There are movies that we can't view analytically
or objectively. Like a fondly remembered lover, they cannot be
cleared from our hearts. I love Blade Runner, what can I say? More than
any other movie. So much that I don't even know if it is any
good, because I'm blind to such questions. All such objectivity
has been lost, "like tears in the rain." I love the way it
looks. I love the offbeat supporting characters like Gaff, the
cop, and J. F. Sebastien, the genetic engineer. I love the
noble, troubled villain and his poetic dialogue. I think it
works just fine with or without the voice-over. The director's
cut is great, but I also love the original theatrical cut, for
reasons similar to the ones voiced below by Scoopy Jr.
The story takes place in Los
Angeles in 2019. The sun no longer creates daylight because some
kind of haze surrounds the city. The sun is still seen as a
circular orange ball in the sky, but it only serves to provide
the same type of light as moonlight, casting an orange hue over
everything. Many humans have left earth to live in colonies on
other worlds. The people left on earth are split into two
classes of people. The penthouse dwellers live in elegant
isolation and never venture into the streets. The streets look
like a combination of Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Times Square in
Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), one of the few Caucasians on the
streets, is trying to enjoy a simple street meal when he is placed
under arrest and summoned to police headquarters. It turns out
that he's an ex-cop of a very special type - a blade runner - a
man whose job is to kill replicants. Replicants are sophisticated
androids created to replace humans in certain situations.
According to their manufacturer, they are more human than humans.
In fact, some replicants are so real that they don't even know
that they are replicants because of sophisticated memory implants. Every
once in a while they go crazy and turn against humans. Specialists
like Deckerd are required to retire them.
Deckerd has been called to the police
department not as a criminal, but as a forcibly drafted blade
runner. He's needed to retire four
particularly dangerous replicants who escaped from an off-world
colony and, uncharacteristically, returned to earth. The
reason for their return? Their leader, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), the most sophisticated replicant ever
created, has found out that his predetermined shelf life is
nearing the expiration date, and he simply wants more life. The
only way he might be able to accomplish that is to return to earth
and meet with Tyrell, the genius who created him.
Deckard doesn't want the job of retiring the
renegade replicants, but he has no choice, so the hunt is on.
The dialogue is some of the most poetic in
Morphology? Longevity? Incept dates?
Don't know, I don't know such stuff. I just do eyes, j-j-just
eyes... just genetic design, just eyes. You Nexus, huh? I design
If only you could see, old man, what I have seen with your eyes
Batty: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire
off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark
near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time,
like tears in the rain. (NOTE: This beautiful monologue was at
least partially improvised by Rutger Hauer.)
Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you
have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.
Gaff (upon seeing Deckard
flee Los Angeles with a replicant lover who has an unknown incept
date): It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who
Deckard: All they'd wanted were the same answers the rest of us wanted.
Where have I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got?
Batty: Fiery the angels fell.
Deep thunder roll'd around their shores, burning with the fires of
Orc. (NOTE: this one, of course, is real poetry. It is Batty's
twist on William Blake's "America: A Prophesy." The original line
is, "Fiery the angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder
roll'd around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of
Of the many debates which
stimulate Blade Runner geeks, one of the most interesting involves
the possibility that Deckerd himself, the ultimate killer of
replicants, could be a replicant. In Phil Dick's story ("Do
Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?") Deckerd explicitly
considered the possibility. If Rachel could be a replicant and not
know it, then couldn't any replicant from the same series also be
convinced of his own humanity? Deckerd had himself tested by
another Blade Runner, and the "Voight-Kampff" test certified his
humanity. Director Ridley Scott did not want any such certainty in
the film version. He has stated that he wanted to keep the matter
ambiguous and, as far as he is concerned, Deckerd probably is a
replicant. I fully support Scott's decision to keep it ambiguous.
There was nothing in the plot that required a commitment either
way, and good art should provoke debate and discussion, as this
film has certainly done, if the
FAQ at IMDb
is any indication.
Director's Cut vs. Original
Theatrical Cut. This is an old debate so I won't go on too much,
but I LIKE the original theatrical release with
Harrison Ford doing the voice-over. In my mind, it's kinda the element
that makes the movie work. It's the closer. The voice-over is what
completes the homage to the classic 1940's style of low-rent detective film noir, which is basically what Blade Runner is
It has been reported that Ford hated
the voice-over, and as a result purposely read the lines as poorly as
possible thinking that if he did it badly enough, it wouldn't be used.
Yet, if you look at the Deckard character, the unkempt, uncaring
washout that drinks himself to sleep on the couch ... Ford's contempt
for the lines, and "poor" delivery are perfect for the
character! Do you think Deckard's
inner monologue would be dramatic and expressive? Of course not. It
would be a dull monotone. This was a character who was sick of
everything, including himself.
I think it would be a heck of a DVD if BOTH versions were
available, with commentary from Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford
comparing the two. Especially since Ford and Scott have both been
quoted as having different views on the issue of whether Deckard, foremost Blade Runner and the most ferocious killer of replicants, is a replicant
Scoop revisits the 5-disk set
RIDLEY SCOTT'S ALL-NEW "FINAL CUT" VERSION OF THE FILM
Restored and remastered with added & extended scenes, added lines, new and
cleaner special effects and all new 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. Also includes:
Commentary by Ridley Scott
Commentary by executive producer/co-screenwriter Hampton Fancher and
co-screenwriter David Peoples; producer Michael Deely and production executive
Commentary by visual futurist Syd Mead; production designer Lawrence G. Paull,
art director David L. Snyder and special photographic effects supervisors
Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer
DOCUMENTARY DANGEROUS DAYS: MAKING BLADE RUNNER
A feature-length authoritative documentary revealing all the elements that
shaped this hugely influential cinema landmark. Cast, crew, critics and
colleagues give a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look at the film -- from its
literary roots and inception through casting, production, visuals and special
effects to its controversial legacy and place in Hollywood history.
1982 THEATRICAL VERSION
This is the version that introduced U.S. movie-going audiences to a
revolutionary film with a new and excitingly provocative vision of the
near-future. It contains Deckard/Harrison Ford's character narration and has
Deckard and Rachel's (Sean Young) "happy ending" escape scene.
1982 INTERNATIONAL VERSION
Also used on U.S. home video, laserdisc and cable releases up to 1992. This
version is not rated, and contains some extended action scenes in contrast to
the Theatrical Version.
1992 DIRECTOR'S CUT
The Director's Cut omits Deckard's voiceover narration and removes the "happy
ending" finale. It adds the famously-controversial "unicorn" sequence, a vision
that Deckard has which suggests that he, too, may be a replicant.
BONUS DISC - "Enhancement Archive": 90 minutes of deleted footage and rare or
never-before-seen items in featurettes and galleries that cover the film's
amazing history, production teams, special effects, impact on society,
promotional trailers, TV spots, and much more.
Featurette "The Electric Dreamer: Remembering Philip K. Dick"
Featurette "Sacrificial Sheep: The Novel vs. The Film"
Philip K. Dick: The Blade Runner Interviews (audio)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Cover Gallery (images)
The Art of Blade Runner (image galleries)
Featurette "Signs of the Times: Graphic Design"
Featurette "Fashion Forward: Wardrobe & Styling"
Screen Tests: Rachel & Pris
Featurette "The Light That Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth"
Unit photography gallery
Deleted and alternate scenes
1982 promotional featurettes
Trailers and TV spots
Featurette "Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art"
Marketing and merchandise gallery (images)
Featurette "Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard"
Featurette "--Nexus Generation: Fans & Filmmakers"
This rare version of the film is considered by some to be the most radically
different of all the Blade Runner cuts. It includes an altered opening
scene, no Deckard narration until the final scenes, no "unicorn" sequence, no
Deckard/Rachel "happy ending," altered lines between Batty (Rutger Hauer) and
his creator Tyrell (Joe Turkell), alternate music and much more. Also includes:
Commentary by Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade
Featurette "All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut"
more words: Sean Young topless.
Yeah, you read that right.
There are three items I found of special interest in those deleted scenes:
(1) Deckerd has two long conversations with fellow blade runner Holden,
who is kept alive in some kind of iron lung after his encounter with Leon.
(2) There are a couple of seconds of Joanna Cassidy's butt, almost seen
through panties which are nearly diaphanous.
(3) There is a sex scene between Rachel and Deckerd. It is one of the more romantic sex
scenes I've ever seen, performed beautifully by both of them to convery the
desperate longing of the characters, with the
additional kicker of Sean Young's bare breasts. I wish this had been finished
off properly and left in the film, but I'm thrilled to see it in any format,
even if it is raw and unrestored footage.
I've been waiting 25 years to see Rachel the replicant do a nude scene.
Thanks, Ridley Scott
- IMDB summary.
IMDb voters score it 8.3/10, placing it in the top 100
of all time.
It was a failure at the box office. Despite significant
advance publicity and a $28 million dollar budget, Blade
Runner grossed only $28 million domestically.
|The meaning of the IMDb
score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics.
Films rated below five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one
and a half stars from the critics or even less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but
will be considered excellent by genre fans, while
C- indicates that it we found it to
be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Any film rated C- or better is recommended for
fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is
recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C-
that often, because we like movies and we think that most of
them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know
that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below
Based on this description, this
film is an A. Pretty much universally
acclaimed. A gorgeously rendered and imaginative future world,
the dialogue of an epic poem, sadness, redemption, intellectual
mystery, complex morality, nudity, humor, action, a memorable
score, and Roy Batty, one of the most complex villains ever
brought to the screen. Despite some irritating lapses in logic,
it's deserving of its place in the IMDb