CLASSIC MOVIE SCENES #13 – BLADERUNNER (1982) – “TEARS IN THE RAIN.”

CLASSIC MOVIE SCENES #13 – BLADERUNNER (1982) – “TEARS IN THE RAIN.”

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Produced by: Michael Deeley

Screenplay by: Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples – based on the novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, James Edward Olmos etc.

Cinematography: Jordan Cronenworth

Music: Vangelis

*** CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS ***



Philip K. Dick’s dense, dystopic and futuristic novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (1968), is an ugly, beautiful, depressing, obtuse, hypnotic skip-through-treacle read full of incredible concepts relating to: Artificial Intelligence; robot technology; android simulacra; animal husbandry; apocalyptic disease; virtual reality/empathy mood tech; extinguished humanity; and ultimately, of course, mortality and death. The fact that Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples were able to fashion a workable screenplay for Ridley Scott to direct is a creative miracle. Moreover, it is testament to the writing and Scott’s incredible production team that, Bladerunner (1982), is held in such high esteem among cinema fans now.

The original Bladerunnerdespite bombing at the box office and subsequently going through a number of cuts, re-cuts, final cuts and re-re-re-releases, has become a bona fide science fiction cinema classic. I watched the original theatrical version recently and despite the deadpan Harrison Ford voiceover and spurious, tacked on “happy” ending, it actually has a lot going for it. Obviously the ‘Unicorn Dream’ re-edits released under the guidance of Ridley Scott are the purer versions but the film holds up notably because of Ford’s gruff, depressive and world-weary performance as Rick Deckard; the imperious psychopathy of Rutger Hauer as android assassin Roy Batty; Scott’s glorious tech noir rendition of our desecrated future; as well as the evocation of Philip K Dick’s thematic existential power.

Such existential power is demonstrated in one of the final scenes where Batty has pushed Deckard to the edge of a building and death. The rain falls and the majestic soundtrack swells. A stripped down Batty, rather than let Deckard die, saves his life. It’s an ambiguous decision, but one of redemption for a replicant that is more used to delivering death. Perhaps, it proves that Batty does indeed have human qualities and Deckard will take up the cause. Delivering one final heartfound speech, Batty regales and laments the beautiful things he has seen. But they are gone – just like tears in the rain. It is a moving epitaph and amazing end to an incredible science-fiction classic. Batty closes down for good, but his demise and Hauer’s incredible performance will live long in the memory.


16 thoughts on “CLASSIC MOVIE SCENES #13 – BLADERUNNER (1982) – “TEARS IN THE RAIN.””

  1. Apparently Ford didn’t like the voiceover idea so he did it terribly with the hope that it wasn’t going to be used. They used it anywa
    It sort of makes sense for the “noir” feeling of the movie, but I prefer the edition with no voiceover!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I’ve read about that too amidst the many articles down the years. Warner Bros. also used cut film from The Shining to complete the final “happy ending” scenes. I guess it all adds to the allure of a classic film, whatever version you watch 😁
      Thanks for reading and commenting so positively.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That scene represents the essence of great screenwriting. Not to downplay the acting, set design, etc., but wow! Just writing that scene would be emotionally exhausting, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting, Sean. Not sure about being dated for me, but I get your point. Perhaps over-familiarity? I think the visuals are timeless, but on my latest viewing I was surprised how little there was to the story. But, the book is similar as it’s set in one day. The style, filmmaking, ideas and themes though I think remain very powerful.

      Like

      1. Of course. 2049 was indeed stunning to look at and it was interesting to watch the actress Sylvia Hoeks. What a powerful character she played. I was truly scared in my seat! Lol.

        But the story went everywhere, had loose ends, loop holes, and an unoriginal ending.

        I was wowed, and not in a good way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s fair enough. I thought it made sense. I mean, the original book was very conceptual and had lots of strangeness, so I think that was captured well. Plus, there was a lot of powerful symbolism and the story covered most of the loose ends. Gosling basically wanted to be human and tragically learnt it wasn’t to be.

        Liked by 1 person

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