane Betts hates Christmas movies for one very simple reason.