There are times when you watch a new film and you instantly know that it is going to be considered a classic. And there are sometimes when you just don’t realize it. That’s the position that Tandem Productions’ Jerry Perenchio, Bud Yorkin, and Robin French were in when they began reviewing rough cuts of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Although they presumably read the screenplay that Scott brought them to finance, they certainly seemed to be disappointed in the film that Scott returned with if the recently discovered studio notes are any indication.
Reddit user VanTrashcan (via SlashFilm) has brought the sheet of notes from an early 1982 screening of the film to the internet’s attention and boy were these guys not impressed with what they saw. Rough comments range from “This voice over is terrible, the audience will fall asleep,” to “Why did they put in more slow motion in Zhora’s death?” to “This movie gets worse every screening.” Damn.
What’s really interesting is that these notes are from the screening of what is Scott’s third edit and the producers are still not happy with what was being turned in. There’s some brief discussion about taking the film out of Scott’s hands and assigning another editor on the film, which leads to speculation as to how disastrous that would have worked out.