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Rutger Hauer improvised Blade Runner’s best line

Few lines of dialogue are quite as iconic as the tears in the rain scene in Blade Runner, and actor Rutger Hauer improvised the whole thing

Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner

Ridley Scott’s epic science fiction movie Blade Runner is widely considered as one of the best movies of all time, and the ‘80s classic is also responsible for one of the most iconic monologues in movie history. Turns out, the late actor Rutger Hauer actually improvised the best line of dialogue from Blade Runner, which makes it even more impressive.

The 1982 thriller movie set in a dystopian future showcases a world of flying cars, neon skyscrapers, and artificial intelligence gone horribly wrong. The character of Roy Batty, played by Hauer, is a replicant, the name given to the rogue AI of the future. In the climactic scene of the movie, Batty faces his demise, and delivers an incredible monologue which has left a lasting legacy on the history of cinema.

The tears in rain scene, also referred to as the C-Beams speech, is a 42 word monologue by Roy Batty in his final moments. Originally written by screenwriter David Peoples, Hauer actually changed the lines during filming, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In the documentary Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner, Hauer, director Ridley Scott, and writer David Peoples all confirm that the lines uttered in the final version of the film are indeed different to the screenplay.

Hauer however, in his autobiography, modestly insists he simply cut the original dialogue down and added a couple of words of his own. The end result of this improvisation though, is movie magic.

The initial line was supposed to be: “I’ve seen things… seen things you little people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion bright as magnesium… I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments… they’ll be gone.”

Hauer changed this to the much more simple and effective: “All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.” Hauer felt the planned dialogue was too heavy on the “hi-tech speech” and rewrote it the night before shooting, without Ridley Scott even knowing.

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Apparently, the new lines were so good, that after filming the scene many crew members applauded, and some were even brought to tears. Now that’s quite a legacy to leave behind.