Harrison Ford - Blade Runner

The year is 2019 AD, the place is Los Angeles. Nuclear wars have poisoned Earth's atmosphere; radiation is everywhere. Most animals have died. Most people have migrated to space colonies on Mars. 

Earth is a very difficult place for humans. It is very under-populated, with many homes and apartment buildings empty or with only a few inhabitants. 

The space colonies make extensive use of advanced androids ["replicants"] in households and factories. Making replicants is one of Earth's largest industries. 

The leading maker of replicants is Tyrell Co., led by Dr. Tyrell. Its latest model, the Nexus-6, can be distinguished from humans only by a small group of experts. Their brains are so advanced that Nexus-6 replicants think for themselves. The idea of a replicant rebellion is starting to worry people. 

It is now illegal for the Nexus-6 replicants to come to Earth. To limit damage from such replicants running amok or rebelling, their built-in life span is only four years. 

At a Mars space colony, a small band of Nexus-6 replicants escapes and makes their way back to Earth. Their mission: To confront Dr. Tyrell and force him to extend their life span. Since Nexus-6 are considerably stronger, faster and smarter than the average human, the success of this mission might endanger all of mankind. 

Authorities on Earth are aware of the four outlaw replicants, and have persuaded their best replicant bounty hunter [a.k.a. "blade runner"], Rick Deckard, to hunt them down and kill them as fast as possible... 

In completing BLADE RUNNER, Ridley Scott, the director, ran up a cost of $60 million, quite large for 1982. But when studio execs viewed the finished film, they found they couldn't follow the story -- and didn't much like what they could follow. They forced Scott to make several changes in the film, including voice-overs and a more upbeat ending. 

Within three weeks of BLADE RUNNER's release to theaters, another sci-fi film made its debut, Steven Spielberg's E.T., THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL [1982] which went on to become one of the largest-grossing films of all time. It overshadowed BLADE RUNNER, and took away much of its natural publicity and audience. 

The worst disasters to befall BLADE RUNNER were the critic's reviews: Most found little value in the script, the acting or the plot. The critics refused to accept the idea of a story told mainly with visual images. The only positive mention in every review was the haunting, stunning visual impact of the sets. 

It was the worst group of reviews any Harrison Ford or Ridley Scott film ever received. The film quickly went out of theaters and survived only in video stores and on cable TV. 

But a funny thing happened with BLADE RUNNER. Many people who saw the film in theaters, on television or video, loved it. They thought it was one of the best sci-fi films they had ever seen. 

In 1983, BLADE RUNNER won the Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation of science fiction, over E.T. In a poll of members at the 1992 World Science Fiction Convention, BLADE RUNNER was named third best science fiction film of all time, behind STAR WARS and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. 

Word of mouth buoyed the video rentals until, 10 years after its 1982 release it had become a cult classic, revered by many newer critics and film buffs. Sites on the Internet discuss it. 

In 1993, Ridley Scott brought out the "Director's Cut" of BLADE RUNNER, making needed small improvements and ditching much of what the studio execs had forced him to put in the first time around. There is now a consensus among sci-fi fans, academics and serious critics that BLADE RUNNER is one of the finest sci-fi films ever made. 

A sorely-needed correction: Due to the nature of critics' egos and the film industry, up to now no one has seen fit to challenge or change the original "two star" tag put on the film. Since it is clearly a "three star" or "four star" film, there is always the chance that one of the original critics might admit to a bad call the first time around -- but that's not likely.