Blade Runner

Directed by Ridley Scott, 1982

Year
1982
Director
Ridley Scott
Cast
Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah
Source
Novel: ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’
Author
Philip K. Dick

Blade Runner Summary

Blade Runner is set in Los Angeles A.D. 2017, based on the Philip K. Dick novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’. It follows the trail of hired police assassin Deckard, who’s job is to track down and kill a band of fugitive replicants (self-aware robotic beings, virtually indistinguishable from real humans), who are banned from planet earth.

5 Reasons To Watch Blade Runner

  1. The majestic soundtrack by Vangelis
  2. The dark vision of a futuristic metropolis
  3. The intrigue: who is a replicant? who is human?
  4. Rutger Hauer, as one scary replicant dude
  5. It’s a piece of cinematic history

Blade Runner Themes

What Makes Blade Runner a Dystopia?

The world of Blade Runner is less to do with the political situation and more to do with the bleak futuristic cityscape environment of an extremely urbanised Los Angeles. Earth has become a dark, polluted planet, riddled with urban decay, and a population fleeing for brighter climes. This picture is highlighted with J. F. Sebastian’s situation, stuck back on earth, living in a run-down apartment block, as a reject due to his genetic condition.

All this is before we even get into the main theme of the movie, which explores the role of the artificial beings, the replicants, who rebel from their role as slaves and strive for recognition as ‘real’ people.

Blade Runner Versions

Blade Runner has been cut and remixed so many times it is difficult to keep track! However, at the last count there are seven recognised Blade Runner versions:

  1. Original workprint version (1982, 113 minutes) – this was shown to test audiences in Denver and Dallas, to mixed reception. Feedback from these viewings led to the edits resulting in the US theatrical release. It was also shown in 1990 as an unofficial ‘Director’s Cut’ in Los Angeles and San Francisco, without Director Ridley Scott’s approval.
  2. San Diego Sneak Preview – this was almost identical to the US theatrical release, with the addition of three extra scenes (that are not included in any other version, and therefore not shown on any VHS, DVD or Blu-Ray release), and was only shown once in May 1982.
  3. US Theatrical Version (1982, 116 minutes) – which was also released on VHS and Betamax in 1983, and eventually on DVD in 2007 as part of the 5-disc ‘Ultimate Edition’. This version is also known as the ‘Original Version’ or ‘Domestic Cut’.
  4. The International Cut (1982, 117 minutes) – also known as the ‘Criterion Edition’ or uncut version. This was released in theatres in Europe and Asia, also on VHS, laserdisc, and then rereleased in 1992 as the ’10th Anniversary Edition’
  5. The US broadcast version (1986, 114 minutes) – this is simply the US theatrical version edited down to meet US broadcast restrictions on nudity, swearing and violence.
  6. Ridley Scott’s officially approved Director’s Cut – (1992, 116 minutes), also released on VHS and laserdisc (in 1993) and DVD (in 1997). Significant changes from the original version include the removal of Deckard’s controversial voice-over narration, an additional sequence featuring a unicorn, and a rework of the ending: in which the epilogue road scene with Deckard and Rachael is removed.
  7. Ridley Scott’s Final Cut (2007, 117 minutes), or the ’25th Anniversary Edition’ – released to theatres in 2007, and later that year on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Blade Runner Trailer: “The Final Cut” 2007


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What Is Included On Each Disc?

In addition to the 'Directors Cut' single disc releases, there are a whole range of multiple-disc packs for 'Blade Runner: The Final Cut', and what you get depends on how many discs you have:

Disc One:

RIDLEY SCOTT'S ALL-NEW "FINAL CUT" VERSION OF THE FILM

Restored and remastered with added and 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 Katherine Haber
  • 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

Disc Two:

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."

Disc Three:

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.

Disc Four:

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 & Alternate Scenes
  • 1982 Promotional Featurettes
  • Trailers & TV Spots
  • Featurette Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art
  • Marketing & Merchandise Gallery (Images)
  • Featurette Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard
  • Featurette Nexus Generation: Fans & Filmmakers"

Disc Five:

WORKPRINT VERSION

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 Runner
  • Featurette All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut"

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