Themes Films about altered memories
, Environmental films
, Films about computing
, Medical-themed films
, Films based on science fiction novels
, Films set in the future
, Films about psychiatry
, Films about disabilities
, Political films
, Films based on works by Philip K. Dick
, Cyberpunk films
, Dystopian films
, Robot films
, Disaster films
Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is a modified film adaptation of the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.
The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019, in which genetically engineered replicants, which are visually indistinguishable from adult humans, are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation as well as by other "mega-corporations" around the world. The use of replicants on Earth is banned and they are exclusively utilized for dangerous or menial work on off-world colonies. Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and killed ("retired") by special police operatives known as "Blade Runners". The plot focuses on a group of recently escaped replicants hiding in Los Angeles and the burnt-out expert Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment to hunt them down.
Blade Runner initially polarized critics: some were displeased with the pacing, while others enjoyed its thematic complexity. The film underperformed in North American theaters but has since become a cult film. Hailed for its production design, depicting a "retrofitted" future, it remains a leading example of the neo-noir genre. It brought the work of Philip K. Dick to the attention of Hollywood and several later films were based on his work. Ridley Scott regards Blade Runner as "probably" his most complete and personal film. In 1993, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Blade Runner is now regarded by many critics as one of the best science fiction films ever made.
Seven versions of the film have been shown for various markets as a result of controversial changes made by film executives. A Director's Cut was released in 1992 after a strong response to workprint screenings. This, in conjunction with its popularity as a video rental, made it one of the first films released on DVD, resulting in a basic disc with mediocre video and audio quality. In 2007, Warner Bros. released The Final Cut, a 25th anniversary digitally remastered version which is the only one on which Scott had complete artistic freedom and was shown in select theaters and subsequently released on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray.
In Los Angeles, November 2019, retired police officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is detained by officer Gaff (Edward James Olmos) and brought to his former supervisor, Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh). Deckard, whose job as a "Blade Runner" was to track down bioengineered beings known as replicants and destroy them, is informed that four have come to Earth illegally. As Tyrell Corporation Nexus-6 models, they have only a four-year lifespan and may have come to Earth to try to extend their lives.