The film-noir Blade Runner is based on a story by Philip K. Dick: "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", written in 1968.
So what is the movie about?
Basically it's about a bunch of androids, the NEXUS 6 Replicants (robots) gone out of control and Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) being a Blade Runner (a special trained cop) has to track them down and retire (kill) them. Enter stage my childhood-hero Rutger Hauer as the android Roy Batty and watch Deckard meet his match.
Why is this movie a Weird Movie?
Apart from the otherworldly atmosphere and its futuristic vision of Los Angeles, this movie makes you wonder what (other than our living, breathing bodies) makes us human, and why is life so precious?
The movie came out in 1982, and once more, as a Director's Cut, in 1992. I have to admit, I've never seen the 1982 version, but I don't feel like I have to. For me, uptill now, Ridley Scott's 1992 Director's Cut is the real Blade Runner.
For the 1982 version, Warner Bros insisted on Harrison Ford, who plays the leading role, to record a voice-over. This voice-over was added to the movie as they thought the story would be too hard to follow for the audience. Yeah, sure. Harrison Ford later admitted to have intentionally done the worst possible job at recording the voice-over, hoping they would decide not to use it after all. But they did anyway.
Also the 1982 version is said to have a holiwood-happy ending. Well I can't say i'm unhappy with the 1992 ending, and I have to admit that I do add a few tears to the rain each and every time I watch the movie... I'm eagerly looking forward to Blader Runner The Final Cut.
The opening crawl from the movie:
Early in the 21st Century, THE TYRELL CORPORATION advanced Robot evolution into the NEXUS phase -- a being virtually identical to a human -- known as a replicant. The NEXUS 6 Replicants were superior in strength and agility, and at least equal in intelligence, to the genetic engineers who created them. Replicants were used Off-world as slave labor, in the hazardous exploration and colonization of other planets. After a bloody mutiny by a NEXUS 6 combat team in an Off-world colony, Replicants were declared illegal on earth -- under penalty of death. Special police squads -- BLADE RUNNER UNITS -- had orders to shoot to kill, upon detection, any trespassing Replicants. This was not called execution. It was called retirement.
With Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, and Rutger Hauer as the replicant Roy Batty.
Click here for some questions and answers about Blade Runner.
I put up a chapter from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", by Philip K. Dick, to give you an impression of the book Blade Runner was based on.
Here a link to the best 1982 Blade Runner script I could find on the web.