Rutger Hauer's 'Tears In The Rain' Speech From Blade Runner is an Iconic, Improvised Moment in Film History
Blade Runner is widely considered one of the most influential films of all time. Ridley Scott's 1982 vision of Earth in 2019 remains one of the most groundbreaking visual depictions of a near future—one that today's films still attempt to recreate. But, that film's finest moment comes near the end, when dying replicant Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer, delivers what is known as the "Tears in the Rain Monologue."
It was this scene specifically that defined Hauer's career for decades afterward. Hauer, who died on July 19 at the age of 75, went on to have a long, legendary career that included dozens of film and television roles.
Today, he remains best known for the "Tears in the Rain Monologue."
Here's the most iconic piece of it, which Hauer delivers in the pouring rain with a searing intensity:
I've seen things, you people wouldn't believe, hmm ... Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion ... I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate ... All those moments, will be lost in time like tears in rain.
What's most incredible is that the poetry of this speech was written by Hauer himself. There was originally a longer version of the speech in the script, but Hauer rewrote and improvised a shorter, more beautiful version. It's a stunning moment—one that captures man and machine, life and death in an elegant, concise way.
As he later explained in an interview with Radio Times, Hauer kept two lines about attack ships and C-beams and wrote the rest himself, including the beautiful tears in the rain moment:
It was Hauer’s final addition to the script—the “tears in rain” line—that really sealed the speech’s status; on the day of filming itself, crew members allegedly applauded and cried when the scene was completed.
For the end line I was hoping to come up with one line where Roy, because he understands he has very little time, expresses one bit of the DNA of life that he’s felt,” Hauer says. “How much he liked it. Only one life.”
It's worth revisiting today in honour of the late actor. Watch below:
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.