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Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The script was written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, and is a loose adaptation of the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.[6][7] Set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, the story depicts a future in which synthetic humans known as replicants are bioengineered by the powerful Tyrell Corporation to work on off-world colonies. When a fugitive group of replicants led by Roy Batty (Hauer) escape back to Earth, burnt-out LA cop Rick Deckard (Ford) reluctantly accepts one last assignment to hunt them down. During his investigations, Deckard meets Rachael (Young), an advanced replicant who causes him to question his mission.

Blade Runner initially underperformed in North American theaters, and polarized critics; some praised its thematic complexity and visuals, while others were displeased with its unconventional pacing and plot. However, it has subsequently become an acclaimed cult film,[8] and is now regarded by many critics as one of the all-time best science fiction movies. Hailed for its production design depicting a "retrofitted" future,[9] Blade Runner remains a leading example of neo-noir cinema,[10] and has been highly influential on many subsequent science fiction films, video games, anime, and television series. The film's soundtrack, composed by Vangelis, was critically acclaimed, and was nominated in 1983 for a BAFTA and Golden Globe as best original score.

The film brought the work of Philip K. Dick to the attention of Hollywood, and several later films were based on his work.[11] Ridley Scott regards Blade Runner as "probably" his most complete and personal film.[12][13] In the year after its release, the film won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and in 1993 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Seven versions of the film have been constructed as a result of controversial changes made at the request of studio executives. A director's cut was released in 1992 after a strong response to test screenings of a workprint. This, in conjunction with the film's popularity as a video rental, made it one of the first movies to be released on DVD—albeit a basic production with mediocre video and audio quality.[14] In 2007, Warner Bros. released The Final Cut, a 25th-anniversary digitally remastered version, the only one over which Scott retained complete editorial and artistic control.[15] This version was shown in selected theaters and subsequently released on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray.[16] A sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was released in October 2017.[17]

Plot

In Los Angeles, 2019, ex-police officer Rick Deckard is detained by officer Gaff and brought to his former supervisor, Bryant. Deckard, whose job as a "blade runner" was to track down bioengineered beings known as replicants and "retire" (i.e. kill) them, is informed that four have come to Earth illegally. As Tyrell Corporation Nexus-6 models, they have a four-year lifespan, and may have come to Earth to try to extend their lives.

Deckard watches a video of a blade runner named Holden administering the "Voight-Kampff" test designed to distinguish replicants from humans based on their emotional response to questions. The test subject, Leon, shoots Holden after Holden asks about Leon's mother. Bryant wants Deckard to retire Leon and the other three replicants: Roy Batty, Zhora, and Pris. Deckard initially refuses, but after Bryant ambiguously threatens him, he reluctantly agrees.

Deckard begins his investigation at the Tyrell Corporation to ensure that the test works on Nexus-6 models. While there, he discovers that Eldon Tyrell's assistant Rachael is an experimental replicant who believes she is human. As Rachael has been given false memories to provide an "emotional cushion", a more extensive test is required to determine whether she is a replicant.

Events are set in motion that pit Deckard's search for the replicants against their own search for Tyrell (to force him to extend their lives). Roy and Leon investigate a replicant eye-manufacturing laboratory and learn of J. F. Sebastian, a gifted genetic designer who works closely with Tyrell. Rachael visits Deckard at his apartment to prove her humanity by showing him a family photo, but after Deckard reveals that her memories are implants from Tyrell's niece, she leaves his apartment in tears. Meanwhile, Pris locates Sebastian and manipulates him to gain his trust.

Searching Leon's hotel room, Deckard finds a photo of Zhora and a synthetic snake scale that leads him to a strip club where Zhora works. Deckard kills Zhora. Bryant instructs him to also retire Rachael, who has disappeared from the Tyrell Corporation. After Deckard spots Rachael in a crowd, he is attacked by Leon; he drops his pistol but Rachael uses it to kill Leon. They return to Deckard's apartment, and, during an intimate discussion, he promises not to track her down; as she abruptly tries to leave, Deckard restrains her, forcing her to kiss him.

Arriving at Sebastian's apartment, Roy tells Pris the others are dead. Sympathetic to their plight, Sebastian reveals that because of "Methuselah Syndrome", a genetic premature aging disorder, his life will also be cut short. Sebastian and Roy gain entrance into Tyrell's secure penthouse, where Roy demands more life from his maker. Tyrell tells him that it is impossible. Roy confesses that he has done "questionable things", but Tyrell dismisses this, praising Roy's advanced design and accomplishments in his short life. Roy kisses Tyrell, then kills him. Sebastian runs for the elevator, followed by Roy, who rides the elevator down alone.[nb 1]

At Sebastian's apartment, Deckard is ambushed by Pris, but he kills her as Roy returns. Roy's body begins to fail as the end of his lifespan approaches. He chases Deckard through the building, ending on the roof. Deckard tries to jump to an adjacent roof, but is left hanging between buildings. Roy makes the jump with ease, and as Deckard's grip loosens, Roy hoists him onto the roof, saving him. Before Roy dies, he delivers a monologue about how his memories "will be lost in time, like tears in rain". Gaff arrives and shouts to Deckard about Rachael: "It's too bad she won't live, but then again, who does?" Deckard returns to his apartment and finds Rachael asleep in his bed. As they leave, Deckard notices a tin-foil origami unicorn on the floor, a calling card that recalls for him Gaff's final words. Deckard and Rachael leave the apartment block.

Cast

Source: Blade Runner: The Final Cut

Themes

Production

Casting

Development

Design

Voight-Kampff machine

Music

Special effects

Release

Critical reception

Accolades

Versions

Workprint prototype version (1982)

San Diego Sneak Preview version (1982)

US theatrical release (1982)

International theatrical release (1982)

US broadcast version (1986)

The Director's Cut (1992)

The Final Cut (2007)

Legacy

Cultural impact

American Film Institute recognition

In other media

Documentaries

Sequels

Books

Film

Gallery

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Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Blade Runner.

Trivia

Differences from the 1968 novel

References

Informational notes

  1. Sebastian's death was never shot because of concerns over too much violence in the film.[18] In The Final Cut, Deckard is told by Bryant that Sebastian was found dead.


Citations

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bbfcoriginal
  2. Blade Runner. American Film Institute. Retrieved on December 3, 2015.
  3. Blade Runner. British Film Institute. Retrieved on December 3, 2015.
  4. Script error
  5. Script error
  6. Johnson, David (2005). "Chapter 3". The Popular & the Canonical: Debating Twentieth-century Literature. Psychology Press. p. 142.
  7. Caldwell, Thomas (2011). "Intertextuality". Film Analysis Handbook: Essential Guide to Understanding, Analysing and Writing on Film. Insight Publications. p. 152.
  8. Sammon, pp. xvi–xviii
  9. Bukatman, p. 21; Sammon, p. 79
  10. Script error
  11. Bukatman, p. 41
  12. Script error
  13. Script error
  14. Script error
  15. Sammon, pp. 353, 365
  16. Script error
  17. Egner, Jeremy (September 8, 2017). "‘Blade Runner 2049’: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling and the Creators Discuss the Sci-Fi Sequel and Rehash Old Arguments", The New York Times. Retrieved on September 9, 2017. 
  18. Sammon, p. 175


Bibliography

  • Script error
  • Script error
  • Script error
  • Script error

External Links


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Bladerunnerlogo
Media
Blade Runner (Video) • Soundtrack20492036: Nexus Dawn2048: Nowhere to Run1985 video game2049 SoundtrackA Story of the FutureBlack Out 2022
Characters
Original Characters: Rick DeckardRoy BattyRachaelGaffHarry BryantPriscilla StrattonJ. F. SebastianLeon KowalskiDr. Eldon TyrellZhora SalomeHannibal ChewDave HoldenBearKaiserTaffey LewisHowie LeeAbdul Ben-Hassan

Sequel Characters: KJoiLuvLt. JoshiMarietteDr. Ana StellineMister CottonSapper MortonNiander WallaceCocoDoc BadgerFreysaNandez
Short stories Characters: SaltEllaIggy CygnusTrixieRen

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