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“This Movie Gets Worse Every Screening”: Producer Notes For ‘Blade Runner’ A Fascinating Look At The Sci-Fi Classic

"This Movie Gets Worse Every Screening": Producer Notes For 'Blade Runner' A Fascinating Look At The Sci-Fi Classic

That Ridley Scott‘s “Blade Runner” had a troubled production is no secret, with currently four different versions of the movie — 1982 Theatrical Version, 1982 International Version, 1992 Director’s Cut and 2007 Final Cut — all readily available for those who truly want to dip into the tweaks and changes made along the way. However, uncovered notes from a pre-screening of the film for producers perhaps offer the most entertaining insight into what the filmmaker was up against in making the movie.

The comments from three Tandem Productions executives after a January 1982 (or handwritten as “1982!”) screening is illuminating. This appears to be the screening of the workprint (also available in the special edition sets of the movie) given the noted absence of Vangelis‘ score. Among their 21 comments are such pieces of constructive criticism as: “Voice over is an insult,” “This movie gets worse every screening,” and “Were they all on drugs when they did this?” In case you’re wondering who said what, “J.P.” is Jerry Perenchio (who hasn’t done much since), “B.Y.” is Bud Yorkin, and “R.F.” is Robin French. On a lighter note – if you want to relive the “Blade Runner” magic but don’t have time to watch the whole film, here is a pretty awesome vintage promo reel. [via io9]

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"Put back more tits in the dressing room scene." Yeah, these are notes from a producer all right…..

Tony R.

Would these be notes on the "Workprint" though? They keep complaining about the "dry" voice-over, and I think there is only 1 or 2 scenes with voice-over in the Workprint, near the end.
These notes seem to be on a later version; after they added voice-over to the entire movie.


Context is everything. When this came out, it was the first Harrison Ford picture since "Raiders" and his first sci-fi film since "Empire" and it was being directed by the director of "Alien". "Blade Runner" is not a film that will satisfy those expectations. It has to be appreciated on its own terms, and that took time. I was a theater projectionist when it came out originally, and audiences actively HATED it. The producers, who must have been thrilled to find they had Ford’s blockbuster follow up, clearly couldn’t see past that good fortune to appreciate the picture they had.

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