Blade Runner (1982)

R   |    |  Sci-Fi, Thriller


Blade Runner (1982) Poster

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

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  • Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott in Blade Runner (1982)
  • Douglas Trumbull in Blade Runner (1982)
  • Sean Young in Blade Runner (1982)
  • Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner (1982)
  • Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott in Blade Runner (1982)
  • Sean Young in Blade Runner (1982)

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6 March 2001 | jfitch7
Intriguingly Philosophical
Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott and based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, is a Sci-fi slash Noir film about a cop named Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) in a decrepit 2019 Los Angeles whose job it is to "retire" four genetically engineered syborgues, known as "Replicants". The four fugitives, Pris (Daryl Hannah), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy), Leon (Brion James), and their leader, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), have escaped from an off-world colony in order to find their creator and bully him into expanding their pre-determined four year life span. This film originally flopped when it came out in 1982, but since has become a widely acclaimed cult classic with a director's cut to boot. A large part of the success that this movie has received can be attributed to its ability to operate on many different levels.

Ridley Scott's hauntingly possible depiction of what might become of Los Angeles down the line is absolutely brilliant. It captures elements of Noir with its urban atmosphere of decadence, lighting, and characters neither clearly defined as good nor evil. Corruption is everywhere. The garbage-littered streets and permanence of dark and rain give us the sense that we've seriously screwed up the atmosphere, and the impression that all respectable human beings have fled to the off-world colonies, leaving only the scum of the earth behind.

There is a hint of style from the 40's, especially with respect to cars, costumes, and music. Rachael's entire outfit, including her hair, screams the 40's.

The soundtrack, arranged by Vangelis (who won an Oscar for his Chariots of Fire score), consisted mainly of Jazz and Blues. This functioned to represent a dark, moody world of uncertainty and pessimism.

The special effects were exceptional. Much of the set was pulled off using models. In my opinion, sets made by hand require leagues more of skill and are much more impressive and realistic than those computer generated. These guys really knew what they were doing. I was especially fond of the pyramidesque Tyrell Corporation building, which hinted at the god-like presence of Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkell), the creator.

The script (Hampton Fancher, David Peoples, and of course Phil Dick) worked for me, as well as the actors who gave voice to it. Harrison Ford was well...Harrison Ford. I thought he did a tremendous job down-playing the role. His voice-over narration helped you along, and was yet another feature conducive to Film Noir (apparently this was taken out of the Director's Cut). Rutger Hauer's performance was intense. His lines at the end were intriguingly philosophical. Daryl Hannah's chilling robotic expressions were quite impressive. Joanna Cassidy was just plain hot.

There is more to this film than just pulp. It works on so many remarkable levels. The movie itself is a detective noir quest for the meaning of life in a science fiction environment, but the story is a commentary on what it means to be human and the questions each one of us have about life, like: How long have I to live? Why do I have to die? What happens when I die? Doesn't my maker care? Is this all merely an illusion? At the end of the film we are left to wonder if these Replicants are human, and if Deckard himself is in fact a Replicant. Scott raises more questions here than he answers, and as a result, critics are still debating the mysteries of this film today. In a sense, the ambiguity of Blade Runner is the culprit of its success.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joanna Cassidy (Zhora) was at ease with the snake around her neck because it was her pet, a Burmese python named Darling.


Quotes

Female announcer over intercom: Next subject: Kowalski, Leon. Engineer, waste disposal. File section: New employee, six days.


Goofs

When Deckard asks Racheal if Tyrel's owl is artificial, she replies "Of course it is." However, her lips movements do not match what we hear. This is because when the scene was filmed, actress Sean Young answered the question by saying "Of course not." Director Ridley Scott changed this in post-production because he wanted to establish that Tyrell could make perfect imitations of living things.


Crazy Credits

The opening credits sequence features a detailed, dictionary-style definition of the word Replicant.


Alternate Versions

CBS edited 3 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. Some of the missing scenes include:

  • Bryant's line "Don't be an asshole Deckard" was changed to "Don't be an ass Deckard".
  • The word "Christ" was cut from Byrant's line "Christ Deckard, you look almost as bad as that skin job you left on the sidewalk"
  • The word "goddamn" was cut from Bryant's line "He's a goddamn one man slaughter house."
  • All scenes showing Zhora's breasts have been removed.
  • Roy's line, "I want more life fucker/father" was changed to "I want more life".
  • Roy's murder of Tyrell is much shorter than in all other versions.
  • The fight between Pris and Deckard is heavily edited; all shots of Pris thrashing on the ground after being shot were cut, as were all the scenes where Deckard's head is trapped between her legs.


Soundtracks

One More Kiss Dear
(uncredited)
Written by
Peter Skellern
Performed by Vangelis

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Sci-Fi | Thriller

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