Blade Runner

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More human than human.

Blade Runner (1982) is an American science-fiction film, directed by Ridley Scott, with a screenplay written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

For the game, see Blade Runner (video game)

Rick Deckard[edit]

  • I'm Deckard. Blade Runner. B Two sixty-three fifty-four. I'm filed and monitored.
  • I was quit when I came in here. I'm twice as quit now.
    • In response to news that he is wanted on another assignment as a "blade runner" — an officer of the law who "retires" renegade "replicants."
  • Replicants are like any other machine. They're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, it's not my problem.
  • I don't get it, Tyrell. How can it not know what it is?
    • On Rachael not knowing that she is a replicant.
  • Memories, you're talking about memories.
  • [Revealing to Rachael that she is a replicant] You ever tell anyone that? Your mother, Tyrell? They're implants. Those aren't your memories, they're somebody else's. They're Tyrell's niece's. Okay, bad joke, I'm sorry... No, really, I made a bad joke. Go home, you're not a Replicant... (sigh) you wanna drink? I'll get you a drink.
  • I've had people walk out on me before, but not when I was being so charming.


These were expunged from the Director's Cut version. It has been said that both Scott and Ford were unhappy with the dialogue, as it was forced by the studio and was written by another scriptwriter (Roland Kibbee) not associated with the project. They can still be found in International editions, and all were spoken by Harrison Ford.
  • They don't advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession. Ex-cop. Ex-blade runner. Ex-killer.
  • Sushi. That's what my ex-wife used to call me. "Cold fish."
  • The charmer's name was Gaff, I'd seen him around. Bryant must have upped him to the Blade Runner unit. That gibberish he talked was city speak, gutter talk. A mishmash of Japanese, Spanish, German, what have you. I didn't really need a translator, I knew the lingo, every good cop did. But I wasn't going to make it easier for him.
  • "Skin jobs". That's what Bryant called Replicants. In history books he's the kind of cop who used to call black men "niggers".
  • I'd quit because I'd had a belly full of killing. But then I'd rather be a killer than a victim, and that's exactly what Bryant's threat about "little people" meant. So I hooked in once more thinking if I couldn't take it I'd split later. I didn't have to worry about Gaff. He was brown-nosing for a promotion, so he didn't want me around anyway.
  • I didn't know whether Leon gave Holden a legit address. But it was the only lead I had, so I checked it out.
  • Whatever was in the bathtub was not human. Replicants don't have scales.
  • And family photos? Replicants didn't have families either.
  • Tyrell really did a job on Rachael. Right down to a snapshot of a mother she never had... a daughter she never was. Replicants weren't supposed to have feelings... neither were blade runners. What the hell was happening to me?
  • Leon's pictures had to be as phony as Rachael's. I didn't know why a Replicant would collect photos. Maybe they were like Rachael... they needed memories.
  • The report would be "routine retirement of a Replicant", which didn't make me feel any better about shooting a woman in the back. There it was again... feeling in myself... for her... for Rachael.
  • I don't know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life... anybody's life... my life. All he'd wanted was 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 is sit there and watch him die.
  • Gaff had been there, and let her live. Four years, he figured. He was wrong. Tyrell had told me Rachael was special: no termination date. I didn't know how long we had together... who does?
This narration was only used for the film's workprint. The only piece of narration used in this version, it is an alternate version of Deckard's questioning of Roy saving his life.
  • I watched him die all night. It was a long, slow thing... and he fought it all the way. He never whimpered, and he never quit. He took all the time he had, as though he loved life very much. Every second of it... even the pain. Then, he was dead.


You know the score, pal! If you're not cop, you're little people.
  • Don't be an asshole, Deckard. I've got four skin-jobs walking the streets.
  • He can breathe okay as long as nobody unplugs him.
  • Stop right where you are! You know the score, pal! If you're not cop, you're little people.
  • Christ, Deckard, you look almost as bad as that skin-job you left on the sidewalk!
  • You could learn from this guy Gaff, he's a god-damn one man slaughterhouse.
  • Talk about beauty and the beast — she's both.
  • The only way you can hurt him is to kill him.

Eldon Tyrell[edit]

  • Milk and cookies kept you awake, eh, Sebastian?
  • Commerce is our goal here at Tyrell. "More human than human" is our motto.


Have you ever retired a human by mistake?
  • Have you ever retired a human by mistake?
  • Is this testing whether I'm a Replicant or a lesbian, Mr. Deckard?
  • I'm not in the business. I am the business.
  • You know that Voight-Kampff test of yours? Did you ever take that test yourself?


  • Painful to live in fear, isn't it?
  • Nothing is worse than having an itch you can never scratch.
  • Wake up! Time to die!

Roy Batty[edit]

Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
  • Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc.
    • This is a deliberate misquote of William Blake's America a Prophecy "Fiery the angels rose, and as they rose deep thunder roll'd / Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc." In context, the Replicants were exiled from Earth, to the off-world space colonies, but Roy's group of Replicants hijacked a ship to sneak back to Earth. Thus in a sense, like Lucifer and the Fallen Angels, Roy and his group were both "cast out" and "fell to Earth" (though not at the same time).
  • Chew, if only you could see what I've seen with your eyes!
    • A double-entendre, as Chew builds Replicant eyes.
  • It's not an easy thing to meet your maker.
  • I've done questionable things.
  • Can the maker repair what he makes?
  • Gosh, you've really got some nice toys here.
  • Proud of yourself, little man?
    • After hunting down Deckard, who had already killed Pris.
  • Not very sporting to fire on an unarmed opponent. I thought you were supposed to be good. Aren't you the... "good" man?
  • C'mon Deckard, show me... what you're made of... [pulls Deckard's hand through the wall and removes his gun]... This is for Zhora [breaks finger] and this is for Pris [breaks another] You gotta shoot straight! [Deckard shoots and misses] Straight doesn't seem good enough!
  • You better get it up. Or I'm gonna have to kill ya.
  • We're not computers, Sebastian, we're physical.
    • After Sebastian asks Roy and Pris to "do something"
  • That...hurt. That was irrational. Not to mention, unsportsman-like. Ha ha ha. [pause] Where are you going?
    • After Deckard beats him with a lead pipe.
  • Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
    • Standing over Deckard as he hangs from the side of the building.
  • I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.


  • You've done a man's job, sir! I guess you're through, huh?
  • It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?


  • Then we're stupid, and we'll die.

J.F. Sebastian[edit]

  • They're my friends. I make them.
  • There's some of me in you.


  • PA Voice: A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!
  • Holden: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs, trying to turn itself over but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping.
  • Hannibal Chew: You not come here! Illegal!
  • Zhora: You think I'd be working in a place like this if I could afford a real snake?


The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly, Roy. Look at you. You're the prodigal son. You're quite a prize!
All those ... moments will be lost in time, like rain.
Dave Holden: Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about your mother?
Leon Kowalski: My mother?
Holden: Yes.
Leon: Let me tell you about my mother! [shoots Holden]

Policeman: (Korean) Hey, idi-wa. (Hey, come here.)
Gaff: (French/Hungarian/German) Monsieur, azonnal kövessen engem, bitte. (Sir, please come with me at once.)
Howie Lee: He say you under arrest, Mr. Deckard.
Rick Deckard: Got the wrong guy, pal.
Gaff: (Hungarian) Lófaszt! Nehogy már! Te vagy a Blade, Blade Runner. (Horse shit! Don't give me that! You're a Blade Runner.)
Lee: He say you Blade Runner.
Deckard: Tell him I'm eating.
Gaff: (Japanese) Captain Bryant toka. Meni-o mae-yo. (Captain Bryant insists. Face to face.)
Deckard: Bryant, huh?

Rachael: Do you like our owl?
Rick Deckard: It's artificial?
Rachael: Of course it is.
Deckard: Must be expensive.
Rachael: Very. I'm Rachael.
Deckard: Deckard.
Rachael: It seems you feel our work is not of benefit to the public.
Deckard: Replicants are like any other machine: they're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, it's not my problem.
Rachael: May I ask you a personal question?
Deckard: Sure.
Rachael: Have you ever retired a human by mistake?
Deckard: No.
Rachael: But in your position that is a risk.
Eldon Tyrell: Is this to be an empathy test? Capillary dilation of the so-called blush response. Fluctuation of the pupil. Involuntary dilation of the iris.
Deckard: We call it Voight-Kampff for short.
Rachael: Mr. Deckard, Dr. Eldon Tyrell.
Tyrell: Demonstrate it. I want to see it work.
Deckard: Where's the subject?
Tyrell: I want to see it work on a person. I want to see a negative before I provide you with a positive.
Deckard: What's that going to prove?
Tyrell: Indulge me.
Deckard: On you?
Tyrell: Try her.

Rick Deckard: Taffey.
Taffey Lewis: Yeah?
Deckard: [shows police ID] I'd like to ask you a few questions.
Taffey: [to woman sitting next to him] Blow.
Deckard: You ever buy snakes from the Egyptian, Taffey?
Taffey: All the time, pal.
Deckard: [shows photo of Zhora] You ever see this girl, huh?
Taffey: Never seen her. Buzz off.
Deckard: Your licenses in order, pal?
Taffey: Hey, Louie. The man is dry. Give him one on the house, okay? [smiles at Deckard] See?

Eldon Tyrell: I'm surprised you didn't come here sooner.
Roy Batty: It's not an easy thing to meet your maker.
Tyrell: What can he do for you?
Roy: Can the maker repair what he makes?
Tyrell: Would you like to be modified?
Roy: [to J. F. Sebastian] Stay here.
Roy: Had in mind something a little more radical.
Tyrell: What..? What seems to be the problem?
Roy: Death.
Tyrell: Death. Well, I'm afraid that's a little out of my jurisdiction, you...
Roy: I want more life, fucker!
Tyrell: The facts of life: To make an alteration in the evolvement of an organic life system is fatal. A coding sequence cannot be revised once it's been established.
Roy: Why not?
Tyrell: Because by the second day of incubation, any cells that have undergone reversion mutations give rise to revertant colonies like rats leaving a sinking ship; then the ship sinks.
Roy: What about EMS recombination?
Tyrell: We've already tried it. Ethyl methane sulfonate is an alkylating agent and a potent mutagen. It created a virus so lethal the subject was dead before he left the table.
Roy: Then a repressor protein that blocks the operating cells.
Tyrell: Wouldn't obstruct replication, but it does give rise to an error in replication so that the newly formed DNA strand carries a mutation and you've got a virus again. But this - all of this is academic. You were made as well as we could make you.
Roy: But not to last.
Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly, Roy. Look at you. You're the prodigal son. You're quite a prize!
Roy: I've done questionable things.
Tyrell: Also extraordinary things. Revel in your time!
Roy: Nothing the god of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for. [kisses Tyrell and kills him]
Roy: [to J. F. Sebastian] Sorry, Sebastian. [Sebastian panics] Come. Come.

Roy Batty: Yes! [smiles] Questions... Morphology? Longevity? Incept dates?
Hannibal Chew: Don't know, I don't know such stuff. I just do eyes, juh, juh... just eyes... just genetic design, just eyes. You Nexus, huh? I design your eyes.
Roy: Chew, if only you could see what I have seen with your eyes.

Roy Batty: [taunting Deckard with a counting rhyme] Six! Seven! Go to Hell or go to Heaven!
[Deckard beats Roy on the side of the head with a lead pipe]
Roy: Good! That's the spirit!

Voight-Kampff test questions[edit]

  • It’s your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet.
  • You’ve got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar.
  • You’re watching television. Suddenly you realize there’s a wasp crawling on your arm.
  • You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, it’s crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?
  • Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about your mother.
  • You're reading a magazine. You come across a full-page nude photo of a girl. You show it to your husband. He likes it so much, he hangs it on your bedroom wall.
  • You become pregnant by a man who runs off with your best friend, and you decide to get an abortion.
  • One more question: You're watching a stage play - a banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog.
    • Rachael "fails" this question when she shows more empathy for the oysters than the dogs, indicating she's a Replicant by her inappropriate emotional response.


  • Man has made his match. Now it's his problem.

About Blade Runner[edit]

  • The purpose of this story as I saw it was that in his job of hunting and killing these replicants, Deckard becomes progressively dehumanized. At the same time, the replicants are being perceived as becoming more human. Finally, Deckard must question what he is doing, and really what is the essential difference between him and them? And, to take it one step further, who is he if there is no real difference?
  • In an earlier review of "Blade Runner," I wrote; "It looks fabulous, it uses special effects to create a new world of its own, but it is thin in its human story." This seems a strange complaint, given that so much of the movie concerns who is, and is not, human, and what it means to be human anyway.
    Now study that paragraph again and notice I have committed a journalistic misdemeanor. I have referred to replicants without ever establishing what a replicant is. It is a tribute to the influence and reach of "Blade Runner" that 25 years after its release virtually everyone reading this knows about replicants. Reviews of "The Wizard of Oz" never define Munchkins, do they? This is a seminal film, building on older classics like "Metropolis" (1926) or "Things to Come," but establishing a pervasive view of the future that has influenced science fiction films ever since. Its key legacies are: Giant global corporations, environmental decay, overcrowding, technological progress at the top, poverty or slavery at the bottom -- and, curiously, almost always a film noir vision. Look at "Dark City," "Total Recall," "Brazil," "12 Monkeys" or "Gattaca" and you will see its progeny.
    I have never quite embraced "Blade Runner," admiring it at arm's length, but now it is time to cave in and admit it to the canon.
  • What I have always wondered is why the Tyrell Corporation made their androids so lifelike. Why not give them four arms and settle the matter, and get more work out of them? Is there a buried possibility that Tyrell's long-range plan is to replace humans altogether? Is the whole blade-running caper simply a cover for his scheme? But never mind. What matters to the viewer is that the ground rules seem to be in place, and apply in one of the most extraordinary worlds ever created in a film.
  • That was the main area of contention between Ridley and myself at the time. I thought the audience deserved one human being on screen that they could establish an emotional relationship with. I thought I had won Ridley's agreement to that, but in fact I think he had a little reservation about that. I think he really wanted to have it both ways.
  • About ten minutes into Blade Runner, I reeled out of the theater in complete despair over its visual brilliance and its similarity to the “look” of Neuromancer, my [then] largely unwritten first novel. Not only had I been beaten to the semiotic punch, but this damned movie looked better than the images in my head! [...] It was also obvious that Scott understood the importance of information density to perceptual overload. When Blade Runner works best, it induces a lyrical sort of information sickness, that quintessentially postmodern cocktail of ecstasy and dread. It was what cyberpunk was supposed to be all about
  • The secret of "Blade Runner" is that Scott's fantastically baroque, future-shock imagery, all dark decay and techno-clutter, effectively becomes the story. As the layers of mood and detail settle in, the very process by which we watch the film — scanning those shimmering, claustrophobic frames for signs of life — turns into a running metaphor for what "Blade Runner" is about: a world in which humanity has been snuffed by "progress." This is perhaps the only science-fiction film that can be called transcendental.
  • As the movie explored 1980s themes, including genetic engineering and consumerism, it said more with production design than words, detailing a grim, overcrowded future where ornate architecture has been replaced by industrial overload. Harrison Ford, as Deckard, has an apartment so cramped and blocky, he appears to be living in a game of Tetris.
  • In 1982, the movie Blade Runner envisaged the then far-off future world of November 2019 as being filled with lifelike androids, neon-drenched cities and ubiquitous flying cars.
    But November 2019 has arrived, and the future looks very different from the sci-fi noir prediction.
  • “Today we use WhatsApp or FaceTime or whatever program you use to make video calls but in the movie they predicted people would go to video-phone booths,” he said.
    “So although the movie seemed quite advanced at the time and we are yet to get to some of its predictions, in other ways we’ve actually surpassed where the movie thought we would be.”
  • THE view of the future offered by Ridley Scott's muddled yet mesmerizing Blade Runner is as intricately detailed as anything a science-fiction film has yet envisioned. The year is 2019, the place Los Angeles, the landscape garish but bleak. The city is a canyon bounded by industrial towers, some of which belch fire. Advertising billboards, which are everywhere, now feature lifelike electronic people who are the size of giants. The police cruise both horizontally and vertically on their patrol routes, but there is seldom anyone to arrest, because the place is much emptier than it used to be. In an age of space travel, anyone with the wherewithal has presumably gone away. Only the dregs remain.
  • At several points in the story, Deckard is called on to wonder whether Rachael has feelings. This seems peculiar, because the icy, poised Rachael, played by Sean Young as a 1940's heroine with spaceage trimmings, seems a lot more expressive than Deckard, who is played by Harrison Ford. Mr. Ford is, for a movie so darkly fanciful, rather a colorless hero; he fades too easily into the bleak background. And he is often upstaged by Rutger Hauer, who in this film and in Night Hawks appears to be specializing in fiendish roles. Mr. Hauer is properly cold-blooded here, but there is something almost humorous behind his nastiness. In any case, he is by far the most animated performer in a film intentionally populated by automatons.
  • The end of the film is both gruesome and sentimental. Mr. Scott can't have it both ways, any more than he can expect overdecoration to carry a film that has neither strong characters nor a strong story. That hasn't stopped him from trying, even if it perhaps should have.
  • In the context of science fiction, Deckard is the rare existential sci-fi hero. His claims to heroism are not that of a fantasy character like Superman but of an ordinary man confronted with a situation in which he may either escape or be seduced by his environment, and whose testament of courage is that he does not resign himself to the mo-rose life of his contemporaries. Having been nurtured by a pessimistic environment, Deckard manages to rise above the dreariness and corruption of his world and es-cape the suffocating influences of the future Los Angeles, while rescuing the hunted woman he loves
    Since "Blade Runner" is a study of the individual's emptiness in the face of his society, Deckard succeeds in doing what few characters in Hollywood science fiction have done: He outgrows his futuristic, technologically-awesome world and reestablishes his worth as a human being (or, if you will, a replicant), something which, though not as spectacular as defeating a squadron of invading aliens or slaying a monster, is nonetheless just as triumphant –and, in a dystopian future, something even harder to accomplish.
  • It is a starkly empty film, preoccupied as it is with the thought that people themselves might be hollow. The plot depends on the notion that the replicants must be allowed to live no longer than four years, because as time passes they begin to develop raw emotions. Why emotion should be a capital offence is never sufficiently explained; but it is of a piece with the film’s investigation of a flight from feeling – what psychologist Ian D Suttie once named the “taboo on tenderness”. Intimacy here is frightful (everyone appears to live alone), especially that closeness that suggests that the replicants might be indistinguishable from us.
    This anxiety may originally have had tacit political resonances. In the novel that the film is based on, Philip K Dick’s thoughtful Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968), the dilemma of the foot soldier plays out, commanded to kill an adversary considered less human than ourselves, yet troubled by the possibility that the enemy are in fact no different. Shades of Vietnam darken the story, as well as memories of America’s slave-owning past. We are told that the replicants can do everything a human being can do, except feel empathy. Yet how much empathy do we feel for faraway victims or inconvenient others?
  • People tend to classify my movies as cyberpunk fictions but I personally don't think they are. There are some films that I really enjoy such as Blade Runner, and they may have been helpful in shaping my movies to a certain degree. When you create a film dealing with humans and cyborgs, you have no choice but to refer back to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, as this movie is probably the foundation of movies with this theme. Whether I'm trying to re-appropriate his language or not may not apply to my movies, because my goal is to always make a new movie that nobody has ever seen before. I think I've proven that with Innocence.
  • You want an accounting, not a whodunnit but a what-got-dun? Blade Runner got the computerized parking meters right, and the talking streetlights. (“Cross now … cross now … don’t walk … don’t walk.”) Robot Metrokabs? So close. Streetside newsstands carrying an array of glossy magazines? Yeah, about that. Face-recognizing polygraphs? Check your phone’s forward-facing camera. We enhance digital photographs, and we have voice-controlled gadgets in our kitchens. Billionaires promise a life off-world of excitement and adventure, but we don’t even have billboard dirigibles, much less reliable rockets.
  • Blade Runner always raised far more questions, literal and cosmological, than it answered, glibly presenting us with a complex and mysterious vision of our future selves, telling us only the scraps we needed to know to follow a plot about a detective who must find and kill the 21st Century equivalent of illegal aliens-so-called replicants, robots so sophisticated they can pass for humans.
  • Blade Runner is a big-budget mood piece, an existential tone poem about the precarious nature of humanity and its relationship to the planet, set in one of the most elaborately constructed and imagined futures ever put on film.
    Watch any of Blade Runner’s street scenes, and it’s immediately apparent how much work went into creating its near-future Los Angeles. Director Ridley Scott’s shots are densely packed, nearly cluttered, with information: old cars outfitted with industrial odds and ends; flying vehicles with blinking monitors; graffiti-covered video payphones; storefronts with blaring neon signs competing for your attention; bands of strangely dressed people carrying umbrellas lit from the handles; video advertising, some of it vaguely menacing, plastered everywhere. Dirt and smog and steam coat everything.
  • It’s not just that Harrison Ford looks dashing in neo-noir future wear or that the lighting is always moody and perfect, as if the entire city had been converted into a sultry nightclub — though none of that hurts. It’s that Blade Runner presents its futuristic city as one that is overrun by the liveliness of mass humanity. Its bustling sci-fi cityscape is defined by diversity and walkability, by commerce and cultural mixing, by industrial ingenuity and panoramas of larger-than-life advertising. Even as the city is dying, it teems with the business of life.
    The combination of realism and romanticism makes the movie’s 2019 Los Angeles a place you can imagine not only going to but wanting to visit.


Syd Mead: [My primary influence was] from Chicago and New York, because they're grid cities. And New York already had buildings over 1,000 feet — well, the Empire State Building. And so I thought, well let's add another thousand feet or so — why not?
So I had this vision of these incredible tall buildings, and that triggered the idea of how do you get in and out of a building that's 3,000 feet tall? Well, you need access on the ground plane. And that's why they had these pyramids at the bottom, for greater access around the perimeter to get into the building in the first place.
David L. Snyder: What Ridley said was, he would draw, and Syd Mead would draw, and everyone would draw, and then "the poor bastard art departments" had to build everything.
Hampton Fancher: The reason I was able to write the movie, and not be distracted as I always am by a million other things, is because I was very serious about the demise of the planet. You know, this is '75. This is acid [rain]. Until 1980, it was like, Whole Earth Catalog, CoEvolution. It was important to me.


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