Blade Runner

Although considered a box office bust when it was originally released, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner is now considered a visionary and revolutionary film, changing the way audiences think of science fiction.


Rick Deckard, a former cop in 2019 Los Angeles, suddenly finds himself back on the job "blade running" – hunting down rogue androids and "retiring" them – but the task is complicated by his conscience and the presence of a woman unlike any other.

EJO's Role

Edward James Olmos as Gaff in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner

Edward James Olmos plays Gaff, a quiet but decidedly sinister blade-running detective with a knack for origami. He is assigned to assist Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) in his search -- or is he?

Gaff's role in the film is the subject of much debate thanks to questions about Deckard's origins. Is Gaff a lackey for the police captain and helping Deckard investigate, or is he the blade runner for the blade runner?

The Numbers

Blade Runner was originally released in theaters in 1982 and then rereleased in select theaters in 2007 with a new cut. Seven versions of the film have been released over the years and shown in various markets.

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  • Portraying Gaff in Blade Runner boosted Edward James Olmos' visibility to the world.
  • In 1993, the Library of Congress chose Blade Runner to be included in the U.S. National Film Registry.
  • Blade Runner was considered a box-office failure but has become a "cult classic."
  • Novelist Philip K. Dick, who wrote Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep on which Blade Runner is based, saw only 20 minutes of the movie before his death in 1982.
  • Blade Runner's Sean Young went on to co-star with Edward James Olmos in Mirage.
  • The "cityspeak" in Blade Runner reportedly was Edward James Olmos' idea and he learned a number of languages to merge together onscreen. (watch here)
  • 1983 Academy Awards: Two Nominations (Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Effects, Visual Effects)
  • 2008 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (U.S.): Won Saturn Award for Best DVD Special Edition Release (5-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition)
  • 1994 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (U.S.): Nominated for Saturn Awared for Best Genre Video Release (Director's Cut)
  • 1983 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (U.S.): Nominated for four Saturn Awards (Best Director: Ridley Scott; Best Science Fiction Film; Best Special Effects; Best Supporting Actor: Rutger Hauer)
  • 1983 BAFTA Awards: Won three awards (Best Cinematography, Best Costume, Best Production Design/Art Direction); Nominated for five other awards (Best Film Editing, Best Makeup Artist, Best Score, Best Sound, Best Special Visual Effects)
  • 1982 British Society of Cinematographers: Nominated for Best Cinematography Award
  • 1993 Fantasporto: Nominated for International Fantasy Film Award for Best Film (Director's Cut/Ridley Scott)
  • 19893 Fantasporto: Fantasy Film Award for Best Film (Ridley Scott)
  • 1983 Golden Globes: Nominated for Best Original Score for a Motion Picture (Vangelis)
  • 1983 Hugo Awards: Won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation
  • 2007 Las Vegas Fim Critics Society Awards: Won the Sierra Award for Best DVD (Ultimate Edition)
  • 1983 London Critics Circle Awards: Won Special Achievement Award (for visual concept; technical prize)
  • 1982 Los Angeles Film Critics Assoc. Awards: Won Best Cinematography
  • 1993 National Film Preservation Board: Included in the National Film Registry.

My Take

Blade Runner is one of those movies I still watch with fascination every time I see it. There's always something new I notice or some new thought that comes to mind, which is what makes it one my favorite films of all times. I watch it at least once a year, sometimes two or three times.

Edward James Olmos as Gaff in 1982's Blade Runner.

Is it a perfect film? No. But it's a damned good one that has thankfully become more appreciated with the passage of time. God knows, it's deeper than its surface and requires an intelligent audience to even come close to grasping what it's about – and that sometimes evolves with each viewing!

To me, it has a lot in common with Stanley Kubrick's adaption of Arthur C. Clarke's of 2001: A Space Odyssey, although Blade Runner has far more adult content. It also has more than a little in common with another project that would involve Edward James Olmos some 20 years later ... "Battlestar Galactica". Mr. Olmos himself has noted the similarites between the stories and has said that the quality of the writing was a factor in his returning to the science fiction genre.

Like "Battlestar Galactica", Blade Runner explores what it means to be human. That a concept that should be explored often and it's something that sci-fi does better than any other genre. Blade Runner and "Battlestar Galactica" both do it very well and I, for one, am glad that Mr. Olmos has had a hand in both.

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EJO began his entertainment career as lead singer of a band called Pacific Ocean.


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