Blade Runner Opened In Theaters 35 Years Ago

Today marks a milestone in the history of science fiction cinema: Blade Runner was released on this day in 1982. Ridley Scott‘s future noir classic based on a Phillip K. Dick story stars Harrison Ford as the titular Blade Runner, a police operative tasked with hunting down Replicants, androids that look and behave like humans. A box office disappointment in its initial release (especially as Ford was coming off of the success of The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark at the time), this is a film whose stature, reputation and influence has only grown over the years, with the film’s portrayal of a 2019 neon-drenched dystopian version of Los Angeles being one of the most visually influential production designs in cinema history. (A sequel in which Ford with reprise his role alongside of Ryan Gosling as a new character hits theaters later this year from Arrival director Denis Villeneuve). As for the original, which Scott has tinkered with over the years in various edits, it remains a film that divides audience members, with some claiming it to be a plodding bore while most find it to be an absolute masterpiece…a debate that itself will certainly carry on for another 35 years and then some.