looks at:

Blade Runner (1982)

Wake up, time to die!

An ex-cop (Harrison Ford of Indiana Jones fame) is recruited to find androids who rebelled in space and returned to Earth to pass as human in gritty, futuristic Los Angeles. The muddled script is loosely based on Philip K. Dick's superior novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Excellent production design and futuristic stylings. Directed by Ridley Scott. 118 minutes rated R, 5 minutes added to home video version.
Additional cast:
Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, (currently Commander Adama in the new Battlestar Galactica), William Sanderson of Skeeter, Daryl Hannah, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, and Brion James of the "Blade Runner" ripoff Virtual Assasin, of which MonsterVision's Joe Bob Briggs said:

"Sadly, Brion died almost a year ago of a heart attack at the age of 54. This guy was like Bruce Dern and Gary Busey on the scariest days of their careers, and I'm not talking about Busey's roles in the Born-Again videos he does. Come on, people, have a little respect. Brion James was the replicant in "Blade Runner" who made famous that line, "Wake up, time to die!" Remember that? I don't, either, but Brion was the guy who said it. No, I do remember it. He was also in "Southern Comfort," both "48 Hours" flicks, and, one of my favorites, "Corvette Summer" with Mark Hamill. Not to mention over a hundred other films. Brion studied with the famous acting teacher Stella Adler -- paid for classes by working as her houseboy and, get this -- doing stand-up comedy. Can you imagine that guy doing stand-up? Yeek. Okay, back to Virtual Assassin

"When Brion died, Corey Feldman told the papers that he was, quote, "the sweetest, kindest, most beautiful person." They knew each other from AA meetings. And if Corey Feldman says the guy was okay, then the guy must've been OKAY. But my question is: What did Corey HAIM think? That's the real test of a person's character."

No, wait a minute. It wasn't Virtual Assassin that Joe Bob called a "Blade Runner" ripoff. It was during MonsterVision host segments for "Replikator" that he called that one an "el cheapo "Blade Runner" rip-off." And he also said that night during host segments for Replikator, "You guys know Ned Beatty's FIRST film was Deliverance? That just amazes me. How many times do you think people on the street yell "Squeal like a pig" at him? I mean, what kinda person would do that? Actually, I'd do that."
OK, that has nothing to do with "Blade Runner". Just thought I'd throw it in.

Trivia (courtesy the Internet Movie Database)

* Dustin Hoffman was reputedly the original choice to play Deckard.
* Deborah Harry was reputedly the original choice to play Pris.
* 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 instruments.

* Philip K. Dick claimed that footage of the film was exactly what he had envisioned when he wrote the book. However, Ridley Scott, who was notorious for having gotten exactly the visual look he wanted, claimed to have never read Dick's source novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

* Exasperated crews often referred to the film as "Blood Runner".
* 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 The Shining (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 deep.

* 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 John Carpenter 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 Police building.

* 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.

* According to a vintage "Starburst magazine" of the time, James Caan of "Rollerball" (1975) was also a possible for the role of Rick Deckard.

* 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 remaining replicant.

* 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 (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.

* 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. This is just one more reason Joe Bob Briggs can't stand Siskel & Ebert

* 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. This may have been inspired by the robot's eyes in Westworld

* 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 lunch break.

* The incept (birth) date of Pris (Daryl Hannah) is 14 February 2016.

* Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer)'s odd meld of "father" and "f*cker" 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 another language.

* Deckard's apartment, drawn by set designer Charles Breen and built on stage at Warner Bros., was inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis-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).

* It has been rumored for years that Harrison Ford purposefully gave a bad reading of the voiceover narration added during post production in hopes that the studio wouldn't use it. Ford has denied this vehemently, stating that he gave the voice over six different readings and neither version came out sounding right and that the narration didn't work simply because the film wasn't originally made to have one.

* Director Trademark: [Ridley Scott - mothers] Leon shoots his interviewer just as he is asked a question about his mother.

* According to Ripley's Believe It Or Not, there really is a creature called a Blade Runner. It is a type of lemur that runs along the tops of razor-sharp blades of obsidian "aa" lava by grasping the steep sides with all four hand-like feet, leaving predators behind.

I was signing the receipt for my credit card purchase when the clerk noticed that I had never signed my name on the back of the credit card. She informed me that she could not complete the transaction unless the card was signed. When I asked why, she explained that it was necessary to compare the signature on the credit card with the signature I just signed on the receipt. So I signed the credit card in front of her. She carefully compared that signature to the one I signed on the receipt. As luck would have it, they matched.

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