Blade Runner is one of the most influential science fiction films of all time. Images, characters and dialogue from the film have been echoed in other films regularly in the decades since the film's 1982 debut. The best Blade Runner quotes are nearly sci-fi gospel at this point.
This year fans will be return to Ridley Scott's dirty, violent future Los Angeles as director Denis Villeneuve orchestrates an unlikely sequel, Blade Runner 2049. In the interim, there's a wealth of treasures to be taken from under the smog of Scott's 2019 Los Angeles. These favourite lines have no termination date.
10. Bryant – “This is a bad one, the worst yet.”
It's a familiar trope in an classic cinematic world: the idea of luring a retired former detective out of retirement is typical for any noir crime story. There's more to it in Blade Runner, but like many noir classics, this is a film about life, death, and the value of it all. The entreaty also shows just how good this grumpy, lone lawman at the centre of it all is, and his level of reluctance to get back into the game he was best at.
9. Deckard – “Replicants are like any other machine. They're either a benefit or a hazard.”
From the jump, Deckard's cold soul is on display. You could say it comes with the territory, given that the guy has to hunt down machines that are basically people. Of course, given that his identity is something more than just a 'police...man,’ there’s a deep irony to his opinion about Replicants. Batty, Pris, and Leon are a hazard to society, but when used for beneficial purposes Replicants could be servants, workers... or hey, even Blade Runners.
8. Deckard: "How can it not know what it is?"
Mr Tyrell is a master of his trade. So much so that even Deckard has trouble determining whether Rachel, assistant to the head of the Tyrell Corporation, is human or not. It’s a mind-blowing question to ask, and one that acts as foreshadowing into the secret Deckard may have yet to uncover about himself. “How can it not know what it is?” How indeed, Mr. Deckard?
7. Leon: "Wake up! Time to die."
The idea of living in fear lingers throughout the film after being planted by the late, great Brion James as the Replicant, Leon. The towering, terrifying model that almost closes Deckard’s case for good is desperate to know his lifespan and battles to extend it. The conflict provides a wonderful dichotomy between Leon and Batty when the clock does run out for both of them and one is prepared to meet it.
6. The Toys: “Home again, home again, jiggity-jig."
You can have your Spinners, your synthetic wildlife and your photo-examining software. What I want is the same greeting J.F Sebastian gets from his creations, the mini proto-Replicants that tumble around his home. The Bear and Kaiser may look like abandoned toys at a yard sale, but there’s a remarkable quality to them that is like Sebastian’s timid and welcoming nature brought to life.
5. Deckard: "That didn't make me feel any better about shooting a woman in the back.”
For some, the film could do without Harrison Ford’s narration over the theatrical cut of Blade Runner. Even so, the voiceover features some lines that are worth a mention, particularly this one. Though it might not be clear in the Final Cut, this line alone shows a glimmer of humanity in our retired Blade Runner in a world where being human is an incredibly complex issue.
4. Tyrell: “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.”
There are no heroes or villains in Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, merely characters lost in their own world, trying to find a purpose. For some, the search is their undoing. In the case of Roy Batty, his desperate need for more life ultimately reduces his own life, as explained by his creator, Tyrell. From this point on, we start to see a tragic side to the most terrifying runaways, adding all the more impact to Batty’s exit.
3. Batty: "Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it?"
The final encounter between Deckard and Roy Batty is one of the most haunting, pulse-pounding cat and mouse chases ever filmed. Rutger Hauer's performance is feral and unsettling as he howls, maims himself, and breaks through walls to catch his prey. His objective isn’t to kill Deckard, but to make the cop understand the gift he has that Batty will never own, and to make sure he’s earned it before he finally powers down.
2. Batty: "I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.”
Easily one of the most memorable quotes not just in this film, but in cinema. It’s poetic and poignant. More impressively, the line came from Hauer’s own head rather than off the page. A beautiful and bittersweet sendoff in what would be the actor’s greatest performance. Batty’s memories may be lost, but Hauer’s role is immortalized forever. Top that, Blade Runner 2049.
1. Gaff: “It’s too bad she won’t live! But then again who does?”
Though he may not speak much English during his appearance in the film, when Edward James Olmos’ Gaff finally does, his words to Deckard are specific and wise, giving him a head start. Rachel’s lifespan isn’t confirmed, nor is her safety from other Blade Runners, leaving Deckard to go on the run with his Replicant girlfriend and live what life they both have left. It’s one line that could also act as a jumping off point for Villeneuve’s upcoming sequel and finally answer the question that fans have waited years to answer. 2049 has never been so close.
What's your favorite line from Blade Runner?