A Blade Runner Work Print compannion written by BladeZone staff writer Brendan Fankboner.
Brendan with Bill Sanderson in Tacoma
Back in Spring of 1999, Brendan Fankboner approached me about trying to get some attention by Warner or
Ridley at getting the work print or at least the definitive version of the film finally released on disk. Well, one day early this year
the cat slipped out of the bag about Ridley's intention to release a special edition DVD, and all our hard work at the "Blade Runner
Work Print Coalition" came to an abrupt end.
Being a daoist, and not one for wasting things, I saw all our hard work had actually helped to prove the interest in Blade Runner, and
it also made for some excellent content for BladeZone.
So, what follows is Brendan Fankboner's original workprint companion. I hope you all enjoy all the hard work on his part that went into it.
The Denver/Dallas/U.K. Sneak Preview of Blade Runner
A somewhat complete list of alternate scenes, shots, cuts, and sounds featured in this unique version of a classic science fiction film.
This rarely-seen cut of Blade Runner was, in essence, a work-in-progress. It was cut together after numerous changes, re-shoots, mixes, and decisions had been made by the filmmakers as to how it could/should/would be presented. Screened in Denver, Colorado on 3/5/1982 and Dallas, Texas on 3/6/1982, as well as in the United Kingdom (date unknown to me), it was the first incarnation of Blade Runner the general moviegoing public was to ever see. As compared to all other OFFICIALLY released versions, most notably the 1982 International Cut (the uncensored version of the official 1982 release) and the 1992 "Directorís Cut" (a release which was prompted by the overwhelming success of this "workprintís" brief run in LA in 1990 and 1991), the original sneak preview version is rather different. The main differences are a rougher sound mix, unfinished music and scenes, and some extra and/or alternate shots within scenes already familiar to fans across the planet. This in-depth checklist will allow those folks who canít wait to see another version of Blade Runner to compare and contrast the workprint to their favorite cut(s). (And yes, I did pull a lot of this information from Paul M. Sammonís great book: FUTURE NOIR- THE MAKING OF Blade Runner
- The opening logo (for the LADD Company) is the standard black tree on a white background. The LADD logoís musical theme is also slightly different. (See OUTLAND or THE RIGHT STUFF for example.)
- The only credits for Blade Runner were for the star (Harrison Ford) and the name of the picture. They were presented in a rather stylish manner: A white line streaks across the black screen, bisecting it. From out of the "slash" appears the words HARRISON (from above) and FORD (from below) in red lettering. As they emerge, a metallic scraping sound is heard as a sound effect. Harrisonís name disappears back into the slash, accompanied by the same noise. Next, in LARGE, bold, red text, Blade Runner emerges and then disappears from the white line, in the same fashion as Harrisonís credit. During this brief credit sequence, alternate, non-Vangelis music can be heard. When the title of the movie is revealed, the music strikes a deep, resonant chord.
- Immediately after the opening credits, a single screen of text appears. Similar to the opening of "PULP FICTION", the text is a dictionary definition:
REPLICANT\repí-li-cant\n. See also ROBOT (antique): ANDROID
(obsolete): NEXUS (generic): Synthetic human, with paraphysical capa-
bilities, having skin/flesh culture. Also: Rep, skin job (slang): Off-world
uses: Combat, high risk industrial, deepspace probe. On-world use pro-
hibited. Specifications and quantities-information classified. New Ameri-
can Dictionary. Copyright (c) 2016
After the presentation of the definition, the familiar LOS ANGELES: NOVEMBER, 2019 text appears
and the Vangelis score enters, full-force and slightly different in tempo (faster).
- The two full-screen shots of Holdenís "eye on the city" are absent from this sequence.
- As the scene progresses closer and closer to the Tyrell Corporation, the voice of an air-traffic controller can be heard saying, "Spinner niner-niner-Red-two, Tyrell Approach Control. Radar contact two-zero, miles west. Spec planning pad Red-two, spec Green sector automated approach." In other words, this sequence was originally edited to suggest we were approaching the Tyrell Corporation inside a Spinner car.
- The two shots of Holden waiting in the "interrogation room" for his next "subject", during the approach to Tyrell Corp. sequence, are absent.
- After Leon shoots Holden, who subsequently crashes through the wall, the shot of Holdenís slumped-over body holds longer. Holdenís face rests on the computer keyboard, the hole in his back smoking. The blades of a ceiling fan, which have fallen down over him, brush his hair (perhaps suggesting that heís a Blade Runner, or in need of THE Blade Runner: it is suggested that Deckard is one-of-a-kind in this version).
- At the White Dragon Noodle Bar, the Ink Spotsí "If I Didnít Care" can be heard playing, briefly, in the background, as the shot cranes down to ground level.
- During the blimpís advertisement, we do not hear any narration from Deckard, and the advertisement continues on: "New climates, recreational facilities...". Also, the close-up shot of Deckard is slightly shorter.
- When the noodle cook sets Deckardís meal down in front of him, we see a close-up shot of it: two large shrimp, a mound of rice, and noodles. Mmmmm.
- As Deckard cleans his chopsticks, we do not hear any of his narration. Also, the shot runs longer.
- When Gaff first speaks ("Monsieur, ada-na kobishin angum bi-te.") the shot is on Gaff only, in semi-close up.
- The next shot is different, too. As Gaff continues to speak, we see Deckard playing with his food and attempting to eat it; Deckard seems more agitated.
- As Gaff takes Deckard to see Bryant, we can actually HEAR Gaff talking to Deckard (he was originally scripted to insult Deckard), in cityspeak, inside the Police Spinner. Also, there is no narration from Deckard during this sequence. In this version, the air-traffic control directions heard as the Spinner lands seem more natural to the audience at this point, after hearing some earlier in the film.
- As Deckard walks into Bryants office and sits down, there is no narration about "skin jobs", but there is off-screen dialogue from Bryant about the replicants jumping the Off-World shuttle, etc. In other words, the sequence is edited more tightly. However, we donít see Bryant pouring Deckard a drink, but Deckard sets down an empty glass after the next couple of shots!
- Bryant does not say, "I need the old Blade Runner. I need your magic."
- Bryant, in the briefing room, informs Deckard that TWO replicants got fried running through the Tyrell Corp.ís electrical field. This not only accounts for the "mystery replicant" (for those who REALLY paid attention), but also nullifies the possibility that Deckard (a replicant?) was one of the six.
- As Bryant briefs Deckard on his new "assignment", and we see Leonís catalog number and incept date, etc., we hear on off-screen line from Bryant: "Thatís Leon. Ammunition loader on intergalactic runs. He can lift four-hundred pound atomic loads all day and night. The only way you can hurt him is to kill him."
- Before the shot/scene changes from Bryantís briefing to Deckardís journey to see Tyrell, we can hear Gaffís Police Spinner approaching, from behind, in the surround channel(s). Itís really cool.
- During the flight to Tyrellís pyramid, there is no narration from Deckard. However, there ARE more air-traffic control directions heard over Gaffís radio: "Police niner-niner-five, Tyrell Approach Control. The winds zero-niner-zero at six, and the altimeter two-niner-niner-two." The controller has a bit of a military-style Southern accent. The first set of air-traffic directions are given at the beginning of the sequence. The next set of directions are given near the end of the sequence: "Spinner niner-niner, Tyrell Approach Control. Radar contact two-zero miles west. Spec planning pad Red-two, spec Green sector automated approach." Then, to a different Spinner, "Pad two. The winds zero-niner-zero at six. Spinner two, Tyrell Approach Control. Spec planning Yellow."
- In Tyrellís office, after Rachel asks Deckard if she can ask him a "personal" question, we hear him ask her, offscreen, "What is it?"
- As Deckard V-Ks Rachel about the "nude photo", the scene dissolves into the master shot of the whole office. On most prints, if you listen carefully, we can barely hear Deckard ask Rachel, "Remember the spider that lived in a bush outside your window? Orange body, green legs?", under their lines, "I wouldnít let him" and "Why not?". In this version, the two seperate dialogues are balanced at equal volume! Same for Deckardís line, "One more question"; itís louder.
- At the Yukon Hotel, when the attendant opens Leonís room for Deckard and Gaff, we hear him say, "Kowalski." Kowalski is Leonís last name; so, the attendant is telling the two detectives the name of the current tenant. Also, there is no narration from Deckard in this sequence.
- At the Eyeworks, when Chew is being "interrogated" by Leon and Roy, there is no shot of Roy asking, "Now...where...would we find this...J.F. Sebastian?". Further, the soundtrack allows Chew to only say J.F.ís last name twice, where he says it THREE times in all other versions. Over the third "S-s-s-sebastion", the soundtrack, instead, brings up the sound of Deckardís sedan, to indicate an imminent scene change.
- In the elevator at Deckardís apartment house, as Deckard rides the lift up to his room, we hear Rachel whisper, "Deckard", which causes him to draw his gun reflexively. In all other versions, we only hear the sound of something shifting, not a whisper.
- As Deckard looks down at Rachelís photograph and sees the image subtly move (maybe it was a 3-D photo?), we hear the sound of laughing children, only much louder in this sound mix. Further, there is no narration from Deckard in this sequence, and Vangelisí "Memories of Green" trails off as Deckard sits down to examine Leonís photos. In all other versions, it continues to play until it segues into "Blade Runner Blues" (about twenty seconds later). Therefore, there are about twenty seconds in this version of the sequence without music.
- The "Blade Runner Blues" (Vangelis music cue) trails off as Pris walks toward the Bradbury, in the medium shot. In all other prints, it abruptly cuts off later, when Sebastion drops his keys.
- Prisí last drag on her cigarette is louder.
- The sound of Pris breaking the window of Sebastianís car is louder, also.
- After Sebastian and Pris exit the elevator and continue to J.F.ís apartment, the music features the same descending chime motif as heard much later in the film, when Pris is sneaking a peek around the "sleeping" J.F.ís pad.
- Back at Deckardís apartment, when the olí Blade himself is drunkenly hitting a key on his piano, there is no background music score from Vangelis. We only hear Deckardís fidget-y tune on the piano, which is different in this audio mix. Also, there is no unicorn "vision".
- As Deckard uses the photo-enhancing ESPER machine, a low humming sound can be heard emanating from it. The Vangelis music here is also subtly different.
- After the ESPER zooms in on Royís face in Leonís picture, we hear Deckard mutter, offscreen, "Hello, Roy."
- As Deckard examines the hardcopy (Polaroid) of Zhora, we hear him speculate with, "Zhora or Pris?"
- At the end of the ESPER sequence, Vangelisí score segues into his eerie "Tales of the Future"/"On the Trail of the Nexus 6". In this sound mix, the music continues on, naturally. In all other versions, the music loops back on itself to start over again when the scene changes to the Animoid Row sequence. We hear more of this haunting cue at the end of this sequence, as well.
- After Deckard hands the Cambodian merchant the mysterious scale, she answers Deckardís question ("Fish?") with, "It will take a moment."
- After Deckard questioningly points in the direction of Abdul Ben-Hassanís shop, and nods in thanks to the Cambodian merchant, he starts off in that direction. However, in this version, the shot runs longer, which cranes up again (like at the beginning of the sequence) to show us more of Animoid Row from above. Almost twenty seconds later, the shot dissolves into the familiar scene of Deckard nearing Abdulís shop, as seen in all other versions.
- Another soundtrack mix difference: when Deckard taps on the window of Abdul Ben-Hassanís store, we hear more tappings than in other versions. Then, after Deckard walks into the store and addresses Abdul, the dialogue is different. It actually matches their lips better than in all other versions, which featured altered post-production dialogue. In this mix, the dialogue goes like so:
Deckard: "Abdul Hassan? Iím a police officer, Abdul. Iíve got a couple of questions I wanted to ask
Abdul: (mutters something in Egyptian, probably boasting about his wares or complaining; waves his
Deckard: "You made a snake: XB71. I want to know who you sold it to."
Abdul: "My work? Not too many could afford such quality."
Deckard: "How many?"
Abdul: "Very few."
Deckard: "How few?"
Abdul: "Perhaps less than I thought, but still, more than I can remember."
Deckard: (grabs Abdul by the collar) "Abdul my friend... (background noise obscures Deckardís
voice) ...about two seconds, Iím going to... (gets drowned out again)."
Abdul: "SNAKE PIT!"
The shot also lasts a tad longer. Abdul Ben-Hassan never mentions Taffey Lewis in this version.
- The very next scene is one that exists in no other version. The Abdul Ben-Hassan interrogation cuts to
a crowded, busy street outside of Taffey Lewisí Snake Pit bar. The shot then cranes up, for a better
view from above. The next shot shows two voluptuous dancing girls (wearing hockey masks, Geisha-
style wigs, and silver thongs and bikinis) undulating and writhing together (see OUTLAND for
something similar) in a plexiglass bubble-like encasement, which hangs above the street in the second
story of the building. A police officer can also be seen in a similar "bubble", adjacent to the dancers.
Further, the music is different: very techno/disco in style, and dark. This music continues for several
scenes afterwards. The next shot shows Deckard being pointed into the bar by another police officer.
Deckard enters the Snake Pit.
- The interior shot of Deckard entering the bar and asking for Taffey Lewis is the same as in other
versions, but instead of the eerie, Egyptian-like song in the background, we hear more of the dark,
techno-style music pulsing away.
- When Rachel hangs up on Deckard on the Vid-Phon, and the screen shows Deckardís balance owed, there is a sound effect similar to the one heard as Deckard enters Rachelís number into the phone pad:
you know; the one that goes, "Got! Boo-bo-bop-bip-beep." In all other versions, there is no sound
effect when Rachel hangs up. At this point, the background music becomes familiar.
- Zhoraís stage act announcer has some slightly different dialogue than in other versions: "Ladies and
gentlemen. We have, for your delight and pleasure this evening, a spectacular act. Before you, a
woman. And with her, a snake. Watch her take the pleasures from the serpent that once corrupted
man!" He does not mention her stage name (Ms. Salome), which is probably why it was redone, later
on, for the other versions. Also, the shot holds on Deckard slightly longer.
- As Deckard examines the sequin in Zhoraís dressing room, the shots lasts longer. Additionally, there is
a close-up of the sequin in his hand, which is not in any other version.
- There is an addition to the dressing room scene: after Zhora escapes from Deckard out the rear stage
door, the scene cuts back to Deckard loosening his tie and making choking sounds. Zhora probably
almost took his head off! This shot was probably eliminated from all other versions to tighten the pace
of the chase sequence, but it sure is nifty!
- As Deckard watches the police examine Zhoraís lifeless body, we hear her heart beating itís last few
beats much more loudly in this mix than in the other versionsí soundtracks. Also, there is no narration
from Deckard here.
- As Deckard buys his bottle of Tsing Tao and meets up with Bryant and Gaff, we hear the Ink Spotsí "If
I Didnít Care" playing, once again, in the background. In all other versions, a similar-sounding song,
"One More Kiss, Dear" is playing in the background, but doesnít come nearly as close to voicing
Deckardís feelings as the original choice. "If I Didnít Care" is also much louder in this mix than "One
More Kiss, Dear" was in the other versionsí soundtracks.
- When Leon gets shot in the head by Rachel, the sound of the gunblast is different: more abrupt and
immediate, rather than prolonged and echo-y. It sounds like a bullet, rather than an explosion. Also,
the sequence does not contain the last two shots, as in the other versions: Leon collapsing onto
Deckard, and Rachel tentatively stepping towards them. The sequence cuts directly after we see who it
was that saved Deckardís life, to the apartment.
- Instead of Vangelisí jazzy "Love Theme", we hear more of the eerie music that was playing before it would have begun.
- At the piano, Rachel plays a different rendition of the same tune heard in the other versions. Itís much more extravagant and beautiful, like sheís a professional player. The shot of her playing the piano runs longer, as well.
- The profile shot of Rachel reaching up to "let down her hair" is not present. In this version, her hairstyle has suddenly changed, without any explanation!
- After Deckard sits down next to Rachel and says to her, "You play beautifully", the music score segues into an alternate Vangelis cue (alternate Love Theme?), which is beautifully haunting. This cue is not in any other version of the film. Also, when Rachel plays on the piano some more, the sound of her playing is equally as different here (from regular versions) as when she first plays it.
- During the entire sequence in Sebastianís work room, where J.F. meets Roy (and a newly made-up Pris), the background Vangelis score is subtly different from other versionsí, and louder.
- As Roy and Pris share a look about Sebastian (perhaps as to what happened overnight?), we can hear the whispers of Sebastianís many "friends" much more loudly, just before the scene cuts to the exterior shot of Tyrellís pyramid.
- In this version, Roy says, to Tyrell, "I want more life...Father." This line was shot for TV coverage, but, amazingly, never got used in the TV version! However, rather than "fucker", "Father" seems to make more of a relevant statement: here, it rings better with Tyrell referring to Roy as "the Prodigal Son".
- During Roy and Tyrellís "discussion", different background music can be heard. Paul M. Sammon (in FUTURE NOIR) describes it as a kettledrum. It certainly adds a different flavor to the scene.
- The death of Tyrell is different here. It begins as the "International 1982 Version" does, but then changes. Here is how itís cut together: Roy sticks his thumbs into Tyrellís eyes (close-up), and they BEGIN to bleed (like in the "International 1982 Version"); Sebastian reacts; Royís face shows strain and rage in an extended shot (like in the "Domestic 1982 Version"); close-up on Royís thumbs withdrawing from Tyrellís bloody eye-sockets and lifting off his spectacles (like in the "International 1982 Version"); Batty lets go of Tyrell, whose body falls, limp, to the floor; artificial owl reacts (like in the "Domestic 1982 Version"); Batty reflects on what heís done; Sebastian looks shocked and frightened; Batty turns and walks toward Sebastian (in an alternate take). Sebastain can be heard whimpering in this shot, as he tries to escape from Roy. Roy says, "I am sorry, Sebastian. Come. Come." The last shot seen inside Tyrellís apartment is an alternate take of the artificial owlís face. This sequence is VERY different, in this version!
- After we see Roy descending (from Heaven) in the elevator, the shot dissolves, as usual, to Deckard
driving in the tunnel. In this version, however, we hear Bryant telling Deckard, here, what was found at
Tyrellís, EXACTLY like it sounds in the other versions. It is heard in place of the multiple police
- As Deckard sits in his sedan and checks his notes, we hear nothing on his radio (as weíve already heard
Bryantís orders in the previous scene), and the shot ends earlier (which is just as well). Deckard, then,
gets sighted by the patrolling Spinner cop.
- As Deckard parks in front of the Bradbury apartment building, Vangelisí music score bows out from
this version. From this point on, we hear "temp music" in itís place, by the composer Jerry Goldsmith.
This music, lifted from FREUD and PLANET OF THE APES, is very loud on the soundtrack and
wildly different in mood from Vangelisí. At times, itís annoying. At other times, it seems appropriately
suspenseful and jumpy. This music lasts until the last scene in the movie! Vangelis must not have been
finished scoring the film when this version was being assembled. This is probably the only thing in the
workprint that betrays itís rough format.
- Just before Deckard enters Sebastianís apartment, he is startled by an eerie whisper in the background.
In all other versions, the soundtrack has him being startled by a scraping sound.
- This workprint DOES contain the scene of Pris, when attacking Deckard, sticking her fingers up his
nose and breaking it (just like in the "International 1982 Version"). In this printís audio mix, the sound
of Deckardís nose breaking is unmistakable and loud. We also hear Pris scream in fury as she does it.
- Deckard shoots Pris TWICE, like in the "Domestic 1982 Version". In the "International 1982 version",
Deckard shoots Pris THREE times, causing her belly to smoke and more thrashing. The difference
here, however, is that Prisí screams and thrashings are uncomfortably LOUD.
- The shot of Roy riding the elevator up to Sebastianís level is slightly longer.
- When Roy turns the retired Prisí face to his, we hear thunder in this audio mix.
- We donít see the shot of Deckard being pulled up against the wall by Roy. Instead, the shot cuts to the one of Roy pulling Deckardís arm through (seen in all versions), and then we see another close-up of Deckard, reacting (not seen in any other version).
- When Roy breaks Deckardís first finger, we SEE it! There is a close-up on a phony prop hand, and Roy breaks the finger.
- After Roy retraces (with the retired Prisí blood) the last place Pris ever touched him (his lips), the scene cuts to Deckard running and then stopping, and setting his first finger. When he screams, his face is bathed in a red light, and facing to our left. This shot is only featured in this version, and is only presented this way, editorially, in this cut of the film. The scene then cuts to Roy crying and starting his "howling".
- As Deckard approaches the large bureau from the left, the (side)shot runs longer to show him starting to climb it.
- In the shot where Roy makes his way towards the camera, searching for Deckard, he says, "Four...five. How to stay alive." Nothing new. But, then, he says, "Coming...", which adds a dark touch of humor to Royís taunts.
- There is more footage of Deckard climbing the bureau, and an additional shot of Roy running through the abandoned apartments, searching for his prey.
- The nail is not seen pushing through the back of Royís hand, as it IS in the "International 1982 Version". Here, itís edited as it is in the "Domestic 1982 Version".
- Immediately after Royís head bursts through the wall, we hear him say, offscreen, "Youíre not in pain, are you? Are you in pain?", over a slightly longer shot of Deckard reacting.
- As Deckard steps out onto the ledge, there is no "blimp song" in the background of this sound mix.
- In place of the two medium shots of Deckard hanging onto the girder of the roof, are a shot of Deckard hanging (from above, like when he loses his hold) and we see the same special effect of a driving car on the street below. The second (familiar) shot is replaced with a shot of Deckard hanging, from behind, as if from Royís point-of-view.
- Roy says, "Time to die", over the second close up of Deckardís watching face, rather than the first, after he delivers his final speech.
- Deckard delivers only one bit of narration in this entire version of the film, and it is here. After we see the dove fly off, and Deckard reacts, in close-up, the shot dissolves to a MASTER SHOT of the rooftop. We see Roy in the middle, Deckard off to the right, and Gaffís Spinner car rises up on the left (yes, you can see the cables quite easily). Deckardís narration is as follows: "I watched him die all night. It was a long, slow thing, and he fought it all the way. He never whimpered and he never quit. He took all the time he had, as though he loved life very much. Every second of it...even the pain. Then, he was dead." The following close-up shot on Deckardís face is an alternate one, compared to all other versions; he seems to be more captivated by what he has seen, rather than melancholy.
- As Deckard searches his apartment for Rachel, the sequence is done in a long, single shot, close on Deckard. We hear music here, as well, but more temp music. Once Deckard reaches the bed, the shot becomes familiar; only the tail end of it was used in all other prints. Also, Deckard only calls out Rachelís name TWICE in this edition. The shot of the endlessly scrolling TV screens is absent.
- After Rachel tells Deckard, "I trust you", the scene cuts to Deckard opening the elevator, and, after inspecting itís interior, motioning her to follow him in. This edition shows neither the shot of Deckard opening and exiting his apartment, nor the shot of Rachel waiting, pensively. However, if you watch all the other versions, you can HEAR the opening elevator doorís sound effect, yet Deckard is opening his APARTMENT door! Vangelisí score returns at this point.
- The elevator doors close silently over Deckard and Rachel. There is no "Ride Into the Sunset" finale, as in the 1982 versions.
- The movie ends on a black frame with white text reading, "THE END". The music heard here is from the earlier sequence where Gaff takes Deckard to the police HQ; it is used as exit music here. There are no end credits.
As you can see, this version is the most "radically different" edition of
Blade Runner, as compared to other cuts.
Other differences are that, after 1982, the only version to exist of this print is a
70 millimeter blow-up, in six-track Dolby Stereo. The blow-up process clips six percent
off of the edges, as compared to 35 millimeter anamorphic prints.
However, the six-track sound mix separates the bass and music from the
dialogue and sound effects, to hold their own independence within the sound mix.
Vangelisí music has an aural, enveloping quality to it in this print, despite the rough
qualities of the mix. In 1990 and 1991, some Landmark theaters in the Los Angeles area
played this version as an anamorphic, 35 millimeter reduction print from the 70 millimeter
blow-up. The print was reported to be of poor quality: grainy, non-color-corrected,
and with "wobbly", hastily cut-in end credits (which also showed up in the "
Directorís Cut"). A new, final credit was added to the 35 millimeter reduction:
This version copyright 1991 The Blade Runner Partnership.
The 70 millimeter blow-up resurfaced, briefly, and by mistake, at the Landmark Egyptian theater
in Seattle during late January of 1999. It has also been reported as surfacing, again, in the
Los Angeles area, in 1999. Letís hope that the next time this rougher, but yet exciting,
cut of Blade Runner makes itís appearance, it is as
an official video release!