From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon May 13 22:36:50 1991 From: email@example.com (David B. Knight) Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies,alt.cult-movies Subject: BLADE RUNNER – The Director's Cut Summary: I saw it! Date: 9 May 91 21:22:12 GMT Organization: TRW Inc., Redondo Beach, CA
About 2 weeks ago there was a special screening of 'a' (not 'the') directors cut of Blade Runner at the Academy of Motion Pictures in Hollywood. Ridley Scott was supposed to be there but was unable to, as he was in France doing some last minute work on Thelma & Louise. After the showing there was a question and answer session with the films visual futurist, Syd Mead.
First of all, this was a gorgeous 70mm print, and I was amazed at the quality of it. It's a shame that Criterion couldn't locate this print when they first released the letterboxed Blade Runner, but it does exist and its in excellent shape. The rest of what I have to say probably won't interest you if you're not a true Blade Runner fan…
The opening credits are completely different – simply "Harrison Ford in BLADE RUNNER". The scrolling summary at the beginning is replaced by a short dictionary definition of "replicant" from the New American (I believe) Dictionary, 2019 edition. A very nice touch.
The basic film itself is very similar to the release version, but there were a considerable number of differences:
- The music is very different from the release version. It is still
the Vangelis score, but there are many places where the music is
different -- too many to remember.
- There are no voice-overs given by Harrison Ford, except for one at
the very end while Roy Batty is dying.
- Many scenes are extended slightly. For example, the scene where
Leon shoots Holden lasts a few moments longer – we see Holden bent
over the table that his chair rams him into for more than a split- second.
- The large blimp-type thing that, in the release version, constantly
blares things about life in the off-world colonies, is usually
silent in this version. When it does say something, it is not the same as the release version.
- The initial scene with Deckard and Bryant is quite different. I
believe that some parts were rearranged slightly. Also, Bryant
states that 6 replicants escaped and that 2 of them got fried, not 1 like in the release version. This would explain what happened to that mysterious 6th replicant, but it was obviously modified in the editing room, since he says it a couple of times but we never see his lips when he says it, and his voice sounds a little different.
- When Deckard gives Rachel the VK test, he actually asks her a
hypothetical question about the spider outside her room – I don't
recall this coming up in the release version until she shows up at his apartment.
- When Deckard is trying to track down the owner of the snake, he is
directed to Abdul Ben-Hassaan (sp). The dialogue for this scene
was completely dubbed and changed -- very poorly. It is clear that the words do not match the mouth movements.
- There is a short scene of Zhora doing her snake dance.
- When Sebastian takes Roy to meet Tyrell in the release version, Roy
says "I want more life, fucker!" but in this version he says "I
want more life, FATHER!"
- When Roy dies at the end, we hear Deckard's only voice-over. It is
the same as the release speech, except extended slightly. There is
a wide-shot of the two of them sitting on the top of the building as Graff's car slowly rises up along the side of the building, hovers there for a moment, and then flies over to where he gets out. His additional voice-over says that he stayed there all night and watched Roy die (which took all night) -- and he fought till the bitter end.
- The film ends with the closing of the elevator doors.
People that have been following this thread over the years will notice that there was no unicorn scene in this version. After the showing, the moderator stood up and read a letter from Ridley Scott about the original version and the unicorn scene that was missing from this print. Apparently when Deckard is playing the piano he looks at the picture of Rachel and her mother, which seems to come to life. There is then a short scene of a unicorn galloping through a field.
He also goes on to explain that he was really sorry that all of these hints about Deckard being a replicant were removed from the release version, but that studio executives felt that it would be too "high-brow" for mainstream viewers. He felt that Deckard being a replicant was an extremely important part of the film. Scott also stated that to this day he still doesn't understand why the film did so poorly at the box office during its original release.
In conclusion, I'd suggest that if you ever have a chance to see this version of the film, especially in 70mm, don't let it pass by. It's the first time I've ever seen so many people outside the theater begging to buy tickets for a film that is 10 years old!
Dave Knight firstname.lastname@example.org