1982 Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer
A detective thriller set in the near future, Blade Runner has been directed by Ridley Scott, the distinguished British filmmaker responsible for "Alien," one of the fifty top-grossing movies of all time.
Harrison Ford, the popular young star of "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Raiders Of The Lost Ark," portrays Rick Deckard, a skillful investigator who is forced out of retirement to take on a bizarre mission. Like the classic private eyes, Deckard stalks the treacherous streets and faces a gallery of colorful characters, ranging from the sleazy underworld to the corridors of power.
Rutger Hauer, Holland's top film star, known internationally for "Soldier Of Orange" and "Nighthawks," appears as Ford's chief antagonist, a ferocious warrior who possesses terrifying strength and a dynamic lust for life.
Sean Young, the Kentucky-born beauty who was seen in "Stripes," plays the coveted role of Rachael, the beautiful, mysterious young woman who is executive assistant to the powerful head of the world's largest genetic-engineering company. She becomes Ford's romantic partner.
special visual effects for Blade Runner have been created by Douglas Trumbull's Entertainment Effects Group. Trumbull received Academy-Award nominations for his work on "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" and "Star Trek, The Motion Picture."
Blade Runner is produced by Michael Deeley, the Academy-Award- winning producer of "The Deer Hunter."
Ivor Powell, continuing his long successful association with Ridley Scott, is the associate producer. Brian Kelly and Hampton Fancher are the executive producers.
The screenplay of Blade Runner is by two new film writers, Hampton Fancher and David W. Peoples. It is based on a novel by top science-fiction author Philip K. Dick.
The story centers on Rick Deckard, a highly specialized ex-police detective who is forced out of retirement to take on an urgent assignment: He must track down four desperate killers who, for some mysterious reason, are infiltrating a major industrial organization.
The case is further complicated when a beautiful young woman, an enigmatic suspect, becomes his ally -- and they fall in love.
Deckard uses sophisticated futuristic tools of the sleuthing trade and possesses professional skills unheard-of by Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe. He scans clues in a super-computer, gets around in a flying "Spinner" car, wields unusual weapons, and administers complex technological tests to suspects.
On the colorful and treacherous streets of a fantastic future megalopolis, the suspenseful story takes the classic form of a manhunt. But the renegades being pursued are not mere men and women. They are manufactured humans, created by scientific processes which are extensions of current breakthroughs in the revolutionary new field of genetic engineering.
These "replicants" are extremely fast and powerful combat models, the supreme products of the industry. Somehow, these four have returned to Earth from an off-world colony. They have already killed
and must be stopped before they kill again. Unfortunately, they are distinguishable from ordinary human beings only through a sophisticated technological test of which Deckard is one of the few master practitioners.
"'Blade Runner,'" says director Ridley Scott, "is first and foremost a detective story, a thriller. It's not so much science fiction as futuristic, or, better yet, of the future."
He further describes the film as "an adult comic strip.., full of action, colorful characters, fast pace, bright colors, and bold strokes."
A Blade Runner is a police detective who specializes in identifying and terminating defective replicants. Scott calls this highly skilled investigator "an official exterminator, a sort of bureaucratic bounty hunter." At this bizarre type of police work, Deckard is the best.
Replicants are synthetically made humans, manufactured and sold to do difficult, unsavory jobs, such as mining, soldiering, and space exploration, or to serve as domestic help and experimental subjects.
They are not "robots" as they contain no machinery. They are entirely creations of flesh-culture, more technoloqjcally and biologically advanced than "androids."
"Reps" are so highly perfected that they are virtually indistinguishable from ordinary humans, except through the Voight-Kampff empathy test, a sophisticated form of lie detector.
The story is set just far enough ahead to make credible the cornerstone of the plot -- the existence of a rampant genetic-engineering industry.
Scott points out that "this film is not about genetic engineering. It's not a speculation on the rights and wrongs of this new science. The movie just touches on the subject, uses it to create the story situation."
To construct the proper setting, the filmmakers had to develop a clear, realistic vision of life in an American megalopolis forty years from now.
Says Scott: "Most films depict the future as pristine, austere, and colorless. We were determined to avoid shiny buildings, underpopulated streets, and silver suits with diagonal zippers.
"Our city is rich, colorful, noisy, gritty, full of textures, and teeming with life -- much like a major city of today. This is a tangible future, not too exotic to be believed. It's like today only more so."
"Our film takes place within the lifetime of most of its audience," says producer Michael Deeley. "Everything had to be credible and justified."
To help authenticate their picture of the future, the filmmakers enlisted Syd Mead, an internationally eminent industrial designer who is a specialist in picturing the shape of things to come, from skyscrapers and vehicles to parking meters and phone booths with television.
"'Blade Runner,'" Mead notes, "is not a 'hardware movie.' It's not one of those gadget-filled pictures where the actors seem to be there only to give scale to the sets, props, and effects. We've created an environment to make the story believable. The tools and machinery appear only when needed and fit tightly into the plot."