Los Angeles, a semi-retired cop, known as a "blade
runner," is assigned to hunt down and eliminate four "replicants"--genetically
created humanoid robots. Ridley Scott's bleak masterpiece
has influenced hundreds of films and ranks as one of the
finest sci-fi films ever made.
Director Ridley Scott's hauntingly
prescient vision of the not-too-distant future stars
Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, a retired police assassin,
or "blade runner." The Los Angeles of 2019 is a dark,
polluted, overcrowded dystopia dominated by cloud-piercing
buildings and looming neon billboards, the air dense with
acid rain and flying traffic. World-weary Deckard has been
called out of retirement to liquidate four escaped "replicants"--genetically
derived androids of great strength, intelligence, and
nearly-human emotion who serve as slaves and prostitutes
in the off-planet colonies. Led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer),
they've come to Los Angeles to confront their designer,
Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel), with their unhappiness about
the brevity of their four-year life span. In the course of
his search, Deckard becomes romantically entwined with
Tyrell's lovely assistant, Rachael (Sean Young), and must
eventually confront Batty in an unforgettable rain-soaked
A highly influential fusion of the science fiction and
noir genres based on the novel DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF
ELECTRIC SHEEP? by Philip K. Dick, this postmodern film
boasts astonishingly rich art direction, juxtaposing
ingenious technological gadgetry with yellowing
photographs and fetishistic objets d'art as it touches on
questions of time, memory, identity, and mortality.
Scott's 1992 director's cut edition contains notable
alterations, including the absence of Ford's narration,
which significantly heightens the ambiguity of key moments
in this stunning cinematic landmark.
Trivia for Blade Runner:
BLADE RUNNER - THE DIRECTOR'S CUT is a reedited version of
the film that received a limited theatrical re-release in
BLADE RUNNER was added to the Library of Congress National
Film Registry in 1993.Dustin
Hoffman was reputedly the original choice to play Deckard.
'Deborah Harry' was reputedly the original choice to play
The shooting of the film was supposedly such a strain on
the cast and crew that crew members had T-Shirts made
saying "WILL ROGERS NEVER MET RIDLEY SCOTT" (a reference
to Will Rogers' famous statement that he never met a man
he didn't like).
While the film is loosely based on Philip K. Dick's "Do
Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", the title comes from a
book by Alan E. Nourse called "The Bladerunner". William
S. Burroughs wrote a screenplay based on the Nourse book,
and a novella entitled "Blade Runner: A Movie." Ridley
Scott bought the rights to the title but not the
screenplay or the book. The Burroughs composition defines
a blade runner as a person who sells illegal surgical
Exasperated crews often referred to the film as "Blood
The building used in the final chase scene between Decker
and Roy, the Bradbury, was the same building used in the
1964 episode of the original Outer Limits titled 'The
Demon With a Glass Hand' staring Robert Culp.
The ending that features Deckard and Rachael driving in
the countryside contains unused footage from Stanley
Kubrick's Shining, The (1980).
The opening sequence has been identified as a shot of the
I.C.I. Chemical Plant in Wilton, Teesside, UK. It was
actually a diminishing perspective miniature landscape set
nicknamed "Hades". It measured 18 feet wide by 13 feet
In the sequence where Deckard and Gaff approach police
headquarters in a spinner, a model of the Millennium
Falcon ( Harrison Ford's spaceship in Star Wars (1977)),
disguised as a building, can be seen in the lower left
corner of the frame. The model was a personal project of
one of the film's model builders, and was used as a
building at the last minute.
A model of the Dark Star spaceship from the film Dark Star
(1974) is also used as a building. It can be seen behind
the Asian billboard when Gaff's spinner is approaching the
The mold used for the rooftop of the Police Headquarters
building was originally a mold used in the Special Edition
of _Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)_. It is the
saucer-like ceiling Richard Dreyfuss stands under after he
enters the Mothership.
The dialogue in all releases of the movie alludes to
another replicant who dies before Deckard's final battles
with Pris and Batty. The conflicting dialogue occurs in
the first conversation between Deckard and Bryant. Bryant
initially tells Deckard there are four "skin jobs" on the
loose, but minutes later says six escaped, and one was
killed by the "electronic gate", which should leave five.
The explanation is that the script originally contained an
additional replicant named "Mary", but time and budgetary
constraints resulted in her being written out. M. Emmet
Walsh who plays Bryant, reports that new dialogue was
recorded to change the number of replicants in this scene,
but Scott inexplicably only used half of the new dialogue,
resulting in the inconsistency.
There are at least three major drafts of the screenplay.
While they all have the same storyline, many details
differ between them: The first of these drafts, dated July
24, 1980, was written by Hampton Fancher alone. It refers
to replicants as "androids" and makes it clear that
Deckard is human; at one point, he has a physical, hoping
to qualify for an off-world flight. The Voight-Kampff test
can spot "androids" after five or six questions, (not the
thirty questions required in later drafts; Rachael is
detected after thirteen questions, not a hundred. Deckard
recognizes Zhora fairly quickly in this draft (her
appearance has changed in later drafts). The fifth
"android" Mary has a part in this draft. Instead of
finding Tyrell at the Tyrell building, Batty goes to
Tyrell's mansion, and he kills Tyrell, along with his
bodyguard, a maid, and his entire family; he kills
Sebastian later. Deckard kills Mary, Pris, and Batty.
Deckard and Rachael escape from the city. In the woods in
the country, Deckard kills Rachael, knowing that another
Blade Runner would have done it sooner or later. The draft
dated December 22, 1980, was co-written by David Webb
Peoples. It does not have the chess game featured in the
final film, but it is the most cohesive of the three draft
(there are no continuity problems, and the story is
virtually complete, with details missing from the final
film). Batty and Company are known as replicants by this
time. Also, a sixth replicant, Hodge, is in the mix; he
attacks Batty and Gaff at Leon's flat. Mary is also in
this draft; as before, she is killed by Deckard in
Sebastian's apartment. Chew is shown after he freezes to
death. In this draft, the Tyrell Corporation is called
"the Nekko Corporation". Instead of praising Deckard's
skills as a Blade Runner, Bryant chastises him for
shooting a replicant in public view after Deckard kills
Zhora. Leon disguises himself as a Russian in a bar
sitting next to Deckard before attacking him; Deckard
isn't fooled, but Leon is still faster than him, and
Deckard needs to be rescued by Rachael. In this draft,
"Tyrell" turns out to be another replicant; after killing
him, Roy demands that Sebastian take him to the real
Tyrell, and Sebastian reveals that Tyrell has an unnamed
disease and is now in hibernation unit awaiting a cure.
Roy demands that Sebastian wake Tyrell up, and Sebastian
reveals that Tyrell died a year ago; Roy kills Sebastian
after learning this. In both of these two drafts, the
entire replicant line is put on hold after Tyrell is
killed, as Batty is now public knowledge. Bryant reveals
Gaff is planning to kill Racheal. In this draft, Batty
saves Deckard and lets his lifespan run out. After Deckard
returns home, Bryant calls to warn him that Gaff is
coming, hinting that Deckard should get out of town.
Deckard and Rachael leave town. Rachael asks Deckard to
kill him, so another Blade Runner can't do it; Deckard
does so. While Deckard is probably human in this draft, he
empathizes with the replicants, comparing himself to them
at the end, saying "Roy Batty was my late brother." The
draft dated February 23, 1981, is VERY close to the final
film. It has some spare narration, and it also has the
continuity problem of Bryant saying there are five
replicants in the city. In the final battle, Deckard tries
to back out, saying he doesn't want to kill Pris or Batty.
At the end, Deckard and Rachael flee the city; Gaff's
spinner is seen in the distance chasing them.
The error concerning the number of replicants was dealt
with in the never-made sequel to the movie (which was
instead made into a novel) in which Deckard is the
The computer screen in Gaff's police spinner shows the
same computer sequence (with the word "Purge") that the
Nostromo displays in the film Alien (1979) (also directed
by Ridley Scott).
In July 2000, director Ridley Scott said that Deckard is,
in fact, a replicant.
Harrison Ford takes issue with Ridley Scott's revelation
that Deckard is a replicant. "We had agreed that he
definitely was not a replicant," Ford said.
Director Trademark: [Ridley Scott] [Mothers] Leon shoots
his interviewer just as he is asked a question about his
The movie was given poor ratings by most critics in 1982,
including Siskel & Ebert. In 1992, the two critics
re-evaluated their attitudes toward the film and gave it
two enthusiastic thumbs-up.
All the replicants are called by their names and the
humans are called by their surnames. Rick Deckard is
called by both his name and surname.
At some point of the movie every replicant has a red
brightness in their eyes (Rachel in Deckard's home, Pris
in Sebastian's). Deckard also has the shining in his eyes
while talking to Rachel in his house.
They hired a female gymnast as a stunt double for Daryl
Hannah in the scene where Pris attacks Deckard, but
director Ridley Scott rehearsed the scene so many times
that when they were ready to shoot the scene she was too
exhausted to do anything. The scene was filmed with a male
gymnast that they had been able to track down during the
The incept (birth) date of Pris ( Daryl Hannah) is 14
Roy Batty ( Rutger Hauer)'s odd meld of "father" and
"fucker" after he says to Tyrell, "I want more life" is
deliberate. Hauer was instructed to pronounce it in such a
way that it could be both.
When Gaff talks to Deckard in the Chinese restaurant he
speaks partly in Hungarian, he says: "Azonnal kövessen
engem" which means "Follow me immediately", and "Lófasz"
which means something like "bullshit" in English (only
much ruder). Evidently, Hungarian moviegoers find this
fantastically funny. Gaff continues in Hungarian. He says,
"Nehogy mar, te vagy a Blade Runner," which means, "No
way, you are the Blade Runner." After this, he switches to
Deckard's apartment, drawn by set designer Charles Breen
and built on stage at Warner Bros., was inspired by the
Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Innes-Brown House in Los
Angeles. Breen actually had plaster casts taken from the
textile blocks of the Wright-designed house and used them
for the walls in the stage set.
Ridley Scott carried a photo of Edward Hopper's famous
painting "Nighthawks" with him during shooting to show it
to the crew members, to give them a feeling what kind of
mood he wanted to create in the film.
In the final scene where Deckard believes Rachel to be
dead, there are televisions in the background which have
interference superimposed on them and the eerie wind
noise, both effects are taken from Alien (1979), a
previous Ridley Scott film.
Ridley Scott constantly would ask Joe Turkel (a friend of
Stanley Kubrick's ), "How would Kubrick have done it?" In
the end, Turkel had to tell Ridley that it was his film,
not Kubrick's, and he should film it in his own style.
This was one of the first major films to be reissued years
later in a "director's edition" in which the director was
allowed to restore edited footage or otherwise make
changes more closely reflecting his original vision.
Today, such later "revision" of films is commonplace.
When Deckard ( Harrison Ford) stops Rachel ('Sean Young' )
from leaving his apartment he pushes her away from him.
The expression of pain and shock on her face was real. She
said Ford pushed her too hard and she was angry with him.
In a survey conducted by the UK newspaper The Guardian in
2004, 60 scientists selected this movie as the best
science fiction movie of all time, just ahead of 2001: A
Space Odyssey (1968)!!