Originally released in 1982, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is a remarkable adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s seminal sci-fi classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Stirring elements of film noir, mystery, thriller and action/adventure into a heady stew of introspective futurism, Scott crafted the most beautiful — if not the most unforgettable — genre film of the 1980s. And perhaps the most debated and/or misunderstood, thanks to the various cuts of the film.
While you continue to debate whether or not Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford, who turns 73 today) is a Replicant or not, here’s a rundown of the film’s most memorable quotes.
“Wake up. Time to die.” – Leon
Although Rutger Hauer gets most of the credit for providing Blade Runner with most of its menace, Brion James’ performance as Leon the unhinged Replicant is not to be overlooked. He brings a genuinely terrifying edge to his role as a desperate machine who struggles with his complex and confusing emotions. The above clip features his most memorable quote, a soundbite that would be perfect for any alarm clock.
“Gosh, you’ve really got some nice toys here.” – Roy Batty
Sure, Roy Batty is a crazed killing machine who has a fondness for running around wearing only a pair of revealing spandex shorts, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a mischievous side.
“I can’t rely on my memories” – Rachael
A huge part of Blade Runner’s enduring appeal is the sympathetic nature of the Replicants. Although the film’s antagonists, they are cursed with false memories of lives they are told belong to them but don’t. So it’s no wonder that they are a bit ornery. In the case of Rachael, this condition is especially tragic. She can’t rely on her own memories, so how can she possibly know anything about herself or the world she has been thrust into? Here she finds temporary comfort in the arms of Deckard, who, whether you buy the theory that he is a Replicant or not, is clearly going through some stuff himself.
“You’ve done a man’s job sir. I guess you’re through, huh?” – Gaff
“Finished.” – Rick Deckard
“It’s too bad she won’t live. But then again, who does?” – Gaff
As the enigmatic Gaff, Edward James Olmos brings an air of mystery to his role as the origami-loving cop who apparently knows more about Deckard than the veteran Blade Runner knows about himself. Those in the camp that believe that Deckard is a Replicant use the above exchange to support their argument. Why would Gaff say Deckard has done a “man’s job” unless he was a machine?” cries out the Internet to no one in particular.
“How can it not know what it is?” – Rick Deckard
During his interaction with Replicant creator Tyrell, Rick Deckard poses the above question about Rachael. But how many of us know who we truly are? Think about that. Deep, right?
“I want more life.” – Roy Batty
Arguably the film’s most brutal sequence has Roy Batty visiting Tyrell to see how he can have his life extended. So yeah, that doesn’t turn out so well for either of them. This is why you should always call before popping in unexpectedly.
“I didn’t know how long we’d have together. Who does?” – Rick Deckard
Taken from the much maligned narration thrown onto the original theatrical release against both Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford’s will, this quote is a weird bit or armchair philosophy that is a riff on Gaff’s last remarks to Deckard.
“You were made as well as we could make you.” – Tyrell
“But not to last.” – Roy Batty
As this scene between Replicant creator Tyrell and “prodigal son” Roy Batty reminds us, family reunions are always awkward.
“That Voight-Kampf test of yours. Have you ever tried to take that test yourself?” – Rachael
Notice Deckard doesn’t actually answer the question…
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.” – Roy Batty
As the making-of documentary on the 2007 Final Cut release of the film reinforces, the production of Blade Runner was a notoriously difficult one. There was much dissatisfaction to be found on the set from the cast and crew alike, so it was no surprise that Rutger Hauer was unhappy with the final soliloquy from his Roy Batty character. Deciding that the scripted dialogue just wasn’t good enough, he wrote the film’s “tears in the rain” line on set — creating the film’s most touching, not to mention human, moment along the way.