Movie Project #27 and #28: Blade Runner [1982] and The Night of the Hunter [1955]

The 50 Movies Project is a personal “marathon” of mine. In June, I compiled a list of 50 movies that I felt I needed to see by the end of the year. Old, new, foreign, English — it doesn’t matter. These are all movies that I have heard a lot about and have been wanting to see for some time. This project gives me a way to stay focused on the goal.

Blade Runner [1982, Scott]
Blade Runner [1982, Scott]
Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young.

I was already somewhat familiar with Blade Runner thanks to the countless samples that have been used in the worlds of industrial and electronic music. The film’s gritty cyberpunk setting is simply awesome, and the intricately detailed environments are what impressed me most. This is one of the first “neo-noir” films that I have seen, and I really enjoyed it. It’s clear that this has been VERY influential to media of all types, and one of the first examples to come to mind recently is the much-loved video game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. That simply would not have been possible without Blade Runner.

I loved the replicants, especially Rutger Hauer’s character. It was a lot of fun seeing him play someone so deranged and unbalanced, and his final battle with Ford’s Rick Deckard was of epic proportions. I also developed a fond likeness for Darryl Hannah’s character and her odd-yet-sexy fashion selections. One minor issue I had was with the occasionally slow pacing, but I remained enamored with the stunning dystopian city of 2019 Los Angeles regardless.

I watched the theatrical cut, and didn’t mind Ford’s voice-over narration, though I can see how that would annoy some. I am pretty curious to check out the alternate versions now, and I get the feeling that this movie is one that will get better with each viewing. 8/10

The Night of the Hunter [1955, Laughton]
The Night of the Hunter [1955, Laughton]
Starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish.

Three words: Robert freakin’ Mitchum. His role as the “Preacher” Harry Powell is the stuff of legends, and he is easily one of the most memorable villains in cinematic history. This is a guy who has “H-A-T-E” and “L-O-V-E” tattooed on his knuckles, and doesn’t bat an eye when it comes to murdering women and children. He is a sadistic man masquerading as a reverend, and he is played to perfection by the charismatic Mitchum.

Equal parts horror and thriller with a touch of Film Noir, The Night of the Hunter is very tense. Watching the two children run away in terror from their new stepfather is frightening, and there were several moments that modern horror films have clearly copied over the years. It’s a shame that Charles Laughton didn’t direct another film because this one is truly remarkable. This is one of my favorite selections so far from this project, and it is unlike anything else I have seen from this time period. Magnificent. 10/10

15 thoughts on “Movie Project #27 and #28: Blade Runner [1982] and The Night of the Hunter [1955]

  1. John says:

    And here I was thinking I was the only person on the internet who hadn’t seen Blade Runner yet. After reading another positive article about it, it’s probably time I rent it.

  2. BrikHaus says:

    This is really a classic movie. It’s a good thing you liked the theatrical version, because when you watch “The Final Cut” you will likely enjoy it even more. The Final Cut really improves on everything so much that you won’t be able to watch the theatrical version again. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

  3. jsicktheslick says:

    I think it was about 4 months ago that I just saw Blade Runner for the first time. I thought it was pretty cool, actually, and I could easily see the influence it had on just about everything sci-fi related since then (sort of like you said). The voice over narration of Harrison Ford was a bit strange. Is it not in another cut of the movie or something? Also, I thought Ford’s acting wasn’t as great as it was in other films, but I think this is one of his first roles, right? Either way, still a fun, interesting flick.

    • Eric says:

      Yeah, apparently the voice-over narration was removed in the Final Cut version. The studio forced Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford to add the narration for the theatrical cut since they thought audiences would get confused too easily. It will be interesting to see the difference when I watch it again.

      This movie actually came out after a lot of Ford’s big flicks, including Raiders of the Lost Ark and the first two Star Wars movies. Looking back at his IMDB page, I didn’t even realize he started acting in the 60s. I forget he’s that old.

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