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Subject: BLADE RUNNER Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:22:06 GMT
Version: 2.4 (July 1995)
Frequently Asked Questions
Copyright (C) 1992-1995 Murray Chapman
Compiled by Murray Chapman (email@example.com), from sources too numerous to
mention. Thank-you one and all.
The movie "Blade Runner" is one of the Internet's most talked about movies.
In an attempt to stop the same questions being asked and answered every few
days or so, I present the Blade Runner FAQ.
A WWW version of this FAQ is now available:
This file will be posted monthly to: rec.arts.movies, alt.cult-movies,
rec.arts.sf.movies, rec.answers, and news.answers.
The follow-up field is set to rec.arts.movies.
This, and MANY other FAQs are available for anonymous FTP wherever
news.answers is archived, for example:
Marcos Contreras M. is translating this file into Spanish. Stay tuned for
Kazushi Kimura has translated this file into Japanese. Contact him
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
Marc-Berco Fuhr has volunteered to translate this file into German and
Danish. Contact him (email@example.com) for details.
Suggestions welcome for all areas, especially those marked with [?]s.
This FAQ contains spoilers.
1. What is Blade Runner?
2. What book is it based on?
3. Is the sound track available?
4. What are replicants?
5. Who/what is <so-and-so>?
6. I don't like the voice-overs/ending.
7. What are the different versions of Blade Runner?
8. Memorable Quotes
9. What is the significance of the unicorn?
10. What is the significance of the chess game?
11. Problems in Blade Runner
12. Trivia / What makes Blade Runner popular/special?
13. More questions/answers
14. Is Deckard a replicant?
1. WHAT IS BLADE RUNNER?
Blade Runner (BR) is a science-fiction film starring Harrison Ford, Rutger
Hauer, Sean Young, and Daryl Hannah. Although it was a box-office failure,
it has become perhaps the definitive cult movie, and is one of the few films
which remain faithful to the ideals of 20th century science fiction
Blade Runner was directed by Ridley Scott, and features music by Vangelis.
Opening crawl from the movie:
Early in the 21st Century, THE TYRELL
CORPORATION advanced Robot evolution
into the NEXUS phase -- a being virtually
identical to a human -- known as a replicant.
The NEXUS 6 Replicants were superior
in strength and agility, and at least equal
in intelligence, to the genetic engineers
who created them.
Replicants were used Off-world as
slave labor, in the hazardous exploration and
colonization of other planets.
After a bloody mutiny by a NEXUS 6
combat team in an Off-world colony,
Replicants were declared illegal
on earth -- under penalty of death.
Special police squads -- BLADE RUNNER
UNITS -- had orders to shoot to kill, upon
detection, any trespassing Replicants.
This was not called execution.
It was called retirement.
A number of replicants have made it to Earth, and ex-Blade Runner Rick
Deckard (Harrison Ford) is coerced into tracking them down.
2. WHAT BOOK IS IT BASED ON?
Blade Runner is LOOSELY based on a Philip K. Dick novel, "Do Androids Dream
of Electric Sheep" (DADoES). The least one can say about the film adaptation
is that it borrowed a number of concepts and characters from the book. Dick
also wrote the short story that "Total Recall" was based on, "We Can Remember
It For You, Wholesale". A recurring theme in Dick's work is the question of
personal and human identity. A question explored more in DADoES and "Total
Recall" than in Blade Runner is "what is reality?"
You are most likely to find DADoES in a second-hand bookstore. It has been
re-printed as: "Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)."
The title comes from Alan E. Nourse, who wrote a story called "The
Bladerunner". William S. Burroughs took the book and wrote "Bladerunner (A
Movie)" in 1979. Rights to the title only ("in perpetuity") were sold to
Ridley Scott. Similarities between Nourse's "The Bladerunner" and Scott's BR
are in name only. Nourse's title refers to people who deliver medical
instruments to outlaw doctors who can't obtain them legally. [Source: Locus,
September 1992: p. 76.] Scott thought the title made a good codename for
Some of the "visuals" were inspired by a story from Dan O'Bannon and Moebius
(Jean Giraud) called "The Long Tomorrow" in an issue of the French "Wonders
of the Universe" comic book series [see section 7]. The back of the comic
book says (translated from French):
"This comic-book also contains other famous stories,
like "The Long Tomorrow", which originally was thought
to be a parody, but ended up being more real, than what
it was meant to be a parody of: the classic American
detective-story. This story was later used as a visual
reference for the movie "Blade Runner".
Jean Giraud did the costume design for the Walt Disney movie "Tron", and Syd
Mead did the mechanical design.
3. IS THE SOUND TRACK AVAILABLE?
In July 1994, Vangelis released the Official Blade Runner Soundtrack for
the first time. Vangelis' notes accompanying the album say:
"Most of the music contained in this album originates from recordings I made
in London in 1982, whilst working on the score for the film BLADE RUNNER.
Finding myself unable to release these recordings at the time, it is with
great pleasure that I am able to do so now. Some of the pieces contained
will be known to you from the Original Soundtrack of the film, whilst others
are appearing here for the first time. Looking back at RIDLEY SCOTT's
powerful and evocative pictures left me as stimulated as before, and made the
recompiling of this music, today, an enjoyable experience."
- VANGELIS Athens, April 1994
Warner Brothers 4509-96574-2
1. Main Titles (3.42)
2. Blush Response (5.47)
3. Wait for Me (5.27)
4. Rachel's Song (4.46)
5. Love Theme (4.56)
6. One More Kiss, Dear (3.58)
7. Blade Runner Blues (8.53)
8. Memories of Green (5.05)
9. Tales of the Future (4.46)
10. Damask Rose (2.32)
11. Blade Runner (End Titles) (4.40)
12. Tears in Rain (3.00)
The cover of the album is a closeup of the movie poster, showing Deckard,
Rachael, and the roof of police headquarters. There are various photos
inside, including a shot of Ridley Scott directing Harrison Ford.
Vangelis' decision to release the soundtrack might have been prompted by
a bootleg copy of the Blade Runner Soundtrack which appeared in select stores
a couple of days before Christmas 1993:
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Blade Runner
Limited Edition of 2,000 (not licensed for public sale)
Off World Music, Ltd., no. OWM 9301
Compact Disc (ADD)
1. Ladd Company Logo (0:24), John Williams
2. Main Titles and Prologue (4:03) Vangelis
3. Los Angeles, November 2019 (1:46) Vangelis
4. Deckard Meets Rachael (1:29) Vangelis
5. Bicycle Riders [Harps of the Ancient Temples] (2:05) Gail Laughton
6. Memories of Green (5:39) Vangelis
7. Blade Runner Blues (10:19) Vangelis
8. Deckard's Dream (1:12) Vangelis
9. On the Trail of Nexus 6 (5:30) Vangelis
10. If I Didn't Care (3:03) Jack Lawrence [only used in workprint]
11. Love Theme (4:57) Vangelis
12. The Prodigal Son Brings Death (3:35) Vangelis
13. Dangerous Days (1:02) Vangelis
14. Wounded Animals (10:58) Vangelis
15. Tears in Rain (2:41) Vangelis
16. End Titles (7:24) Vangelis
17. One More Kiss Dear (4:00) Skelling and Vangelis [theatrical release]
18. Trailer and Alternate Main Titles (1:39) Robert Randles
Total disc time: 72:42
The bootleg CD includes an 8-page booklet containing 6 movie stills. Cover
art is from the British one-sheet movie poster that accompanied the 1982
release. The back cover is a color still from an aborted sequence in which
Leon's photo turns out to be a hologram that shows Batty's head turning
(Cinefex no. 9, July 1982). The inside back cover is a bird's eye view of
Deckard's spinner as he and Rachael escape the city (Official Blade Runner
Souvenir Magazine, 1982). Another photo possibly unfamiliar to many is
Deckard looking at Holden in a life-support machine (a similar photo appeared
in Video Watchdog, Nov-Dec 1993).
According to the booklet, Scott contacted several composers in case the score
by Vangelis didn't work out. His ultimate decision to supplement the film with
other source music led to a contractual dispute with the composer. As a
result, Vangelis refused to release the soundtrack album. Notes on the various
pieces were interesting like the fact that the Love Theme and Rachael's
piano playing are a variation on Chopin's 13th Nocturne. (The love theme used
in the workprint is not included in this album.) The music for several
pieces is heard complete for the first time and will prove fascinating
listening for fans of the film, particularly nos. 9, 12, 13, and 14. Those
familiar with the Warner Bros. New American Orchestra CD [see below] will also
appreciate that Blade Runner Blues is more than twice as long on this CD.
The producer (Christopher L. Shimata-Dominguez) displays a sense of humor
with his name and Off World Music label. He also warns that unauthorized
"replication" is a violation of applicable laws. The quality of the disc
is quite good but the price tag may be a bit daunting; while not for public
sale a contribution of US$34.95 was sufficient to obtain a copy of this
individually numbered limited edition.
[I don't have this album and I don't know where to get it. Any questions
about it will be ignored.]
A record album called "Blade Runner" (WEA 1982) is available but it is NOT
the actual movie soundtrack, rather it is an orchestral arrangement of the
soundtrack performed by the New American Orchestra. It contains the
Love Theme (4:12)
Main Title (5:01)
One More Kiss, Dear (4:00)
Memories Of Green (4:50)
End Title (4:17)
Blade Runner Blues (4:38)
Love Theme (4:12)
Vangelis released an album called "Themes" in 1992, which contains the
following music from the movie soundtrack:
End Titles from "BLADERUNNER" (4:57)
Love Theme from "BLADERUNNER" (4:55)
Memories of Green (5:42)
"Memories of Green" was originally released on Vangelis' album "See You
Later". Scott used the orchestrated version of "Memories of Green" in his
film "Someone to Watch Over Me".
Vangelis also wrote the score for "Antarctica", which includes tracks very
similar to those used in Blade Runner. His 1979 album "VANGELIS: Opera
Sauvage" also contains tracks similar to those in Blade Runner.
The Japanese vocals associated with the Blimp are from:
"Japan: Traditional Vocal and Instrumental Music, Shakuhachi,
Biwa, Koto, Shamisen" [compact disc]
Performed by Ensemble Nipponia, 1976
Electra Asylum Nonesuch Records/Warner Communications Inc.
The lyrics tell of the tragic and utter destruction of one Japanese clan by
Gail Laughton's "Harps of the Ancient Temples" is used as the bicyclists pass
by Leon and Batty on their way to Chew's Eye World. This album is listed in
old CD catalogs on the Laurel label, cat #111.
4. WHAT ARE REPLICANTS?
The following definition appears in the BR script and the Marvel Comics
adaptation of the film, and the Denver/Dallas sneak preview:
_android_ (an'droid) n, Gk. humanoid automation. more at
robot./ 1. early version utilized for work too
boring, dangerous or unpleasant for humans.
2. second generation bio-engineered. Electronic
relay units and positronic brains. Used in space
to explore inhospitable environments. 3. third
generation synthogenetic. REPLICANT, constructed
of skin/flesh culture. Selected enogenic transfer
conversion. Capable of self perpetuating thought.
Paraphysical abilities. Developed for emigration
New International (2012)
Replicants are manufactured organisms designed to carry out work too boring,
dangerous, or distasteful for humans. The "NEXUS 6" replicants are nearly
indistinguishable from humans. (In one draft of the script Bryant tells
Deckard they did an autopsy on the replicant that was fried trying to break
into the Tyrell Corp. and didn't even know it was a replicant until two hours
into the procedure.)
Replicants presumably differ from humans in one important factor: they are
lacking in empathy. In BR, the replicants' eyes glow (even those of an
artificial owl), however Ridley Scott has stressed that this is merely a
cinematic technique, and the glow can't be seen by the characters in the
story, only by the audience.
The manufacturers noticed that replicants had eccentricities because they
were emotionally immature. Rachael was a prototype replicant with
experimental memory implants, designed to provide a cushion for her emotions.
Consequently, she was unaware that she was a replicant.
NEXUS 6 replicants have an in-built fail-safe mechanism, namely a four year
5. WHO/WHAT IS <SO-AND-SO>?
"BLADE RUNNER" GLOSSARY (from the 1982 Presskit)
BLADE RUNNER -- The nickname given to those police detectives who are
specially trained in the use of the Voight-Kampff machine and whose specific
function is to track down and eliminate any replicants that manage to escape
into human society and attempt to pass as real human beings. The official
name of the Blade Runner division is Rep-Detect.
REPLICANT -- A genetically engineered creature composed entirely of organic
substance. Animal replicants (animoids) were developed first for use as pets
and beasts of burden after most real animals became extinct. Later, humanoid
replicants were created for military purposes and for the exploration and
colonization of space. The Tyrell Corp. recently introduced the Nexus 6, the
supreme replicant -- much stronger and faster than, and virtually
indistinguishable from, real human beings. Earth law forbids replicants on
the planet, except in the huge industrial complex where they are created.
The law does not consider replicants human and therefore accords them no
rights nor protection.
ESPER -- A high-density computer with a very powerful three- dimensional
resolution capacity and a cryogenic cooling system. The police cars and
Deckard's apartment contain small models which can be channeled into the
large one at police headquarters. This big apparatus is a well-worn, retro-
fitted part of the furniture. Among many functions, the Esper can analyze
and enlarge photos, enabling investigators to search a room without being
[The January 1995 issue of NASA Tech Briefs includes a description of an
Esper-like machine called Omniview.]
VOIGHT-KAMPFF MACHINE -- A very advanced form of lie detector that measures
contractions of the iris muscle and the presence of invisible airborne
particles emitted from the body. The bellows were designed for the latter
function and give the machine the menacing air of a sinister insect. The VK
is used primarily by blade runners to determine if a suspect is truly human
by measuring the degree of his empathic response through carefully worded
questions and statements.
SPINNER -- The generic term for all flying cars in use around the year 2020.
Only specially authorized people and police are licensed to operate these
remarkable vehicles, which are capable of street driving, vertical lift-off,
hovering and high-speed cruising. The Spinner is powered by three engines --
conventional internal combustion, jet and anti-gravity.
[Syd Mead explained in subsequent articles that the concept was actually one
of internal lift like that used in vertical take-off aircraft today--NOT
Behind the Scenes
RIDLEY SCOTT: Director. A veteran television commercial maker, Scott
consistently makes quality movies. His feature-film credits include: The
Duellists, Alien, Blade Runner, Someone to Watch Over Me, Legend, Black Rain,
Thelma and Louise, 1492. Ridley Scott also directed the first ever Macintosh
television advertisement (the "hammer thrower") which first aired during the
Superbowl in January 1984. Ridley's brother Tony is also a director, and his
film credits include Top Gun, Days of Thunder, The Hunger, True Romance, and
The Last Boyscout.
MICHAEL DEELEY: Producer. Academy Award winner for producing "The Deer
SYD MEAD: Visual Futurist. Syd Mead suggested the term "visual futurist"
over his credit in the movie. (As he is not a union/guild member, he could
not use credits such as "creative designer".) He has been co-sponsoring an
International Student Design Competition with Sony since 1989. Some of his
California Pavilion, Seville Expo (1992)
Future Terminal, for Japan Railways East (1990)
Club Car, for Japan Railways East (1990)
Dr. Jeekans [This is futuristic cafe/video arcade in Tokyo.] (1990)
Office for the Future, for Okamura Furniture Co, Japan (1989)
Club House (Tokyo Bayside Project) (1989)
Tron Computer (1988)
San Rio Theatre (1987)
Office of the Future, for GE (1985)
Terraforming (video game)
Civilization (video game)
LAWRENCE G. PAULL: Production Designer. Holds degrees in Architecture and
City Planning, his feature-film credits include: Blue Collar, Which Way Is
Up?, and The Star Spangled Girl.
VANGELIS (Evangelos Papathanassiou): Greek Composer. He has written numerous
movie scores, perhaps the most famous being for "Chariots of Fire". Also
wrote some of the music for the TV series "Cosmos". Prior to writing movie
scores, Vangelis was the keyboard player of the band "Aphrodite's Child".
Vangelis also wrote the score for Scott's 1992 film: "1492".
HAMPTON FANCHER, DAVID PEOPLES: Screenplay writers. Peoples wrote Clint
Eastwood's "Unforgiven", and Stephen Frear's "Hero".
JORDAN CRONENWETH: Cinematographer. Altered States, Best Friends (1982),
Cutter's Way, Final Analysis, Gable and Lombard, Gardens of Stone, Just
Between Friends, The Nickel Ride, Peggy Sue Got Married (AAN), Play It As
It Lays, Rolling Thunder, State of Grace, Stop Making Sense.
DOUGLAS TRUMBULL: Special Effects. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters
of the Third Kind, Brainstorm (also directed).
DECKARD (Harrison Ford): Ex-Blade Runner.
DR ELDON TYRELL (Joe Turkel): Owns the Tyrell Corp. and manufactures
replicants. Extremely intelligent, designed the NEXUS 6 brain.
RACHAEL (Sean Young): Experimental NEXUS 6 replicant. Works for Tyrell and
has his niece's memories.
ROY BATTY (Rutger Hauer): Leader of the renegade replicants.
INCEPT DATE: 8 Jan, 2016
FUNCTION: Combat, Colonization Defense Prog
PHYS: A MENT: A
PRIS (Daryl Hannah): Replicant, (Bryant: "Yer standard pleasure model")
INCEPT DATE: 14 Feb, 2016
PHYS: A MENT: B
ZHORA (Joanna Cassidy): Replicant.
INCEPT DATE: 12 June, 2016
FUNCTION: Retrained (9 Feb, 2018) Polit. Homicide
PHYS: A MENT: B
LEON KOWALSKI (Brion James): Replicant.
INCEPT DATE: 10 April, 2017
FUNC: Combat/loader (Nuc. Fiss.)
PHYS: A MENT: C
J.F. SEBASTIAN (William Sanderson): Genetic designer for the Tyrell
Corporation. Still on Earth because of progeria, a premature geriatricism
(Methuselah's Syndrome). A grand-master in chess (according to one script)
but has defeated Tyrell only once.
H. BRYANT (M. Emmett Walsh): Inspector of the police force, Deckard's former
GAFF (Edward James Olmos): A member of the police force. A sartorial dandy
bucking for promotion; makes origami.
HOLDEN (Morgan Paull): Blade Runner, shot by Leon and put on life support.
6. I DON'T LIKE THE VOICE-OVERS/ENDING.
Ridley Scott made BR in a style called "film noir". Film noir is a
"hardboiled detective" style of story-telling. Perhaps the most famous
example is the Humphrey Bogart movie "The Maltese Falcon" (directed by John
Huston). A trademark of film noir is the voice-overs by the detective,
explaining what he is thinking/doing at the time.
Ridley Scott filmed BR *without* the voice-overs, but due to its poor
reception at a sneak previews, the studio insisted that the voice-overs be
added. Ridley Scott said in an interview on American television that in film
noir, voice-overs sometimes work, and sometimes don't, and they didn't work
"(A)n extensive voice-over was added to help people relate to Harrison Ford's
character and make following the plot easier. (A)fter a draft by novelist-
screenwriter Darryl Ponicsan was discarded, a TV veteran named Roland Kibbee
got the job. As finally written, the voice-over met with universal scorn
from the filmmakers, mostly for what Scott characterized as its 'Irving the
Explainer' quality.... It sounded so tinny and ersatz that, in a curious bit
of film folklore, many members of the team believe to this day that Harrison
Ford, consciously or not, did an uninspired reading of it in the hopes it
wouldn't be used. And when co-writers Fancher and Peoples, now friends, saw
it together, they were so afraid the other had written it that they refrained
from any negative comments until months later." [Source: Los Angeles Times
Magazine, September 13, 1992.]
The ending of the film was also changed by the studio. Scott wanted to end
the film with Deckard and Rachael getting into the elevator, but the studio
decided that the film needed a happier, less ambiguous ending. The aerial
shots used in the 1982 theatrical release were outtakes from Stanley Kubrik's
"The Shining" (which, coincidentally, featured Joe Turkel).
In September 1992, Warner Bros. released "The Director's Cut" of Blade Runner
(BRDC), which eliminated the voice-overs and the happy ending.
7. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF BLADE RUNNER?
- US Denver/Dallas Sneak Preview/Workprint (1982)
- US San Diego Sneak Preview (1982)
- US Theatrical Release (1982)
- European Theatrical Release (1982)
- The Director's Cut (BRDC) (1992)
The Video Watchdog article which claims there are seven different versions
is discussed in section 13.
Hampton Fancher did several drafts of the screenplay. These drafts concluded
with Deckard taking Rachael out of the city, letting her see nature for the
first time, and then, because she doesn't want to be caught by the police,
shooting her in the snow. David Peoples was brought in to polish the script,
and Ridley Scott asked him to include more detective work. Peoples worked on
the humanity of Deckard's adversaries. His daughter mentioned the biological
term "replicate", which led to "replicant". Peoples also told Scott that the
screenplay was virtually perfect before he worked on it. [Source: Los Angeles
Times Magazine, September 13, 1992: p. 20.]
The rumours of a three-hour version of BR are just that: rumours. No version
of the script could be made into a film of that length. Mary was cut before
any of her scenes were filmed.
Contracts under the terms of the Hollywood Director's Guild usually allow 6
weeks for the director to assemble a cut of the film without studio
interference as he would like it to be seen. This "director's cut" is fully
edited and has a synchhronized sound track. This cut is usually not color
corrected or density corrected and may not even have the final music and
effects tracks. In more recent times the term "Director's Cut" has taken on a
popular meaning that implies a polished final cut of the film that the
director has complete artistic control over. BRDC fits the latter
definition. The now legendary "workprint" seen at the Nuart and Castro
theaters, fits the former.
US Denver/Dallas Sneak Preview/Workprint--70mm (113 min):
- Webster's 2012 definition of a replicant used in lieu of opening crawl
- voiceovers deleted except at Batty's death
- Bryant says TWO replicants were fried running through an electric field
- conversation between snake-maker and Deckard is different and matches their
- includes shot of nearly nude dancers in hockey masks outside Taffey's bar
- Batty says, "I want more life, father."
- Pris lifts Deckard up by his nostrils when she beats him up
- different voiceover used after Batty's death
- ends with the elevator doors closing
- shorter than other versions
This version was shown at the Fairfax Theater in 1990 and UCLA's Los Angeles
Perspectives multimedia festival in 1991. This was also the print shown at
a London sneak preview in March of 1982. A 35mm reduction of this version
was later shown at the Nuart and Castro Theaters in 1991. There were rumours
that THIS version was the original director's cut, but the official 1992
Director's Cut is not the same.
US San Diego Sneak Preview (115 min):
- shows Batty making a telephone call to see if Chew is there
- shows Deckard reloading his weapon after firing at Batty
- Deckard and Rachael ride into the sunset
[Source: Video Watchdog no. 20, November-December 1993.]
European Theatrical Release/Criterion Laserdisc/Videocassette (117 min):
- Batty sticks his thumbs in Tyrell's eyes, which bleed copiously.
- Pris lifts Deckard up by his nostrils when she beats him up.
- Deckard shoots Pris a third time.
- more of Pris kicking and screaming when she is shot by Deckard.
- shows Roy actually pushing the nail through his hand
- Deckard and Rachael ride into the sunset
The added violence makes this version about 15 seconds longer than the US
theatrical release. The 10th Anniversary video edition is the same as this
The Director's Cut (BRDC) (117 min):
- voice-overs completely eliminated
- added dialog from blimp to cover missing voice-over while Deckard waits
for a seat at the noodle bar.
- 12-second unicorn scene added when Deckard plays the piano
- happy ending deleted (movie ends with elevator doors closing)
- extra violence seen on videocassette deleted
- digital soundtrack was remixed for BRDC.
Cable TV [? min]:
When BR first appeared on American cable TV, there was an additional line of
dialog when Bryant gives Deckard the description, names, and addresses of
Tyrell and Sebastian over the radio. In the cable TV version, Bryant adds
"...and check 'em out" after he says "I want you to go down there."
[This is an as-yet unconfirmed rumour. Anyone who has a tape of the original
premiere release on cable, could you PLEASE contact me?]
VIDEOTAPE (117 min):
All video tapes before January 1993 are the "Not Rated" version and contain
the extra violence in the Euro-release that's not seen in the 117 minute
American theatrical release.
On January 22, 1993 BRDC became available on video tape in Japan: widescreen
VHS HiFi at a price of 3800 Yen. It was released in the US on May 19, 1993
with a suggested Retail Price $US39.98.
In the NTSC markets (M/NTSC 3.58 525/60: US and Japan), there have been up to
seven versions of Blade Runner continuously available on laserdisc for the
last several years.
Blade Runner: The Director's Cut (1992):
* Warner Home Video 12682, $50, CAV, letterboxed (true aspect ratio 2.41:1),
4 sides, digital stereo, CX/analog stereo, Pioneer pressing, no supplements.
* Warner Home Video Japan NJL-12682, 5,000 Yen, CLV, letterboxed (true aspect
ratio 2.41:1), digital stereo, Japanese subtitles, Pioneer pressing, no
supplements. (From same video master as the domestic WB-12682.)
1982 European Cut/US home video:
* Criterion Collection CC1120L, $90, CAV, letterboxed (true aspect ratio
2.50:1), 4 sides, digital stereo, CX/analog stereo, 3M pressing, extensive
* Criterion Collection CC1169L, $50, CLV, letterboxed (true aspect ratio
2.50:1), 2 sides, digital stereo, CX/analog stereo, Pioneer pressing, no
* Embassy/Nelson Ent., 13806, $35, CLV, pan&scan (true aspect ratio 1.24:1),
2 sides, CX/analog stereo, Pioneer pressing, no digital sound, no
* Warner Home Video Japan NJL-20008, 12,500 Yen, CAV, letterboxed (true
aspect ratio 2.50:1), 4 sides, digital stereo, subtitled in Japanese, Pioneer
pressing. (Mastered from the Criterion Collection CC1120L but omits some of
the English supplemental material.)
* (Japanese) 08JL-70008, 7,400 Yen, CLV, pan&scan (probably identical to the
Embassy laserdisc), 2 sides, digital stereo, subtitle/dubbing unknown,
Note that Embassy and Nelson Entertainment LDs although marked as the NR
(not-rated) Euro-release are actually the same as the 1982 US theatrical
release and NOT the Embassy NTSC VHS videotape. The 1982 Workprint is not
available on laserdisc or video tape.
8033 Sunset Blvd.
PO Box 1500
Hollywood, CA 90046
US Phone: 213-871-0707 (enquiries)
1-800-676-2522 (orders only)
* Blade Runner script early draft -- 7/24/80. $24.95 plus $4.50 for
First Class shipping.
* Blade Runner script early draft -- 12/22/80. $24.95 plus $4.50 for
First Class shipping.
* Blade Runner final script -- 5/10/81. $17.00 plus $4.50 for First
Class shipping. Note that date on the cover is 23 February 1981 but
it contains numerous changes dated as late as 16 June 1981. This
is considered the final shooting script.
* Blade Runner Storyboards. $16.95 plus $4.50 for First Class
shipping. Note this is only the storyboards for the first half of
the film, the set is not complete.
If you order three or all four items, the total postage is $10.50.
Blade Runner script ($55.00 + postage)
P.O. Box 1012
Muskegon, MI 49443
US Phone: 616-722-7760
Matt Walsh (firstname.lastname@example.org) has the complete Script City set,
and will provide copies for $US35 + shipping.
A Blade Runner script is also available online:
Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and
Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Judith B. Kerman, editor, 1991, 291 pages.
Bowling Green State University Press, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
Deals with social implications, genre issues, film sources, adaptation
issues, aesthetics and the creation of science fiction worlds.
The Blade Runner Sketchbook [out of print]
Blue Dolphin Enterprises, Inc., 1982, ISBN #0-943128-01-3.
- early monochrome production drawings and conceptual sketches of
parking meters, stop light trees, door keys, magazine racks, Blade
Runner pistol, and VK machine.
- Sketches of Tyrell's "coffin", a cryogenic unit holding his body in
suspended animation until future technology can revitalize him. His
casket looked similar to cryo units on board Discovery in Stanley
Kubrik's "2001: A Space Odyssey".
- A Virtual Reality mask. Worn over the face, a person used software
disks to enjoy various moods of pleasure. Supposedly erotic stuff.
Perhaps a vestige of the mood organ in DADoES.
- A stage where the dancers performed (like a small amphitheater).
The Illustrated Blade Runner [out of print]
Blue Dolphin Enterprises, Inc., 1982.
"Shooting version" of the script prepared late in post-production
The Blade Runner Portfolio [out of print]
Blue Dolphin Enterprises, Inc., 1982.
Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan
Robin Wood. LC: PN1993.5.U6 W64 1986
Oblagon: Concepts of Syd Mead.
Showcase of Syd Mead's work with some of Blade Runner's pre-production art.
AARX: Kronolog II
CD-ROM of Syd Mead's work
Fax: +81 334 77 1502
Blade runner : (a movie)
Burroughs, William S. Berkeley: Blue Wind Press, 1979.
ISBN 0-912652-45-4, 0-912652-46-2, 0-912652-47-0
Blade Runner 2: The Edge Of Human
by K.W. Jeter
Due Sep 1995, Bantam, ISBN 0-553-09979-5 (hardcover), $21.95
"The story of Rick Deckard -- as seen in Ridley Scott's 1982 cinematic
masterpiece BLADE RUNNER -- continues in this all-new novel. When last we
saw him, Deckard was fleeing Los Angeles with the replicant named Rachel.
Like all androids, she has a built-in lifespan of four years, and Deckard is
desparate to save her. But now he's also wanted for the death of Pris --
who wasn't a replicant at all, she was...human!"
Elliott Swanson <email@example.com> maintains a large
list of Blade Runner model kits.
TVC-15 Police Spinner
Monsters in Motion
1210 N. Jefferson Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807
A painted, assembled, full-scale, multipart polyurathane casting with brass
triggers and LEDs is available from:
Richard Coyle, P.O. Box 86175 Phoenix, AZ 85080-6175.
Price is about $190 USD.
American Cinematographer, July 1982. BR special.
"Back To The Future", Empire (UK) no. 42 (December 1992).
Bruno, Giuliana. "Ramble City: Postmodernism and BR", October, no. 41
(1987), p. 61.
Cinefantastique, nos. 5-6 (July-August 1982) double issue. Comprehensive
article on the making of BR with credits, illustrations, and 83 photos.
Cinefex, no. 9 (July 1982). Entire issue devoted to BR.
Desser, David. "BR: Science Fiction and Transcendence", Literature/Film
Quarterly 13, no. 3. (1985), p. 171.
Deutelbaum, Marshall. "Visual Memory/Visual Design: The Remembered Sights
of Blade Runner", Literature/Film Quarterly 17, no. 1 (1989), p. 66.
Edwards, Phil. "The Blade Cuts", Starburst (UK) no. 51, November 1982.
Fischer, Norman. "BR and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: An
Ecological Critique of Human-Centered Value Systems." Canadian Journal of
Social and Political Theory, vol. 13 no. 3 (1989), pp. 102-113.
"L'homme est-il bon?", "The Long Tomorrow" from the "Wonders of the Universe"
comic book series [France]. Illustrated by Moebius (Jean Giraud). Also
appears as 2 part story in "Heavy Metal" magazine [US], July and August 1977.
Literature/Film Quarterly 18, no. 1 (1990). BR issue: "Casablanca Meets
Star Wars: The Blakeian Dialectics of BR", by Rachela Morrison;
"Romanticizing Cybernetics in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner", by Joseph W.
Slade; and extensive bibliography by W. Kolb.
Official Comics Adaptation of Blade Runner. A Marvel Super Special,
no. 22 (September 1982). Also appears as the Blade Runner Annual from
Grandreams, 1982 (British hardbound version of the Marvel Comic).
Official Blade Runner Souvenir Magazine. New York: Ira Friedman, Inc.,
1982. Fourteen interviews, over 140 photos and illustrations, 68 pages.
Scharf, David. "Magnifications: Photography with the Scanning Electron
Microscope" Schocken Books, 1977. ISBN 080523670-8
Shapiro, Michael J. "'Manning' the Frontiers: The Politics of (Human)
Nature in Blade Runner." In the Nature of Things: Language,
Politics, and the Environment. Ed. Jane Bennett and William
Chaloupka. Minneapolis: U of Minn Press, 1993. 65-84.
Telotte, J.P. "Human Artifice and the Science Fiction Film", Film
Quarterly, 36, no. 3 (1983), p. 44.
Video Watchdog no. 20, November-December 1993. [See section 13.]
The Perfect Vision volume 6 no. 23, October 1994.
New Voyager, Issue 1.
8. MEMORABLE QUOTES.
"Sushi. That's what my ex-wife called me. Cold fish."
"I've had people walk out on me before, but not when I was being
"Shakes? Me too. I get them bad. It's part of the business."
"Is this testing whether I'm a replicant, or a lesbian, Mr Deckard?"
"I'm not in the business... I am the business."
"Have you ever taken that test yourself?"
"I design your eyes"
"Chew, if only you could see what I've seen with your eyes!"
"It's not an easy thing to meet your maker."
"I want more life, father!"
(some versions have: "I want more life, fucker!")
"I've done . . . questionable things. Nothing the
God of biomechanics wouldn't let you into heaven for."
"You'd better get it up, or I'm gonna have to kill you!"
"That was irrational of you. Not to mention unsportsmanlike."
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Time to die."
"Louie. The man is dry."
"Milk and cookies kept you awake?"
"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long...
...and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy."
"Are you for real?"
"My mother... let me tell you about my mother!"
"Nothing's worse than having an itch you can never scratch!"
"Wake up! Time to die!"
"I MAKE friends."
"I'm sort of an orphan."
"I think, Sebastian, therefore I am."
"Then we're stupid, and we'll die!"
"Lo fa, ne-ko shi-ma, de va-ja blade... Blade Runner."
"You've done a man's job, sir!"
"It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?"
9. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE UNICORN?
When Deckard leaves his apartment with Rachael at the end of the film, she
knocks over an origami unicorn. The unicorn is the last of a series of
origami figures that Gaff uses to taunt Deckard. In Bryant's office when
Deckard insists he's retired, Gaff folds a chicken: "You're afraid to do it".
Later he makes a man with an erection: "You're attracted to her". And
finally, the unicorn: "You're dreaming, you can run away with her, but she
won't live" (he says basically the same thing to Deckard on the rooftop).
One interpretation is that the unicorn was simply a message to Deckard to say
"I know you've got Rachael, but I'll let her live." Another interpretation
(based on the script) is that the unicorn is Gaff's gauntlet and he will hunt
them both down.
A unicorn has long been the symbol of virginity and purity (being white),
which ties in with Rachael's status. Legend states that only a virgin could
capture a unicorn. Unicorns are extinct, and Gaff may think the same of
Rachael, as she definitely has a limited lifespan.
A unicorn was used in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" to symbolize
that the girl was "different to other horses". The horn on this unicorn
represented her physical handicap, which prevented her from meeting people.
When she finally did meet a man, they danced and knocked over the unicorn,
breaking its horn off. "It's just like all the other horses now," she said,
which symbolizes that she has overcome her shyness and lost her virginity.
The unicorn may also symbolize:
- Rachael is (and always will be) a replicant among humans, and will
be different, like a unicorn among horses, because of her termination
date. (In the tacked-on ending, Deckard says that she doesn't have a
- Rachael leaving and knocking over the unicorn symbolizes her escape
from the Tyrell corporation, which only looked upon her as a replicant.
Deckard fell in love with her as a human, and by doing so, she became
- "The silver unicorn... is a made thing, a piece of human handiwork,
beautiful and fragile and glittering, yet perceived as waste, thrown
down and trodden upon, easily destroyed. Also, it is in the form of an
animal, albeit a mythical one, and in the BR future, the beasts of the
earth and fowls of the air are all be extinct, except in replicant
[Source: Rebecca Warner in "Retrofitting Bladerunner"]
BRDC, however, includes a scene not in the original release. It is a dream
sequence, showing Deckard's dream of a white unicorn. One can now argue Gaff
knew that Deckard had dreamt of a unicorn. If Gaff knew what Deckard was
dreaming, then we can assume that Deckard was a replicant himself, and Gaff
knew he would be dreaming of a unicorn just the way Deckard knew about the
spider outside Rachael's window.
"The Blade Cuts", Starburst (UK) no. 51, November 1982.
Quoted without permission:
Scott: ...did you see the version [of the script] with the unicorn?
S: I think the idea of the unicorn was a terrific idea...
M: The obvious inference is that Deckard is a replicant himself.
S: Sure. To me it's entirely logical, particularly when you are doing a
film noire, you may as well go right through with that theme, and the
central character could in fact be what he is chasing...
M: Did you actually shoot the sequence in the glade with the unicorn?
S: Absolutely. It was cut into the picture, and I think it worked
wonderfully. Deckard was sitting, playing the piano rather badly
because he was drunk, and there's a moment where he gets absorbed
and goes off a little at a tangent and we went into the shot of the
unicorn plunging out of the forest. It's not subliminal, but it's a
brief shot. Cut back to Deckard and there's absolutely no reaction
to that, and he just carries on with the scene. That's where the
whole idea of the character of Gaff with his origami figures -- the
chicken and the little stick-figure man, so the origami figure of the
unicorn tells you that Gaff has been there. One of the layers of the
film has been talking about private thoughts and memories, so how
would Gaff have known that a private thought of Deckard was of a
unicorn? That's why Deckard shook his head like that [referring to
Deckard nodding his head after picking up the paper unicorn]."
Scott goes on to talk about how he decided to make the photograph of the
little girl with her mother come alive for a second, then later in the
interview we have:
M: Are you disappointed that the references to Deckard being a replicant
are no longer there?
S: The innuendo is still there. The French get it immediately! I
think it's interesting that he could be.
Scott intended the unicorn scene to be in the 1982 theatrical release, but
the producers vetoed the idea as "too arty".
10. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CHESS GAME?
The chess game between Tyrell and Sebastian uses the conclusion of a game
played between Anderssen and Kieseritzky, in London in 1851. It is considered
one of the most brilliant games ever played, and is universally known as "The
The Immortal Game, in algebraic notation, was as follows:
Anderssen - Kieseritzky (London 1851):
1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Bc4 Qh4+ 4 Kf1 b5 5 Bxb5 Nf6 6 Nf3 Qh6 7 d3 Nh5 8 Nh4 Qg5
9 Nf5 c6 10 Rg1 cxb5 11 g4 Nf6 12 h4 Qg6 13 h5 Qg5 14 Qf3 Ng8 15 Bxf4 Qf6
16 Nc3 Bc5 17 Nd5 Qxb2 18 Bd6 Qxa1+ 19 Ke2 Bxg1 20 e5 Na6 21 Nxg7+ Kd8
22 Qf6+ Nxf6 23 Be7 Checkmate.
The chess boards in the film are not arranged exactly as they would in be the
Immortal Game, and Sebastian's board does not match Tyrell's.
The concept of immortality has obvious associations in the ensuing
confrontation between Tyrell and Batty. On one level, the chess games
represents the struggle of the replicants against the humans: the humans
consider the replicants pawns, to be removed one by one. The individual
replicants (pawns) are attempting to become immortal (a queen). At another
level, the game between Tyrell and Sebastian represents Batty stalking
Tyrell. Tyrell makes a fatal mistake in the chess game, and another fatal
mistake trying to reason with Batty.
11. PROBLEMS IN BLADE RUNNER
Why did Holden need to VK Leon, if the police knew what he looked like? This
test is more crucial in the novel, where it is intimated that there are
humans who have actually been replaced by look-alike replicants. Replicants,
however, can readily change their appearances and aren't easily recognized
from photographs, e.g., Zhora's tattoo, and Pris' raccoon makeup. In the
July 1980 screenplay, Deckard muses, "They could change their appearances but
not their future." In the December 1980 screenplay, Deckard says Zhora's
"black hair is a wig which now hangs on the wall next to the shower. She
didn't look like Nexus designated Zhora to begin with, but even less now."
Bryant tells Deckard that there were six replicants, three male, three
female. Obviously, Roy and Leon are two of the males, and Pris and Zhora are
two of the females. Bryant also says that "one of them got fried trying to
get into the Tyrell building", but doesn't specify the sex. That leaves one
replicant, either male or female. It has been hypothesized that Deckard was
the sixth replicant, but there is ample evidence that this is not the case.
In an earlier version of the script "Mary" was the fifth replicant, and "Hodge"
was the sixth. Bryant's line in that script got past the screenwriter
unnoticed. It was recorded correctly in the Workprint as "two got fried" but
botched again on the release print.
Why is it so difficult to tell a replicant from a human, when replicants can
put their hands in boiling/freezing liquids without damage? Surely a tissue
sample would suffice? Perhaps, but Holden couldn't even get a straight
answer from Leon, much less a tissue sample.
How did word of Rachael's escape get out so quickly, and how could Tyrell
tell that she had gone for good? Remember that Deckard called Rachael at
home while he was still at the nightclub. It could not have been more than a
couple hours before he gave chase to Zhora. (How long could she "take the
pleasures from the serpent"?) Was that enough time for Rachael to run away
then for Tyrell to call the police and have Bryant put Deckard onto her?
Another explanation is that Tyrell's "experiment" was voided when Rachael
discovered she was a replicant; Tyrell simply used this opportunity to
dispose of her.
How did Roy get into Tyrell's office so easily? Did Tyrell trust Sebastian
enough to give him the option of bringing anyone/anything up in the lift?
Tyrell was unaware there was anyone in the lift with Sebastian until he said
"I brought a friend." In earlier scripts, Sebastian and Chew both held the
highest security clearance.
In an early version of the script, Tyrell was a replicant, and Roy picks up
on this because of a key both Sebastian and Tyrell are wearing. In that
version, the real Tyrell was in a "cryocrypt", for sketches of which see "The
Blade Runner Sketchbook". After Roy kills the replicant Tyrell, he makes
Sebastian show him the crypt where the real Tyrell lies dead because of a
mistake Sebastian had made.
Norwegian subtitles translate "Sushi That's what my ex-wife called me. Cold
Fish." into "Sushi, my wife, used to call me a cold fish."
Swedish subtitles spell Roy's name "Beatty", translate Deckard's license
number from 260354 to 26354, and (in BRDC) "C-beams" to "seabeams".
Norwegian subtitles translate Deckard's license number from 260354 to 26354.
The theatrical version dubbed into German translates "hardcopy" (from the
Esper machine) into "solid copy", but in BRDC, it is "printout".
Italian-dubbed versions translate "C-Beams" to "B-Beams" and Tyrell's line
"...and you have burned so very, very brightly..." to "...and you have
burned your candle from both ends...". Leon's "Nothing's worse than having
an itch you can never scratch" becomes "Nothing's worse than living in
terror." Gaff's "...but then again, who does?" becomes "If this can be
Both the 1982 release and BRDC are incorrectly dubbed into Spanish: they
translate the "shoulder of Orion" to the "shores of Orion".
The original Danish video release had "off-world" translated as
The Japanese neon sign for "gorufu you-hin" (golf equipment) has the wrong
character for "you": it is missing a verticle stroke, creating "getu" (moon).
The last thing the Sushi Master says is "wakatte kudasai yo" ("please
understand my position"), an odd thing to say at that time.
In the very first shot of Batty, we see his hand clenching up. If you look
carefully as he turns his hand just before the shot changes, you can see the
nail sticking through the back of his hand (Criterion CAV laserdisc: frames
C-07 37124 and 37125). He doesn't actually insert that nail until later in
Also, in the same scene, though Roy is supposedly alone (in a phone booth)
you see someone's hand on his shoulder. This is actually from a later scene
with Tyrell, shown in mirror image.
Gaff and Deckard fly past the same rooftop twice on their way to see Bryant.
During the VK test, Leon says "My mother... let me tell you about my mother",
but when Deckard recalls this on his way to his apartment, Leon's voice says
"I'll tell you about my mother!" This is probably Scott playing with the
audience's memory the way Tyrell trifles with Deckard's.
The snake tattoo on Zhora only appears after the Esper machine has stopped
zooming, and when it produces a hard copy, Zhora's face is at a different
angle to that on the screen.
The wording on the Million Dollar Movie marquis outside Sebastian's apartment
When the Cambodian woman puts the snake scale into the electron microscope,
she doesn't take it out of the plastic bag. We should be looking at a
picture of a plastic bag. The serial number that she gives Deckard is not
identical to the one in the image. Additionally, the image is not a snake
scale, but a female marijuana leaf [see Scharf's book in section 7].
When Deckard goes to Ben Hassan's (the snake dealer), their lip movements do
not match the dialog. Although correct in the Denver/Dallas Sneak, the take
wasn't deemed satisfactory for other reasons. The mismatch was a compromise.
When Zhora goes crashing through the plate-glass windows, the stunt double
looks nothing like the actress, her wounds disappear and reappear, and she is
wearing flat-heeled boots rather than the high-heeled ones she put on in her
dressing room. The sounds of the bullets hitting her body doesn't correspond
to when she is visibly hit. Also, you can see her holding the trigger-ball
and tube for the bloodbags she is carrying.
When Leon throws Deckard into the car window, the window was already broken.
This is not necessarily a goof.
In all versions of the film, events occur in the following sequence: Deckard
kills Zhora and then buys a bottle of Tsing Tao. Gaff takes him to Bryant.
Deckard then spots Rachael and tries to catch her but gets beaten up by Leon.
When the script included Mary (another replicant), the sequence ran as
follows: Deckard kills Zhora and then spots Rachael looking on. He chases
Rachael, only to be beaten up by Leon. After Rachael kills Leon, Deckard
buys a bottle of Tsing Tao and has to warn her with a glance when Gaff
approaches. Gaff takes him to Bryant, who tells him that there were "four to
go" (Roy, Pris, Mary, and Rachael).
When they eliminated Mary from the script, they had a problem: Bryant should
say that there were "three to go" (Roy, Pris, and Rachael). Instead of
reshooting this scene, they moved it and the scene of Deckard buying Tsing
Tao ahead of Leon's death, so that the "four to go" would be Roy, Pris, Leon
(not Mary), and Rachael. They nearly got away with this, but are now a few
1) When Deckard is talking to Bryant, he shows wounds from his fight
with Leon, although he hasn't had the fight yet.
2) Since he now buys his bottle before he fights Leon, it should be
there while he's chasing Rachael and fighting Leon (it's not). The
bottle mysteriously reappears when he gets back to his apartment.
This problem is purely the result of Bryant telling Deckard, "I've got four
skin jobs walking the streets" but only accounting for 1 of the remaining 2.
When Pris steps out of Sebastian's elevator, her hair is dry, but when she is
inside the apartment, it's wet again.
Support cables are visible whenever you see a closeup of a spinner floating
above a city street. The cable is most visible when Gaff departs with
Deckard in the beginning of the movie. There is a close-up of the spinner
rising in the rain and the line is very visible where it connects to a
fender. Later when a cop floats down to Deckard sitting in his car and asks
his business, you can spot the cable if you look closely.
Pris' raccoon makeup changes slightly three times.
Rachael's makeup changes throughout the love scene.
A gunshot wound is visible before Pris is shot.
In the Deckard/Batty confrontation, after Deckard has been given his gun back
and stalks off, you can spot the shadows of the cameraman, gaffer, and the
camera on the wall.
When Batty is holding onto Deckard's arm, Deckard's shirt is untucked. When
he is thrown down, the shirt is tucked in.
12. TRIVIA / WHAT MAKES BLADE RUNNER POPULAR/SPECIAL?
Deckard only retires two replicants, both women.
All replicants are referred to by first name, all humans by last name.
Pris' incept date is Valentine's Day.
The lamp on Bryant's desk has a translucent shade depicting a hunter
standing beside a fallen cape buffalo.
Each replicant's serial number summarizes their characteristics: for
example, Leon's "N6MAC41717" stands for Nexus-6, Male, A-Physical, C-Mental,
and incept date 4/17/17.
Leon's eyes glow faintly for a moment during the VK test but this is very
hard to discern. The major characters have either green or blue eyes.
Gaff's origami taunts Deckard: when Deckard tries to leave Bryant's office
without taking the job, Gaff makes a chicken. Gaff makes a man with a huge
erection to tease Deckard about either being attracted to Rachael, or getting
so involved/excited by the job (when he didn't want it in the first place).
Gaff might have felt that Deckard searching Leon's room was just "jacking
off". The origami unicorn is a reminder to Deckard of either Rachael's or
his own mortality.
During the scene where Deckard VK's Rachael, there is a dissolve to indicate
the passage of time. During the dissolve, Deckard can be heard mentioning
"orange body, green legs", the same description of the spider that Rachael
later describes. This may have been added as a form of pseudo-subliminal
message, so that later when Rachael mentions the same thing, the viewer's
memory is sparked in a subtle way. This is much the same as when Deckard
is travelling through the tunnel and "incorrectly" remembers what Leon said
just before shooting Holden.
The newspaper which lines the drawers in Leon's apartment is the same edition
as the one that Deckard reads at the beginning of the movie.
The Japanese characters for "police" ("kei-satu") are written on the
The music sitting on Deckard's piano is:
Concerto in D major for Guitar, Strings and Continuo
(Orig.Concerto con 2 violini, leuto e basso, RV 93)
by Antonio Vivaldi
Second movement : Largo
heading : Largo (Streicher "Sordine")
The notes of the guitar part are the German or English edition
Publisher : Karl Scheit
arranging by Karl Scheit
(c) Copyright 1978 by Ludwig Doblinger (Bernhard Herzmansky)
K.G., Wien - Muenchen
Eye symbolism is rampant:
- The eye in the opening shots
- Replicants' eyes glow
- Tyrell has huge glasses to make his eyes bigger
- glasses like Tyrell's were used in DADoES for fallout protection
- Eyes are used in the VK test
- Chew's Eye World where Chew and Leon both handle the eyes
- "Eyes, eyes... I do only eyes"
- "Chew, if only you could see what I've seen with your eyes!"
- Leon tries to stick his fingers in Deckard's eyes
- The lights behind Pris when she enters Sebastian's apartment
- Batty plays with the glass-encased eyes in Sebastian's apartment
- Batty sticks his thumbs in Tyrell's eyes
- Pris rolls her eyes to show only the whites
- The owl's large eyes are shown frequently
- surrounding the top of the Bradbury building are large, bright blue,
lighted half-orbs, which resemble eyes.
- "I've SEEN things you people wouldn't believe"
- "Not an easy man to SEE, I guess"
- "I wanted to SEE you"
- "He wouldn't SEE me"
Rachael's picture comes to life momentarily, and the soundtrack has the sound
of children playing.
Rachael's hairstyle: as a replicant, it is perfect, rigid, machine like, and
cold. As a human, it's soft, curly, and messed up.
The theatre across from Sebastian's apartment shows films by Ridley Scott's
wife. **IF YOU SENT THIS INFORMATION IN, CAN YOU CONTACT ME AGAIN?***
Roy Batty's soliloquy was ad-libbed by Rutger Hauer.
Blade Runner won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1983
(beating out E.T.). In a poll of members of the 1992 World Science Fiction
Convention, Blade Runner was named as the third most favorite SF film of all
time (behind Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey).
BLADE RUNNER Production Notes (excerpts from the 1982 Presskit)
Actors Rutger Hauer, Brion James and James Hong worked for two days amid
icicles at US Growers Cold Storage, Inc.
The "Blade Runner" company also filmed at two of L.A.'s most beautiful
architectural landmarks. The front of the Ennis Brown house in the Los Feliz
area was designed in 1924 by Frank Lloyd Wright in a Mayan block motif. The
building, the most monumental of Wright's western experimental work, is seen
in the film as the entrance to Harrison Ford's apartment building, a huge
condominium complex, hundreds of stories high.
The Bradbury Building, built in 1893 and recently threatened with
architectural corruption by municipal safety modifications, was preserved on
film by "Blade Runner." In one scene, Ford traces Hauer to the ornate edifice
for the final showdown. In another, industrial designer J. F. Sebastian
(William J. Sanderson) discovers street waif Pris (Daryl Hannah) and takes
her into his apartment.
Bradbury Building - 304 S. Broadway (Southeast corner of 3rd & Broadway). You
usually can't get inside and it's hard to see the iron work from the entry
doorways. A couple of years ago they had it open around noon on Saturdays.
Also, the Los Angeles Conservancy sponsors walking tours and features the
Bradbury on its Pershing Square tour. Call (213) 623-CITY for information.
Million Dollar Theater - 307 S. Broadway (Southwest corner of 3rd & Broadway).
You can see this theater and its big marquee in the scene where Pris runs from
Sebastian and breaks his car window. It's open to the public and shows films
in Spanish or with Spanish subtitles.
The tunnel that Deckard drives through is either 3rd or 2nd street, a block or
two west of the Bradbury building.
The Ennis-Brown House - 2655 Glendower Ave (off Western Ave above Los Feliz
Blvd). Tours are conducted the second Saturday of each odd month (Jan, Mar,
May, July, Sep, Nov). Info/reservations (213) 660-0607/668-0234.
Other locations included the downtown: Pan Am Building, where Deckard and
Gaff search Leon's hotel room for clues, and the old Los Angeles Union
Station (Bryant's office).
Deckard drives through a landmark tunnel featured in many Hollywood films.
Sebastian's apartment is full of bastardised creatures, part man, part
machine, and part animal. There is a stuffed unicorn on Sebastian's work
table (screen right, as the mice scurry over scattered paraphernalia while
Each character is associated with an animal:
Leon = Turtle
Roy = Wolf, Dove
Zhora = Snake
Rachael = Spider
Tyrell = Owl
Sebastian = Mouse
Pris = Raccoon
Deckard = Sushi (raw fish), unicorn
"Ethyl methanesulfonate as an alkylating agent" is a mutagen, and the
subsequent debate between Batty and Tyrell correctly explores the problems
associated with changing a cell's DNA.
When Gaff picks up Deckard, the launch sequence on the computer is the same
one used in Scott's "Alien", where the escape pod separates from the Mother
ship. The black-and-white display of the VK machine was also used as a wall
display in "Alien". When Deckard enters his apartment at the end, the
background hum is the same distinctive hum as in parts of "Alien". The
cigarettes smoke in BR are the same yellow color as the ones in "Alien".
Notice that both "Alien" and BR have "artificial persons", and there is
ambiguity as to who is/was a real human. The difference is that Ash is a
robot with mechanical insides.
E.T.A. Hoffman, a 19th century German writer, wrote "The Automata", which
featured a man who fell in love with a female piano-playing automaton. When
he discovers that she is an automaton, he goes insane. He regains his sanity,
only to fall from a tall building calling "beautiful eyes". It was her eyes
that convinced him that she must be an automaton.
The replicants are fallen angels (fallen from the heavens/outer space), with
Roy as Lucifer.
Tyrell lives in a giant pyramid (like a Pharaoh), which looks like a
cathedral inside, whereas Sebastian lives in an abandoned apartment with a
"toilet bowl plunger" on his head.
Tyrell creates. He builds his creations imperfect. Once of his creations
resents the in-built imperfection (since the creator had no reason apart from
fear to inhibit his creations), and he returns to the creator to fix him.
This parallels the baby spiders killing their mother.
Tyrell's huge bed, pedestaled and canopied, is modeled after the bed of Pope
John Paul II.
"Fiery the angels fell,
Deep thunder roll'd around their shores,
Burning with the fires of Orc."
This is a paraphrase of William Blake's "America: A Prophesy":
"Fiery the angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll'd
Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc."
When Roy finally confronts Tyrell, he calls him his "maker," and "the god of
biomechanics." In the light of the parallels this film draws between the
plight of the replicants and that of all human being -- four years against
fourscore -- this scene has strange reverberations. If Roy can condemn his
creator for determining his life span at four years, why can we not condemn
our Creator (if we choose to believe in one) for placing us under a death
sentence at birth. Can we sit in judgment of God?
Insofar as he creates artificial life and is killed by it, Tyrell is another
Dr. Frankenstein. Tyrell and Frankenstein both are cruel towards their own
creations, and yet it is these creations, not the creators, who are
persecuted. We are sympathetic towards both Roy and Frankenstein's creature,
as they are inherently benign creatures who become violent only when spurned
by a paranoid society. Our creations tell us more about the ugliness of
ourselves than they do about the created. The "Frankenstein" parallel is not
perfect, however, as Dr Frankenstein is not directly killed by his creation.
Roy puts a nail through his palm, a symbol of Christian crucifixion.
In Milton's "Paradise Lost", Satan is, despite himself, the most attractive
and interesting character. Roy is, of course, both Christ and Lucifer, but
the important thing is that, almost despite ourselves, we are obliged to
locate our sympathy where we do not want it to go. On a theological level,
the "felix culpa", our "fortunate fall" through which we are redeemed, is
occasioned by Satan, just as Deckard's "fortunate fall" is through Roy -- Roy
not only saves him from plummeting, but in fact elevates him to the heavens
-- a redeemed world.
When Batty dies, he is released from torment as he releases the dove. (The
laserdisc notes say that they couldn't get the dove to fly off into the
After Roy's death Deckard muses: "All he'd wanted were the same answers the
rest of us want. Where do I come from? Where am I going? How long have I
got. All I could do was sit there and watch him die." According to an essay
in "Retrofitting Blade Runner", these three questions are the title of a
painting by Gauguin during one of his more suicidal phases: "Where do we come
from? What are we? Where are we going?"
BEHIND THE SCENES
"A lot of people like the scene where I say, 'kiss me, kiss me' to Harrison.
Personally, it's not one of my favorites. How would you like to have somebody
grab you and throw you around a room? I had bruises all over me. And
Harrison's beard was all grown out, and scratched my face. The whole scene
just reminded me of a woman getting beaten up. I didn't see how my character,
Rachel, could go up to his room after that."
"It was really a rough day. Harrison tends to play love scenes either angry
or funny. It isn't just acting, you know. Somebody really is throwing you
against a wall while you're supposed to be telling them you love them. I was a
wreck. I had three or four weeks off after that scene."
"The scene I liked the best was where Harrison tells me I'm a 'replicant' a
robot with emotions and I cry right on cue. Yes, they're real tears."
- The Washington Post, August 14, 1982
He is also willing to admit that he is not fond of "Blade Runner," Ridley
Scott's futuristic cult favorite. "I played a detective who did no
detecting," he says. "There was nothing for me to do but stand around and give
some vain attempt to give some focus to Ridley's sets. I think some - a lot -
of people enjoy it, and that's their perogative."
- The Boston Globe, July 14, 1991
13. MORE QUESTIONS/ANSWERS
This section deals with questions that cannot be answered by considering the
film alone. In these cases, either auxiliary material is quoted, or a
rational explanation is offered.
Q: Whose eye is it at the start of the movie?
A: The storyboard indicates that it is Holden's
Q: Why would the Tyrell building have ceiling fans in it?
A: Ceiling fans are very efficient, even in 2019.
When BR was shown as part of the "Los Angeles at the Los Angeles"
film series in 1990 at the Los Angeles Theater, Ridley Scott was
asked after the screening about the prevalence of fans in his work
and their possible meaning. Without missing a beat, Scott replied:
"Well, they keep you cool."
Q: How did Leon smuggle his gun into room where Holden VK'd him? And how did
he escape from the building, given that the whole incident was on
videotape, and occurred high up in the Tyrell building?
A: The 110-story New York World Trade Center that made headlines when it was
bombed in February 1993 had about 100,000 people inside at the time.
According to various articles, the Tyrell pyramid is 6-7 times taller
(700-stories). Since the top of the pyramid is apparently several times
larger than the footprint of the WTC, the base must be enormously larger.
Plus, it is surrounded by four buttresses, each of which must be greater
in volume than the WTC. From this we can speculate Tyrell's pyramid must
be larger than the WTC by a factor of 100 or more and house 10 million
people. It should be easy to get lost in a crowd that size. Add in the
fact there may be other people that look like Leon and you've got an
impossible job. We also know that the Tyrell Corp. security is not
perfect because, 1) Bryant tells Deckard one got fried trying to break in
and the others GOT AWAY, and 2) Batty gets in and kills Tyrell.
Q: What does the voice from the blimp say?
A: "A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin
again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure. New climate,
recreational facilities.....absolutely free. Use your new friend as a
personal body servant or a tireless field hand--the custom tailored
genetically engineered humanoid replicant designed especially for your
needs. So come on America, let's put our team up there...."
A: Added for BRDC: "This annoucement is brought to you by the Shimato Dominguez
Corporation - helping America into the New World."
Q: Why can't Tyrell afford a real owl?
A: The February 1981 screenplay was written as:
Deckard: "It's artificial?"
Rachael: "Of course not."
Tyrell would probably keep a showpiece animoid replicant to impress
visitors. Note also that in DADoES, the "Tyrell corporation" lied to
Deckard (that is, told him it was real) in an attempted bribe.
Q: Who is the guy with his head on his arm in the photo from Leon's apartment?
A: Roy. In the Workprint, Deckard says: "Hello, Roy."
Q: How did Rachael get away with killing Leon in public, when she was wanted
dead by the police? The police arrived pretty soon after Deckard killed
Zhora, so why didn't they swoop down when Rachael killed Leon?
A: Deckard kills Zhora in the midst of a crowded street. Leon picked a
deserted alley to maul Deckard.
Q: How can Tyrell tell Roy that "We made you to the best of our abilities",
when he deliberately gave him a four year lifespan?
A: Tyrell probably means they couldn't risk making him any better because
they can only control them for so long. This assumes Bryant is correct in
saying the 4-year lifespan is intentionally built-in. Tyrell also says
"the light that burns twice as bright..." suggesting improved performance
may be a trade-off with lifespan. Since Tyrell's goal is commerce, he may
have turned a biological problem into a benefit by taking advantage of the
4-year lifespan -- planned obsolescence. When Sebastian says, "There's
some of me in you," he might be referring to the intentional use of the
genes responsible for Methuselah Syndrome.
Q: Why are real animals so expensive if there are lots of birds living in
A: DADoES offers an explanation: some animals are much rarer than others and
supposedly there were no more owls left. (Pigeons, on the other hand,
always seem to be plentiful.)
Q: Batty calls Deckard by name during the chase at the end. How did he know
A: This is either a technical error in the film, or an indication that Batty
knew Deckard, and Deckard doesn't know Batty. One idea is that Deckard
(and possibly Rachael) were replicants, and part of the rebellion. They
were caught entering the Tyrell building and, as an experiment, they
were retrained as an ex-Blade Runner and a replicant who thinks she's a
human. The experiment is to see if a replicant could turn on other
replicants that he/she used to know. This explanation is a bit weak and
far fetched, as it relies on the Tyrell Corporation retraining Deckard but
not changing his name. (Imagine if Roy had called him "Mr Smith"!). This
makes the Deckard/Zhora confrontation more interesting: she would have
recognized him, and would be wondering if he was having a joke or not.
When she realized that he was for real, she clobbered him. This could
also give Bryant an excuse for getting the number of escaped replicants
wrong. Different versions of the script have Deckard as a well-known
Blade Runner, so in that case it would be reasonable for Batty to know
about him. A likely explanation is that Leon was within earshot when
Deckard showed his ID to a cop and gave his name; in an earlier script,
Batty then had Leon go after Deckard for killing Zhora.
In Hampton Fancher's script dated 7 January 1980, Bryant tells Deckard
that the replicants may have tapped into the ESPER computer and that it
will take about a day to secure the system. Later, at Sebastian's
apartment, Batty tells Pris and Mary that Leon and Zhora are dead and that
the police have discovered he has been tapping into their computer. He
informs them that he can't monitor what the police are doing anymore.
This is what causes Pris to say, "Then we're stupid and we'll die," and
why the replicants are expecting Deckard to come for them.
Q: How did Deckard manage to haul himself onto the ceiling with two fingers,
with two other dislocated fingers on the same hand?
A1:He only holds on with his bad hand until he can get his other arm over
the edge. Experienced rock climbers can achieve single-finger chin-ups.
Whether or not they can do this in the rain while wearing a sodden trench-
coat, with two dislocated fingers, a history of alcoholism, and being chased
by a homicidal replicant is another matter. Postings from rec.climbing
suggest that this kind of stunt is as much a matter of technique as
A2:Easily. He's a replicant [see section 14].
Q: How can Deckard be a replicant, when he's physically outmatched by Roy,
Leon, Zhora, and Pris?
A: The videos that Bryant shows Deckard include a mental and physical rating
for each of the replicants. In all cases, they are rated "A" physically.
If Deckard was a replicant designed to think it was human, it would
probably be made a "B" physical, which would correspond to average human
strength. The fact that Deckard could slam shut a door that the replicant
Rachael was trying to open hints that Rachael was a "C" physical.
Q: Batty's incept date of January 2016 means that he should have lived to
January 2020. Why did he die in November 2019?
A1:The margin of error on a replicant's lifespan is probably the same as that
of any human with a fatal disease. It was suggested earlier that the short
lifespan was a trade-off for increased performance. It is clear that Roy
had exceeded even Tyrell's expectations, and so we could expect him to
wear out that little bit before his due expiry date.
A2:Earlier versions of the story were set in 2020, but this was changed when
it was decided that it sounded too much like an eyesight test. The date
was changed to 2019, but this inconsistency remained.
Q: How did Gaff get Deckard's gun? Was he following them?
A: Deckard sits on the roof for a long time. In the Workprint, Deckard says
he watched him die all night and that it was a slow, painful thing. Gaff
may have followed Deckard's groundcar, or checked out the radio reports of
Sebastian's death, walked around to piece things together and found
Deckard's gun. It would also be in character if Gaff was simply lurking
in the background hoping for Deckard to get himself killed.
Q: Why does spike in Batty's hand disappear when he catches Deckard?
A: The bottom of the frame is slightly cropped (even on the Criterion disc),
which prevents us from seeing the nail. Nevertheless it is there and can
be seen for a single frame on the Criterion disc at C-19 24493.
Q: What companies/products have their logos appearing in BR?
A: ANACO, Atari, Atriton, Bell, Budweiser, Bulova, Citizen, Coca-Cola,
Cuisine Art, Dentyne, Hilton, Jovan, JVC, Koss, Lark, Marlboro, Million
Dollar Discount, Mon Hart, Pan Am, Polaroid, RCA, Remy, Schiltz, Shakey's,
Toshiba, Star Jewelers, TDK, The Million Dollar Movie, TWA, Wakamoto.
Q: What is this "Blade Runner Curse"?
A: Someone once noticed that a number of the companies whose logos
appeared in BR had financial difficulties after the film was released.
Atari had 70% of the home console market in 1982, but faced losses of
over $2 million in the first quarter of 1991. Bell lost it's monopoly in
1982. Pan-Am filed for bankruptcy protection in 1991. Soon after Blade
Runner was released, Coca-Cola released their "new formula", resulting in
losses of millions of dollars. It is interesting to note that since then,
the Coca-Cola company has seen the biggest growth of any American company
in history. Cusinart filed for bankruptcy protection in July 1989.
Q: Is there going to be a sequel to Blade Runner?
A: In "Newsday", October 6, 1992, Scott is quoted as saying: "I'd really like
to do that, I think 'Blade Runner' made some very interesting suggestions
to the origins of Harrison Ford's character, addressing the idea of
immortality. I think it would be a very intelligent sequel."
In ``Screen International'' May 5-11:
"A slew of big-budget productions - likely to include Ridley Scott's
sequel to Blade Runner - are heading for Shepperton Studios (UK), which
is shaping up to become the leading special effects studio outside the
"Speaking from Grenada, Scott confirmed that the sequel to Blade Runner
will probably be shot at the studio, but he gave no starting date."
"The prospect of a Blade Runner sequel has been bruited around for years
- although without Scott's active involvement. Scott, who shot Alien at
Shepperton, confirmed that he is planning to make a sci-fi film 'in the
near future that I would shoot almost entirely' at the London studios."
See section 7 for a description of the Blade Runner novel sequel.
Q: Is there a Blade Runner computer game?
A: Yes. The official BR computer game was released for the Commodore 64
around 1982-1983. It featured the player as Deckard, tracking down the
replicants on an electronic map. Upon locating one, you had to chase them
down a crowded street and shoot them. The music in the game is
a Commodore 64 rendition of the End Title track by Vangelis. Copyright
problems with the name ``Blade Runner'' resulted in CRL (the game's
producers) obtaining the rights to the music, thus allowing them to refer
to ``A game based on the music of Vangelis' "Blade Runner"''.
Q: Where can I get a gun like Deckards?
A: The gun that Deckard uses is an Austrian Steyr/Mannlicher bolt-action
rifle with the stock and barrel removed, leaving just the receiver. A
pistol-grip was added for effect. The Steyr rifle action has a very
distinctive bolt-handle and trigger-guard; in fact, the particular receiver
used possessed the target-style set trigger system (two triggers).
Q: Video Watchdog (November-December 1993) contains a lot of information
on different versions of the film that contradicts things in the FAQ and
in other accounts. Who is right?
A: The Video Watchdog article, while extremely detailed and authoritative,
contains a lot of misinformation and errors. For example:
- There are only five versions seen by the public, not seven as claimed
in the article. These are (1) the Dallas/Denver sneak preview, (2)
the San Diego sneak preview, (3) the 1982 US theatrical release, (4)
the 1982 Euro-release, and (5) the 1992 Director's Cut [see section 7].
- The "Workprint" is the same as the Denver/Dallas Sneak Preview, the
Fairfax Theater Cut, the UCLA showing, the Nuart Theater showing and
the Castro Theater showing. The first three were in 70mm while the
Nuart and Castro showings used a 35mm reduction print. The London
sneak preview was probably the same as well.
- Michael Arick, rather than Haver and Harris, should be credited for
uncovering the workprint. Arick was certainly the most involved in
bringing that print to light and making the Director's Cut.
- All versions of the script had narration to some extent but Scott was
not in favor of it [see section 6]. Scott's shooting script had about
100 words of narration, his workprint had about 50, and his Director's
Cut had none.
- Scott actually scripted and filmed the unicorn scene for a pre-release
version of BR that was never shown outside the studio [see his comment on
this in Section 9]. The original unicorn footage was recovered in 1992
and restored in the DC. The persistent rumour that this footage came from
"Legend" is hard to understand since any side-by-side comparison between
the animals and settings in "Legend" and BRDC clearly reveals they are not
Q: Is the Video Watchdog description of the workprint (WP) accurate?
A: In many cases, but not all. Some things were missed, some things were
wrong, and some things were misleading. Referring to the side and
chapter marks on the Director's Cut laserdisc that were used in the
article, some worth noting are:
1:2 The DC contains 2 additional aerial shots of the approach to the
Tyrell Corp., 2 full-frame shots of Holden's eye, and 2 shots of
Holden from behind that are not seen in the WP.
1:4 The spinner flight to the police station is identical in both prints
except that Gaff can be heard saying something to Deckard in
1:5 The origami chicken close-up is the same in both films but Bryant's
line, "I need the old blade runner. I need your magic" is missing.
The WP is also missing the shot of Bryant pouring Deckard a drink,
which creates a discontinuity when you see Deckard put the glass
1:6 Bryant's off-screen line is: "That's Leon, ammunition loader on
intergalactic runs. He can lift 400 pound atomic loads all day and
night [not 4000!]. The only way you can hurt him is to kill him."
The three brief shots of other spinners in route to the Tyrell Corp.
are in all versions of the film.
1:7 When Rachael says, "May I ask you a question," Deckard has an extra
off-screen line: "What is it?"
2:1 There is a change. Batty's line, "Now where would we find this
J.F. Sebastian," is missing in the WP.
2:2 The scene is exactly the same duration in both, however, in the
elevator scene we clearly hear Rachael say "Deckard," causing him
to draw his gun and spin around.
2:3 You hear more of Deckard's one-finger piano solo in the WP.
2:6 This scene lasts about 20 seconds longer in the WP as the camera
follows Deckard leaving the Cambodian lady. The dialog with the
snake maker closely matches their lip movements:
D: Abdul Hassan? I'm a police officer, Abdul. I've got a couple
of questions I wanted to ask you.
H: (Chattering in another language.)
D: You made a snake, XB71. I want to know who you sold it to.
H: My work? Not too many could afford such quality.
D: How many?
H: Very few.
D: How few?
H: Perhaps less than I thought but still more than I can remember.
D: Abdul, my friend...(street noise)...about 2 seconds...(more
2:7 The introduction of Miss Solome is longer: "Ladies and gentlemen. We
have for your delight and pleasure this evening a spectacular act.
Before you, a woman. And with her, a snake. Watch her take the
pleasures from the serpent that once corrupted man." When Deckard
plucks a sequin off Zhora's dress, the camera shows a closeup for 3-4
seconds [this is very similar to a shot in Scott's film, "Black
Rain"]. After Zhora runs out of the dressing room, there is a shot
of Deckard loosening his tie.
2:8 The song "If I Didn't Care" was replaced by "One More Kiss, Dear" in
3:4 The love scene in the WP has the following changes: 1) Deckard
mutters "hah" under his breath when Rachael asks, "What if I go
North?"; (2) a 30-second profile shot of Rachael letting her hair
down is missing; and (3) the music cues by Vangelis are completely
different once Rachael steps over to the piano. Since the scenes are
identical in all other regards, the different affect the WP had on
some could only have been from the music.
3:6 The "wide shot" of Sebastian's flat is the same in both.
3:7 The whispers from the toys are about the same clarity and volume with
the exception of the last shot, where they are not only very loud,
they were completely missing in the DC.
4:4 The editing and pacing of the chase scene is slightly different --
running about 20-seconds longer overall in the WP. Right after Batty
pulls his head out of the bathroom wall he says, "You're not in pain
are you? Are you in pain?"
4:9 The scene at Deckard's apartment is shorter by almost a full minute.
Deckard goes directly to the bed and pulls the cover back. After
Rachael says she trusts him, the WP cuts to Deckard opening the
elevator doors. The elevator doors close noiselessly while the
soundtrack plays the same music heard during the spinner flight to
14. IS DECKARD A REPLICANT?
This question causes the most debate among BR fans. The different versions
of BR support this notion to differing degrees. One might argue that in the
1982 theatrical release, Deckard is not a replicant but in BRDC, he is.
There is no definitive answer: Ridley Scott himself has stated that, although
he deliberately made the ending ambiguous, he also intentionally introduced
enough evidence to support the notion, and (as far as he is concerned),
Deckard is a replicant. [See section 9.]
The "FOR" case
- Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford have stated that Deckard was meant to be a
replicant. In Details magazine (US) October 1992 Ford says:
"Blade Runner was not one of my favorite films. I tangled
with Ridley. The biggest problem was that at the end, he wanted the
audience to find out that Deckard was a replicant. I fought that
because I felt the audience needed somebody to cheer for."
- The shooting script had a voice-over where Deckard says, "I knew it on the
roof that night. We were brothers, Roy Batty and I!"
- Gaff knew that Deckard dreamt of a unicorn, therefore Gaff knew what dreams
that Deckard had been implanted with. (BRDC only)
- Replicants have a penchant for photographs, because it gives them a tie to
their non-existent past. Deckard's flat is packed with photos, and none of
them are recent or in color. Despite her memories, Rachael needed a photo
as an emotional cushion. Likewise, Deckard would need photos, despite his
memory implants. Rachael plays the piano, and Deckard has a piano in his
- Gaff tells him "You've done a man's job, sir!". Early drafts of the script
have him then add: "But are you sure you are man? It's hard to be sure
who's who around here."
- Only a replicant could survive the beatings that Deckard takes, and then
struggle up the side of a building with two dislocated fingers.
- Bryant's threat "If you're not a cop, you're little people" might be
an allusion to Deckard being created solely for police work.
- Deckard's eyes glow (yellow-orange) when he tells Rachael that he wouldn't
go after her, "but someone would". Deckard is standing behind Rachael,
and he's out of focus.
- Roy knew Deckard's name, yet he was never told it. Some speculate that
Deckard might have been part of Roy's off-world rebellion, but was captured
by the police and used to hunt down the others. In tht case, Bryant is
including Deckard among the five escaped replicants.
- The police would not risk a human to hunt four powerful replicants,
particularly since replicants were designed for such dangerous work. Of
course Deckard would have to think he was human or he might not be willing
to hunt down other replicants.
- Gaff seems to follow Deckard everywhere -- he is at the scene of all the
Replicant retirings almost immediately. Gaff is always with Deckard when
the chief is around. This suggests that Gaff is the real BR, and that
Deckard is only a tool Gaff uses for the dirty work.
The "AGAINST" case
- A major point of the film was to show Deckard (The Common Man) the
value of life. "What's it like to live in fear?" If all the main
characters are replicants, the contrast between humans and replicants is
- Rachael had an implanted unicorn dream and Deckard's reverie in BRDC was a
result of having seen her implants. Gaff may have seen Rachael's implants
at the same time Deckard did, perhaps while they were at Tyrell's.
- Could you trust a replicant to kill other replicants? Why did the police
- Having Deckard as a replicant implies a conspiracy between the police and
- Replicants were outlawed on Earth and it seems unlikely that a replicant
would have an ex-wife.
- If Deckard was a replicant designed to be a Blade Runner, why would they
give him bad memories of the police force? Wouldn't it be more effective
if he were loyal and happy about his work?
- Deckard was not a replicant in DADoES, although he has another Blade Runner
test him at one point just to be sure.
I was sent a translation of Gaff's city-speak, but i have lost the address
of the person who sent it. Could you please contact me again? Thanks!
Anyone else who can translate Gaff's cityspeak, please contact me!
This file has been compiled from my own viewings of Blade Runner, debates on
the Internet, and private email messages. The contributors are too numerous
to mention, and this task would never have been completed had I replied to
everyone that sent me mail.
Special thanks to:
William M. Kolb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Geoff Wright (email@example.com)
Peter Merel (firstname.lastname@example.org.OZ.AU)
Michael Kaufman (email@example.com)
Gareth Euridge (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Steve Griffiths (email@example.com)
Robert J. Niland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Paul Moore (email@example.com)
Juhana Kouhia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I regularly read the movie newsgroups, but I am more likely to get your
message if you email it directly to me.
There is no mailing list.
This FAQ is Copyright (C) 1992-1995 by Murray Chapman. All Rights Reserved.
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