A police spinner flies alongside an advertising-laden skyscraper in LA.Tyrell dimming the sun.

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Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, which depicts a dystopic Los Angeles in November 2019. more...

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The screenplay, which was written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. The film itself features: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel and Joanna Cassidy; lead designer: Syd Mead, soundtrack composer Vangelis.

The film describes a future in which genetically manufactured beings called replicants are used for dangerous and degrading work in Earth's "off-world colonies." Built by the Tyrell Corporation to be 'more human than human', the Nexus-6 generation appear to be physically identical to humans — although they have superior strength and agility — while lacking comparable emotional responses and empathy. Replicants became illegal on Earth after a bloody mutiny. Specialist police units — blade runners — hunt down and "retire" (i.e., kill) escaped replicants on Earth. With a particularly brutal and cunning group of replicants on the loose in Los Angeles, a reluctant Deckard is recalled from semiretirement for some of "the old blade runner magic."

Blade Runner initially received polarized reviews from film critics, some who were confused and disappointed it didn't have the pacing expected from an action film, while others appreciated its thematic complexity. The film performed poorly in North American theaters while achieving success overseas. Despite poor early ticket sales, it was adored by fans and academia and quickly attained cult classic status. It gained such great popularity as a video rental, partly due to the film's ability to reward repeated viewing, that it was chosen to be one of the first DVDs to be released. Blade Runner has been widely hailed as a modern classic for its immersive special effects and prefiguring important themes and concerns of the 21st century. It has been praised as being one of the most influential films of all time because of its detailed and original setting, serving as a postmodern visual benchmark with its realistic depiction of a decayed future. Blade Runner brought author Philip K. Dick to the attention of Hollywood, and numerous films have since been based on his literature.


Philip K. Dick died before its release, yet did see a forty-minute test reel. The screenplay, by Hampton Fancher, attracted producer Michael Deeley (who secured several financing sources, later problematic when one delayed the release of the film's Special Edition) who convinced director Ridley Scott to create his first American film; Scott was unhappy with the script and had David Peoples rewrite it.

The title derives from Alan E. Nourse's novel The Bladerunner (1974), whose protagonist smuggles black-market surgical instruments; William S. Burroughs' wrote Bladerunner, A Movie a cinema treatment; aside from the title, neither Nourse's novel nor Burroughs's treatment are relevant to the film. Screenwriter Fancher happened upon a copy of Bladerunner, A Movie whilst Scott searched for a commercial title for his film; Scott liked the title, obtained rights to it, but not to the novel; (Note: some editions of Burroughs' treatment-novel use the two-word spacing: Blade Runner.)

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