Blade Runner, the pioneering 1982 neo-noir film directed by Ridley Scott, is regard by many as one of the greatest ever films of the science fiction genre.
Loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and cited for its playful use of light and dark cinematography, Scott tells the story of a dystopian future based in Los Angeles and in the date of 2019.
While the film initially split its audience with polarising reviews upon its release, Blade Runner‘s legacy grew in the years that followed and the film’s cult following rounded and heavily praised its complex and intensely well-considered visuals.
Written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, Blade Runner managed to secure a high-profile cast which included the likes of Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Sean Young as the story explores the severe effects of technology can have on the environment and society.
For Scott, the film offered him the chance to channel the pain he was feeling following the death of his brother and, in an interview with the Observer, described the film as “extremely dark, both literally and metaphorically, with an oddly masochistic feel”. More specifically, Scott said that he “liked the idea of exploring pain” after his sibling passed away. “When he was ill, I used to go and visit him in London, and that was really traumatic for me,” he added.
While the film offered Scott the opportunity to vent his emotions with Blade Runner’s themes, the working set was not one of total harmony. In the ’90s, Ford said: “Blade Runner is not one of my favourite films. I tangled with Ridley,” after being asked the project. “When we started shooting it had been tacitly agreed that the version of the film that we had agreed upon was the version without voiceover narration,” Ford added. “It was a fucking nightmare. I thought that the film had worked without the narration.”
He continued: “I went kicking and screaming to the studio to record it.”
It’s relatively safe to say that the feeling of discontent between director and actor was mutual, the lasting memories of Scott and Ford working together are not ones of fondness. In 2006, when discussing his career, Scott was asked who had been the most difficult to work with, to which promptly replied: “It’s got to be Harrison. He’ll forgive me because now I get on with him. Now he’s become charming. But he knows a lot, that’s the problem. When we worked together it was my first film up and I was the new kid on the block. But we made a good movie.”
He later said: “I admire his work. We had a bad patch there, and I’m over it.”
Despite their on set back and forth, both Ford and Scott managed to work closely and complete the blockbuster, one whose legacy is built on the film. Below, enjoy some behind-the-scenes images of Scott, Ford and the rest of the crew on set.
(Images via Vintage.es)