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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 in BR."

An extensive voice-over was added to help people relate to Harrison Ford's character and make following the plot easier. After 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.



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 colour 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 Castrotheaters, 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 lips

- 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 ata 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 release.


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.

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Image Library
Official Site

What Is Blade Runner?
The Soundtrack
What Are Replicants?
The People Responsible
Los Angeles Breakdown
The Versions
Significant Imagary
Problems With Blade Runner
Q & A
Is Deckard A Replicant?

Midi File

Voting Update... People who think that Deckard is a replicant - 1026, against - 630as of March 13 2001, Thanks for all of the voters' participation...



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