Blade Runner (1982)

USA, Hong Kong, 1981
111m 46s (UK video – Director's Cut), 112m 2s (UK video, 1986), 116m 29s (UK video – Director's Cut), 117m 4s (UK theatrical)
35mm film, Panavision (anamorphic), Technicolor, 2.35:1
Dolby Stereo, English

An American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and loosely based on Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Dream of Electric Sheep?. Although initially a commercial and critical failure, it has since grown in stature and its production design in particular has proved highly influential. The film exists in a number of different versions.

Plot Summary

, 2020: a group of renegade have illegally arrived on Earth from the off-world colonies. Blade Runner Rick Deckard is sent to find and “retire” them, but this time he finds himself up against the technologically highly advanced Nexus 6 machines, replicants that are developing their own emotions.

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Ridley Scott
© MCMLXXXII [] Blade Runner Partnership
Director's Cut © 1991 The Blade Runner Partnership
The Ladd Company in association with Sir Run Run Shaw. Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin present a Michael Deeley-Ridley Scott production
Executive Producers: Brian Kelly, Hampton Fancher
Produced by: Michael Deeley
Associate Producer: Ivor Powell
Screenplay by: Hampton Fancher and David Peoples; Roland Kibbee [voiceovers – uncredited]
Based on the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick
Director of Photography: Jordan Cronenweth
Supervising Editor: Terry Rawlings
Editor: Marsha Nakashima
Music Composed, Arranged, Performed and Produced by: Vangelis
Sound Mixer: Bud Alper
Costumes Designed by: Charles Knode and Michael Kaplan; Moebius *
Make Up Artist: Marvin G. Westmore
Hair Stylist: Shirley L. Padgett
Special Floor Effects Supervisor: Terry Frazee
Special Photographic Effects by EEG
Visual Displays by Dream Quest Inc.
Production Designed by: Lawrence G. Paull, Peter J. Hampton *
Locations: Bradbury Building, 304 South Broadway, Los Angeles, California, USA; Ennis-Brown House, 2655 Glendower Avenue, Los Angeles, California, USA; Million Dollar Theatre, 307 South Broadway, Los Angeles, California, USA; Old Union Station, Los Angeles, California, USA; Pan Am building, Los Angeles, California, USA; Second Street Tunnel, Los Angeles, California, USA
Filmed at The Burbank Studios, Burbank, California

Cast
Harrison Ford (Deckard)
Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty)
Sean Young (Rachel)
Edward James Olmos (Gaff)
M. Emmett Walsh (Bryant)
Daryl Hannah (Pris)
William Sanderson (J.F. Sebastian)
Brion James (Leon)
Joe Turkel (Tyrell)
Joanna Cassidy (Zhora)
James Hong (Chew)
Morgan Paull (Holden)
Kevin Thompson (Bear)
John Edward Allen (Kaiser)
Hy Pyke (Taffy Lewis)
Kimiko Hiroshige (Cambodian woman)
Robert Okazaki (sushi master)
Carolyn DeMirjian (saleslady)

Cast Gallery

Alternative Titles

Blade Runner – Metropolis 2020 – Finland
Blade Runner – O Caçador de Andróides – Brazil
Blade runner – Omades exontoseos – Greece
Der Blade Runner – West Germany
El cazador implacable – Venezuela
Dangerous Days – working title
Iztrebljevalec – Slovenia (director's cut)
Lowca androidów – Poland
Perigo Iminente – Portugal
Szárnyas fejvadász – Hungary
Vânatorul de recompense – Romania

Sequel
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

See also
Akira (1987)
Almost Human (2013-2014)
Baburugamu Kuraishisu (1987-1991)
Cabaret Sin (1987)
The Comic Strip Presents: Slags (1984)
Dark City (1998)
The Making of Blade Runner (1997)
Metropolis (1927)
Mystery Men (1999)
Natural City (2003)
Nirvana (1997)
Trancers (1985)

Extracts included in
1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014)
The Android Prophecy (2001)
Here's Looking at You, Warner Bros. (1991)
My Science Fiction Life (2006)
On the Edge of Blade Runner (2000)
A Personal History of British Cinema by Stephen Frears (1994)
Precious Images (1986)
Visions of Light (1992)

Press

When it was first released, Blade Runner received mixed reviews. Don Macpherson, writing in the London-based listings magazine City Limits, hailed it “a sprawlingly imaginative and infuriatingly spoiled movie which is absolutely worth seeing”, noting that “the real star is the design, the astonishingly dense texture of the 2019 city which works on present fears and emotions more subtly than any actors” and concluding that “what's encouraging about Blade Runner is that a filmmaker can commit a massive budget to a story as profoundly troubling as Philip K. Dick's, and realise it on screen. It's about 85% brilliant and complaints are merely carping.” 1City Limits no.49 (10 September 1982) pp.4

Its influence was acknowledged by Jonathan Crocker and Simon Crook in their 2003 article The flops that rocked in the British Total Film magazine: “[I]t's impossible to underestimate Blade Runner‘s influence – its future-noir aesthetic has been recycled in everything from mobile phone and TV ads to movies like Brazil and Minority Report. 2Total Film no.83 (December 2003) p.46

References

Periodicals

  • City Limits no.48 (3 September 1982) pp.37-39 – illustrated article (by Dave Farrow)
  • City Limits no.49 (10 September 1982) pp.4 – review (by Don Macpherson)
  • Empire December 1992 – review
  • Empire no.222 (December 2007) p.60 – illustrated review (Blade Runner: The Final Cut by Adam Smith)
  • Empire no.223 (January 2008) pp.138-140; 198-199 – illustrated interviews with Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah, Joanna Cassidy and Sean Young (Replicant by Dan Jolin et al); illustrated DVD review (At home/DVD reissues: Blade Runner: Ultimate Collector's Edition by Ian Nathan)
  • Empire no.231 September 2008 pp.113-123 – illustrated article (10 years of DVD by Simon Crook, Nick De Semlyen & James Dyer et al)
  • Empire no.232 October 2008 pp.124-125 – illustrated article (Apocalypse Now reduced! by Simon Crook)
  • Entertainment Weekly no.491/492 (25 June 1999) p.148 – article (Distance ‘Runner by Mike Flaherty)
  • The Face no.40 (January 1992) p.39 – review
  • Film Comment July 1982 pp.64-68 – illustrated article (21st century nervous breakdown by Harlan Ellison)
  • Film Quartely Winter 1982-1983 pp.33-38 – review (Reviews: Blade Runner by Michael Dempsey)
  • FilmMagasinet June/July 1994 pp.76-78 – review (by Kjetil Korslund)
  • Interzone no.69 (March 1993) p.39 – review (by Nick Lowe)
  • Interzone no.214 (February 2008) p.57 – review (by Tony Lee)
  • Metro no.157 2008 pp.160-163 – illustrated DVD review (DVD review: Blade Runner: The Final Cut by Steven Aoun)
  • The Nation 4-5 December 1999 p.39 – review (by Leon Golub)
  • New Musical Express 4 February 1984 p.17 – review (On Vid by Andy Gill)
  • The New Yorker 12 July 1982 p.19 – illustrated review (Baby, the must fall by Pauline Kael)
  • Official Blade Runner Souvenir Magazine by Vic Bulluck – production notes
  • Photoplay January 1984 p.53 – illustrated review
  • Quarterly Review of Film and Video vol.26 n2 2009 pp.155-166 – article (R is for race, not rocket: black representation in American science fiction cinema by Adilifu Nama)
  • Radio Times 27 June 2009 pp.61 – illustrated review (Barry Norman's Greatest Hits by Barry Norman)
  • SFX no.292 (November 2017) pp.54-55 – illustrated interview with Syd Mead (World builder)
  • Sight & Sound vol.18 no.1 (January 2008) pp.92 – illustrated DVD review (Reviews: Definitively maybe by Andrew Osmond)
  • Starburst no.357 (December 2007) pp.28-34; 98 – illustrated interviews with Ridley Scott, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah and Charles de Lauzirika (Making the Cut by Chris Prince); illustrated DVD review (by Chris Prince)
  • Time Out no.629 (10 September 1982) pp.14-15 – illustrated review (by John Sladek)
  • Total Film no.83 (December 2003) p.46 – illustrated article (The flops that rocked by Jonathan Crocker and Simon Cook)

Newspapers

  • The Cedar Rapids Gazette 23 April 1981 p.12B – article (Actor joins nefarious group by Bob Thomas)
  • The Cedar Rapids Gazette 19 June 1981 p.2C – note (Cast information)
  • Indiana Evening Gazette, Family Leisure 18 October 1980 – article (Want to Direct Movies? Then Practice with TV Ads by Dick Kleiner)
  • The Isle of Wight County Press 10 September 1982 p.33 – note (Your entertainment guide)
  • Lethbridge Herald 23 October 1980 p.A8 – article (Commercials termed good training ground by Dick Kleiner)
  • Los Angeles Times 30 September 2007 p.E5 – illustrated interview with Ridley Scott (Movies: The Classics: ‘Blade Runner,' Take 3 by Geoff Boucher)
  • The New York Times 20 September 1992 – illustrated review (Blade Runner' Cuts Deep Into American Culture by Donald Albrecht)
  • Orange County Register 4 May 1981 p.B6 – illustrated article (Rutger Hauer: ‘Nighthawks' villainy may lead to stardom by Bob Thomas)
  • Svenska Dagbladet 4 December 1992 – review (Blade Runner tillbaka med nytt slut by Jeanette Gentele)

Books

  • 100 Cult Films by Ernest Mathijs & Xavier Mendik pp.28-30 – illustrated review by EM [Ernest Mathijs]
  • 101 Greatest Films of Mystery & Suspense by Otto Penzler pp.191-194 – credits, review
  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.134 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.373 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Best 80s Movies by Helen O'Hara pp.50-51 – illustrated review
  • The BFI Companion to Crime p.53 – credits, review
  • BFI Screen Guides: 100 Science Fiction Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.19-20 – illustrated credits, review
  • Blade Runner Sketchbook – production notes
  • Blade Runner: The Inside Story by Don Shay – production notes
  • Counterfeit Worlds: Philip K. Dick on Film by Brian J. Robb pp.68-77; 88-151; 304 – illustrated article; credits
  • The Culture and Philosophy of Ridley Scott pp. 133-144 (What's Wrong With Building Replicants? Artificial Intelligence in Blade Runner, Alien and Prometheus by Greg Littman)
  • The Encyclopedia of Epic Films by Constantine Santas, James M. Wilson, Maria Colavito, Djoymi Baker pp.93-97
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.99-101 – illustrated credits, review (by D.B. [David Blakesley])
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer pp.185, 189, 190, 204
  • Film Architecture: From Metropolis to Blade Runner – production notes
  • The Films of Ridley Scott by Richard A. Schwartz pp.25-50
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A.Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.52 – credits, synopsis
  • Future Imperfect: Philip K. Dick at the Movies by Jason P. Vest pp.1-27 – illustrated article
  • Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner by Paul M. Sammon – production notes
  • The Harrison Ford Story by Alan McKenzie – credits, review
  • Heroes, Monsters and Values: Science Fiction Films of the 1970s pp.136, 190
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.25-27 – credits, review
  • The Illustrated Blade Runner by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples – production notes
  • Jules Verne on Film by Thomas C. Renzi p.163 – note
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.46 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis pp.25-26 – credits, review
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.112 – credits, review
  • Introduction to Japanese Horror Film by Colette Balmain p.120
  • The Pocket Essential Ridley Scott by Brian J. Robb pp.32-41
  • Retrofitting Blade Runner edited by Judith D. Kerman – reviews
  • Ridley Scott by Paul M. Sammon pp.63-73 – illustrated chapter; 136-138 – credits, reprinted Variety review
  • Ridley Scott: A Critical Filmography by William B. Parrill pp.43-57 – illustrated chapter; 162 – credits, reprinted Variety review
  • Ridley Scott: A Retrospective by Ian Nathan pp.44-63 – illustrated chapter; 234 – credits
  • Ridley Scott Interviews by Laurence F. Knapp and Andrea F. Kulas pp.xxii-xxiii (credits); 42-55 (Directing Alien and Blade Runner: An Interview With Ridley Scott by Danny Peary)
  • Ridley Scott: Promethean by Brian J. Robb pp.42-62
  • Rock-Film: In 450 film, trent'anni di Cinema & Rock by Paolo Belluso and Flavio Merkel p.44 – credits, note
  • Sci-fi Chronicles by Guy Haley (ed.) pp.149; 270
  • Sci-Fi Now's 80s Sci-fi Almanac: Complete Movie Guide 1980-1989 pp.7 – illustrated article (The 15 greatest big screen bad-asses of the 1980s); 90-97 – illustrated article
  • Taking It All In by Pauline Kael – review (reprint from The New Yorker 12 July 1982)
  • Trick Cinematography by R.M. Hayes pp.265-268 – credits, review
  • The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature by Paul Meehan p.180
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) pp.20, 21  – illustrated credits, review
  • Virgin Film: Ridley Scott by James Clarke pp.5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 36, 40, 43, 53-83, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92, 94, 96, 97, 101, 102, 104, 105, 108, 112, 114, 115, 116, 117, 119, 125, 135, 140, 143, 152, 164, 165, 176, 177, 184, 191, 196, 199, 226-8, 232, 239, 244, 247, 258, 259
  • York Film Notes: Blade Runner by Nick Lacey – reviews, articles

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide April 2015 p.33 – illustrated listing
  • BFI Southbank Guide December 2020 p.17 – illustrated listing