Blade Runner: The Final Cut


1h 57m 1982
Blade Runner: The Final Cut

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Action
Crime
Drama
Release Date
1982
Production Company
Brydon Bertram Baker III ; Shaw Organization ; The Ladd Company ; Vangelis
Distribution Company
British Film Institute ; Columbia-Emi-Warner ; Nelson Entertainment ; Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group ; Warner Bros. Italia ; Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution ; Warner Bros. Pictures International

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m

Synopsis

Crew

Jerry Allen

Visual Effects

Bud Alper

Sound Department

Vickie Alper

Production Coordinator

Newton Arnold

Assistant Director

Eugene Byron Ashbrook

Boom Operator

Robert D Bailey

Photography

Michael Bakauskas

Assistant Editor

Brydon Bertram Baker Iii

Cable Operator

Don Baker

Photography

Peter Baldock

Assistant

Philip Barberio

Other

Rupert Benson

Photography

Albert Bettcher

Camera Operator

Ray Bickel

Stunts

Janet Brady

Stunts

Charles Breen

Set Designer

Glenn Campbell

Photography

Joseph W Cardoza

Best Boy

Diane Carter

Stunts

Sean Casey

Visual Effects

Morris Chapnick

Assistant Director

Ann Chatterton

Stunts

Albert Colean

Camera Operator

Gary Combs

Stunt Coordinator

Gil Combs

Stunts

Peter Cornberg

Assistant Director

Charles Cowles

Photography

Anthony Cox

Stunts

Tom Cranham

Visual Effects

Jordan Cronenweth

Director Of Photography

Paul Curley

Visual Effects

William Greg Curtis

Special Effects

Stephen Dane

Assistant Art Director

Howard Davidson

Transportation Captain

Michael Deeley

Producer

Linda Descenna

Set Decorator

Philip K Dick

Source Material (From Novel)

David Dryer

Special Effects Supervisor

Richard Dubuque

Auditor

Tom Duffield

Set Designer

Rita Egleston

Stunts

Leslie Ekker

Visual Effects

Bud Elam

Consultant

Gary Epper

Stunts

Jeannie Epper

Stunts

C. O. Erickson

Production Supervisor

Hampton Fancher

Screenplay

Hampton Fancher

Executive Producer

Jane Feinberg

Casting

Mike Fenton

Casting

Thomas Field

Visual Effects

Paulette C. Fine

Other

Michael L. Fink

Supervisor

Linda Fleisher

Consultant

Leslie Frankenheimer

Set Decorator

Logan Frazee

Special Effects

Terry Frazee

Digital Effects Supervisor

Vance Frederick

Visual Effects

Steve Galich

Special Effects

Peter Gallagher

Sound Editor

Michael A. Genne

Assistant Camera Operator

William George

Visual Effects

Rocco Gioffre

Art Assistant

Leora Glass

Assistant

Diana Gold

Auditor

Joyce Goldberg

Production Manager

David Grafton

Consultant

George D Greer

Assistant Camera Operator

Kris Gregg

Visual Effects

Carey Griffith

Key Grip

Katherine Halber

Production Executive

James Hale

Construction

Robert Green Hall

Photography

James Halty

Stunts

David Hardberger

Photography

Alan Harding

Camera

Dick Hart

Lighting

Graham V Hartstone

Rerecording

Don Hauer

Assistant Director

Les Healey

Assistant Editor

Jack Hinkle

Other

Richard Hollander

Other

Mike Hopkins

Writer (Dialogue)

Mike Hopkins

Editor

Bob E Horn

Costumes

Mentor Huebner

Production

Gerry Humphreys

Sound Department

Jeff Imada

Stunts

Dream Quest Images

Visual Effects

Don Jarel

Photography

Robert Johnston

Visual Effects

Saul Kahan

Publicity

Michael Kaplan

Costume Designer

Brian Kelly

Executive Producer

David Klassen

Set Designer

Charles Knode

Costume Designer

Sherman Labby

Production

James Lapidus

Costumes

Terry E Lewis

Property Master

Marci Liroff

Casting

Alfred J Litteken

Assistant

Buzz Lombardo

Other

Ronald Longo

Photography

Lou Mann

Set Designer

Kelly Marshall

Assistant

Linda Matthews

Costumes

Tim Mchugh

Photography

Gary Mclarty

Stunts

Karen Ann Mclarty

Stunts

Michael Mcmillen

Visual Effects

Greg Mcmurray

Other

Syd Mead

Visual Effects

Virgil Mirano

Photography

Michele Moen

Art Assistant

Marsha Nakashima

Editor

Michael Neale

Location Manager

Beth Nufer

Stunts

Roy Ogata

Stunts

James Orendorff

Construction Coordinator

Shirley L Padgett

Hair

Lawrence G Paull

Production Designer

Peter Pennell

Sound Editor

Peter Pennell

Editor

David Peoples

Screenplay

Thomas Phak

Visual Effects

Gregory Pickrell

Set Designer

George Polkinghorne

Other

Bobby Porter

Stunts

Steve Poster

Photography

Ivor Powell

Associate Producer

Lee Pulford

Stunts

David Quick

Props Assistant

Ana Maria Quintana

Script Supervisor

Gary Randall

Gaffer

Terry Rawlings

Executive Editor

Ruth A Redfern

Stunts

Richard Ripple

Other

John W. Rogers

Unit Production Manager

Chris Ross

Visual Effects

Thomas Roysden

Set Decorator

George Sawaya

Stunts

David Scharf

Photography

Donald Schmitz

Dolly Grip

Richard Schroder

Assistant Director

John A Scott

Props Assistant

Jonathan Seay

Photography

Jim Sharp

Transportation Co-Captain

Arthur B Shippee

Props Assistant

William Ladd Skinner

Set Designer

Steven H Smith

Assistant Camera Operator

Wayne Smith

Consultant

David L Snyder

Art Director

Tom Southwell

Production

Robert Spurlock

Miniatures

Mark A. Stetson

Visual Effects

Dave Stewart

Photography

Tama Takahashi

Photography

Charles Tayburro

Stunts

Robert C. Thomas

Camera Operator

Douglas Trumbull

Special Effects Supervisor

Brian Tufano

Photography

Jack Tyree

Stunts

Pat Van Auken

Key Grip

Stephen Vaughan

Photography

Steve Warner

Production Associate

John C Wash

Animator

Mike Washlake

Stunts

Marvin Westmore

Makeup

Evans Wetmore

Mechanical Special Effects

Robert Wilcox

Visual Effects

Douglas G Willas

Dolly Grip

Winnie Brown Willis

Costumes

Robert E Winger

Dolly Grip

James T Woods

Other

Matthew Yuricich

Matte Painter

Richard Yuricich

Special Effects Supervisor

William Zabala

Assistant Editor

Michael Zurich

Stunts

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Action
Crime
Drama
Release Date
1982
Production Company
Brydon Bertram Baker III ; Shaw Organization ; The Ladd Company ; Vangelis
Distribution Company
British Film Institute ; Columbia-Emi-Warner ; Nelson Entertainment ; Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group ; Warner Bros. Italia ; Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution ; Warner Bros. Pictures International

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 57m

Articles

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982/2007)


At one time, it would have been highly unusual for a film to be released in one version then re-released in an alternative edit. Preview audiences frequently saw an early cut of a film and offered feedback that went into preparing the final version, but once it went into general release, that was it. The idea of a director’s cut, even for some of the most powerful and independent directors, was rather unthinkable (an exception being Chaplin’s 1942 self-release of a new version of The Gold Rush, 1925). Movies were often trimmed to please censorship boards and assure distribution in cities, states and countries with even more restrictive notions of acceptability than the Hayes Office. But the Hollywood system had little place for an alternative edition designed to showcase an artistic vision that contrasted with a studio’s official version.

Things noticeably changed around the 1970s. Some sources point to the box office success of the 1974 re-release of The Wild Bunch (1969), with its restoration of ten minutes originally cut to assure an R rating, as the beginning of the trend. Since then, particularly with the rise of home video in the 1980s, we’ve seen multiple versions of work by George Lucas, Peter Bogdanovich, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, among others. Classic films got the re-do treatment as well; Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958) was re-edited in 1976 and again in 1998. Now, TCM is partnering with filmmaker Joshua Greenberg to hunt for the lost footage of Welles’ studio-butchered masterpiece The Magnificent Ambersons (1942).

Which brings us to one of the most relentlessly reworked films of recent years, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982). Most people today know the story of this atmospheric sci-fi thriller about the hunt for rogue replicants (humanoids manufactured essentially for slave labor in off-world colonies) causing mayhem in 2019 Los Angeles in their quest for freedom and longer lives. Discussing in detail the differences in various versions of the film would likely require spoilers. In an effort to minimize that here, readers are advised to go online for the explicit changes, deletions and additions made over the years. There is no dearth of information out there regarding the numerous cuts.

A workprint version shown to test audiences early in 1982 was badly received, so a “happy ending” and voiceover narration (by the lead character, Deckard, a replicant hunter or “blade runner”) was added for the U.S. theatrical release that June. Scott had no control over this, and Harrison Ford, who plays Deckard, strongly objected being called back by the film’s backers to record the narration. Responding to rumors that he had deliberately botched the reading to keep it from being used, Ford told Playboy in 2002: “I delivered it to the best of my ability, given that I had no input. I never thought they'd use it. But I didn't try and sandbag it. It was simply bad narration." This version got mixed reviews from critics (“muddled yet mesmerizing” – The New York Times) and fared poorly at the box office.

An unrated international cut was released abroad later that summer with three violent action scenes missing from the U.S. release. This version was released on home video (VHS and laserdisc) in 1992 as the 10th Anniversary Edition.

In 1989 and 1990, film preservationists discovered a 70mm print of Blade Runner in post-production vaults. On hearing about this, a theater in Los Angeles got permission from Warner Bros. to screen it as the Director’s Cut. This “new” edition, however, turned out to be nothing more than the original 1982 workprint. When Scott publicly disowned it, Warners pulled the print from distribution and assembled a new cut with notes and direction from Scott and gave it a 1992 theatrical release. This version removed Deckard’s voiceover and the ending imposed by the studio for the 1982 release and added a dream sequence of a unicorn and some other small bits to flesh out certain sequences.

Critics and audiences took more warmly to this version but many reviews, while praising the overall style and neo-noir feel and singling out Douglas Trumbull’s virtuoso special effects work, still found the human dimension of the story to be lacking. Likewise, Scott was still not pleased that it reflected his truest vision. Because he was working on two other films while the restoration work was being done, he felt he had not devoted enough attention to this so-called Director’s Cut.

Now we come at last to the Final Cut, the most acclaimed and critically satisfying version to date and the one being screened on TCM beginning in 2021. This is the cut that was firmly and completely under Ridley Scott’s control in 2000.

After several years of legal wrangling with Warner Bros., the film was released in 2007. Although he decided not to replace Trumbull’s work with CGI effects (a practice widely slammed when Lucas did it to his original Star Wars trilogy), Scott did allow for digital enhancement that brightened the overall look, revealing details that had originally been hidden or at best murky. Some sequences, such as the unicorn dream, were extended and clarified, the more violent moments from the international version were included, mistakes and discontinuities were corrected. This version also retains a more downbeat and ambiguous ending.

Many critics completely revised their initially tepid reaction to the film in 1982, calling it “stunning,” “an overwhelming experience,” and “one of the most extraordinary worlds ever created on film.”

Neither Scott nor anyone else involved in this long saga has expressed a need or desire to revisit the film again. But the story was fleshed out further to largely positive response in the sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017), directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, 2016; Dune, 2021) from a script co-written by Hampton Fancher, one of the writers on the original film.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982/2007)

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982/2007)

At one time, it would have been highly unusual for a film to be released in one version then re-released in an alternative edit. Preview audiences frequently saw an early cut of a film and offered feedback that went into preparing the final version, but once it went into general release, that was it. The idea of a director’s cut, even for some of the most powerful and independent directors, was rather unthinkable (an exception being Chaplin’s 1942 self-release of a new version of The Gold Rush, 1925). Movies were often trimmed to please censorship boards and assure distribution in cities, states and countries with even more restrictive notions of acceptability than the Hayes Office. But the Hollywood system had little place for an alternative edition designed to showcase an artistic vision that contrasted with a studio’s official version.Things noticeably changed around the 1970s. Some sources point to the box office success of the 1974 re-release of The Wild Bunch (1969), with its restoration of ten minutes originally cut to assure an R rating, as the beginning of the trend. Since then, particularly with the rise of home video in the 1980s, we’ve seen multiple versions of work by George Lucas, Peter Bogdanovich, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, among others. Classic films got the re-do treatment as well; Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958) was re-edited in 1976 and again in 1998. Now, TCM is partnering with filmmaker Joshua Greenberg to hunt for the lost footage of Welles’ studio-butchered masterpiece The Magnificent Ambersons (1942).Which brings us to one of the most relentlessly reworked films of recent years, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982). Most people today know the story of this atmospheric sci-fi thriller about the hunt for rogue replicants (humanoids manufactured essentially for slave labor in off-world colonies) causing mayhem in 2019 Los Angeles in their quest for freedom and longer lives. Discussing in detail the differences in various versions of the film would likely require spoilers. In an effort to minimize that here, readers are advised to go online for the explicit changes, deletions and additions made over the years. There is no dearth of information out there regarding the numerous cuts.A workprint version shown to test audiences early in 1982 was badly received, so a “happy ending” and voiceover narration (by the lead character, Deckard, a replicant hunter or “blade runner”) was added for the U.S. theatrical release that June. Scott had no control over this, and Harrison Ford, who plays Deckard, strongly objected being called back by the film’s backers to record the narration. Responding to rumors that he had deliberately botched the reading to keep it from being used, Ford told Playboy in 2002: “I delivered it to the best of my ability, given that I had no input. I never thought they'd use it. But I didn't try and sandbag it. It was simply bad narration." This version got mixed reviews from critics (“muddled yet mesmerizing” – The New York Times) and fared poorly at the box office.An unrated international cut was released abroad later that summer with three violent action scenes missing from the U.S. release. This version was released on home video (VHS and laserdisc) in 1992 as the 10th Anniversary Edition.In 1989 and 1990, film preservationists discovered a 70mm print of Blade Runner in post-production vaults. On hearing about this, a theater in Los Angeles got permission from Warner Bros. to screen it as the Director’s Cut. This “new” edition, however, turned out to be nothing more than the original 1982 workprint. When Scott publicly disowned it, Warners pulled the print from distribution and assembled a new cut with notes and direction from Scott and gave it a 1992 theatrical release. This version removed Deckard’s voiceover and the ending imposed by the studio for the 1982 release and added a dream sequence of a unicorn and some other small bits to flesh out certain sequences.Critics and audiences took more warmly to this version but many reviews, while praising the overall style and neo-noir feel and singling out Douglas Trumbull’s virtuoso special effects work, still found the human dimension of the story to be lacking. Likewise, Scott was still not pleased that it reflected his truest vision. Because he was working on two other films while the restoration work was being done, he felt he had not devoted enough attention to this so-called Director’s Cut.Now we come at last to the Final Cut, the most acclaimed and critically satisfying version to date and the one being screened on TCM beginning in 2021. This is the cut that was firmly and completely under Ridley Scott’s control in 2000.After several years of legal wrangling with Warner Bros., the film was released in 2007. Although he decided not to replace Trumbull’s work with CGI effects (a practice widely slammed when Lucas did it to his original Star Wars trilogy), Scott did allow for digital enhancement that brightened the overall look, revealing details that had originally been hidden or at best murky. Some sequences, such as the unicorn dream, were extended and clarified, the more violent moments from the international version were included, mistakes and discontinuities were corrected. This version also retains a more downbeat and ambiguous ending.Many critics completely revised their initially tepid reaction to the film in 1982, calling it “stunning,” “an overwhelming experience,” and “one of the most extraordinary worlds ever created on film.”Neither Scott nor anyone else involved in this long saga has expressed a need or desire to revisit the film again. But the story was fleshed out further to largely positive response in the sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017), directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, 2016; Dune, 2021) from a script co-written by Hampton Fancher, one of the writers on the original film.

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