*Guest Post* Garth Groombridge – My 40 Favourite Movies: 35 – Blade Runner

Blade Runner

35: BLADE RUNNER: 1982. Director: Ridley Scott. US. Science fiction film noir. Harrison Ford. Rutger Hauer. Sean Young. Edward James Olmos. Daryl Hannah. M. Emmet Walsh.
Screenplay by Hampton Francher and David Peoples, loosely adapted from the Philip K. Dick 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Edited by Terry Rowlings and Marsha Nakashima. Cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth. Musical score by Vangelis. Distributed by Warner Brothers. Screen time: 117 minutes. Budget: $30million. Box office recipes: $41.5million. In total there are now seven different versions, in part due to controversial changes by studio executives. Ridley Scott’s 1991 Director’s Cut is 112 minutes long, and without the original voice-over. The 2007 Final Cut is 117 minutes. Time Out Film Guide, therefore, has two entries, the first, for the 1982 version, by David Pirie: “An ambitious and expensive adaption of one of Philip K. Dick’s best novels (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), with Ford as the cop in 2019 Los Angeles whose job is hunting mutinous androids that have escaped from off-world colonies. The script has some superb scenes, notably between Ford and the (android) femme fatale Young, while Scott succeeds beautifully in portraying the LA of the future as a cross between a Hong Kong street-market and a decaying 200-storey Metropolis. But something has gone badly wrong with the dramatic structure: the hero’s voice-over and the ending feel as if they’ve strayed in from another movie, and the android villains are neither menacing nor sympathetic, when ideally they should have been both. This leaves Scott’s picturesque violence looking dull and exploitative.”
Move on another decade, and Nigel Floyd reviews the 1991 Director’s Cut: “More notable for what’s been removed than for what’s been added, this restored version of Scott’s seminal sci-fi movie makes it clear that all its former faults were introduced by nervous studio executives, who thought the narrative too confusing, the ending too bleak. Gone is the redundant noir-style voice-over by Harrison Ford’s blade runner (the plot makes more sense without it). Gone, too, the obviously tacked-on happy ending in which Ford and the replicant (Young) flew off into the sunset (which contradicted what we already knew about the replicant’s built-in obsolescence). With one crucial exception, the effect of the restorations is less radical, although the extended romantic scenes between Ford and Young do flesh out their relationship. More cryptically, Ford’s restored ‘unicorn dream’ is echoed later by the origami figure left by police chief Bryant’s right-hand man Gaff (Olmos) – possibly hinting that Ford himself is a replicant. Perhaps this, too, like Young’s treasured childhood memories, is just an implant. In its earlier incarnation, the film was a flawed masterpiece: in Scott’s restore version, it is, quite simply, a masterpiece.”
Rick Deckard was played by Harrison Ford (born 1942), filmography 1966 to 2020, best known for Han Solo in George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise, 1977, 1980, 1983, 2015 and 2019; and title role in the Indiana Jones franchise, 1981, 1984, 1989 and 2008. He reappraised his role as Deckard in Blade Runner 2049 (2017).
Leader of the escapee replicants, Roy Batty, was played by Dutch actor Rutger Hauer (1944-2019). His filmography was from 1969 to 2019.
The replicant Rachael was played by Sean Young (born 1959). Her filmography is from 1980 to 2019. Her images were used, and she was voice coach in the making of Blade Runner 2049.
Edward James Olmos (born 1947) played Deckard’s sympathetic sidekick, police officer Gaff, and again reappraised the role in Blade Runner 2049. Of Mexican parentage, he is actor, director, producer and activist.
Daryl Hannah (born 1960) played the replicant Pris. Her filmography is from 1978 to 2018, television work from 1982 to 2020.
Brion James (1945-1999, character actor), played another of the replicants, Leon Kowalski, while the fourth replicate was working in a seedy strip club as a dancer, Zhora Salome, played by Joanna Cassidy (born 1945, American actress), who also played Dolores in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988). Her filmography is from 1973 to 2020. M. Emmet Walsh (born 1935) played police supervisor Bryant. William Sanderson played genetic designer J.F. Sebastian, and Joe Turkel played Eldon Tyrell, head of the Tyrell Corporation, who construct the replicants as off-world, expendable slaves, with a four-year life-span.
I’ve only seen the original voice-over edition, but fans, and – as can be seen from the above – critics all say the Director’s Cut (without the voice-over and ‘happy’ ending) is better. I would watch either version, just to immerse myself into Ridley Scott’s amazing alternative futuristic world. Philip K. Dick often set his stories in the near future, whilst imagining major changes, especially in space travel to other planets. Blade Runner is an example of this, and – even given when the film was originally made – quite strange that Scott still only projected his future world just 37 years away, to 2019. Even at the time it was obvious that space travel, never mind the mass colonialization of other planets the story suggests, was only at a snail’s pace. In reality – despite the fantasies of Mr Musk – we haven’t even returned to the Moon yet, never mind established any ‘off-world’ base there, or millions migrating into outer space. Likewise, the film imagines a rapid ecological collapse, with mass animal extinction and acid rain. The nightmare city Scott imagined has yet to come, although the 200-storey mega-structure towers lived in by the wealthy elite may well be on the way, in Hong Kong, the Gulf States, or China. Alas, too, the flying car is still the stuff of sci-fi. Reality continues to be rather cumbersome, ungainly contraptions, while air traffic regulations would have a long way to catch up. Likewise, AI and robotics have not yet perfected the near-indistinguishable humanoid robot quite yet – we still either have rather bizarre (even outlandish) robot dogs or housemaids, or basically still static, if rather creepy, Japanese or Russian attempts at human ‘replicants’. That said, however, nothing depicted here is quite beyond the realms of possibility. As cinematic images go, Scott’s vision of the future is more realistic and believable than almost anything up until then – or since. The streets, the buildings, the interiors, Deckard’s apartment, all look and feel authentic in a way that, say, Things to Come, or Star Wars never quite achieved. Plot holes and wacky characters aside, the movie is a visual feast.
So, rather like with Lang’s Metropolis, we have multiple version of the same movie, which I personally find rather confusing, like having lots of distinctly different variations of, say, Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking-Glass, or H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, or Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. We also have a movie, that as by both book and film, has the input of several very interesting individuals. Let’s take Ridley Scott first. Now Sir Ridley Scott, born 1937, English director and producer, his filmography is from 1977 to 2017. In addition to Blade Runner, in 1982, described as a “neo-noir dystopia”, his movie CV includes The Duellists (1977); Alien (1979, filmed at Shepperton Studios, and which earned $104million worldwide); Legend (1985); Black Rain (1989); the feminist road adventure Thelma and Louise (1991); the history drama Gladiator (2000); the war film Black Hawk Down (2001); and another science fiction movie The Martian (2015). He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2007, the same year that saw his Blade Runner: The Final Cut. He is on record as saying Blade Runner is his “most complete and personal film.”
Philip K.[Kindred] Dick (1928-1982; his middle name is his mother’s surname) often cruised the borderline between genius and madman. Driven – as so many writers are – by the inner writing demon from a very young age, he read his first science fiction story at age 12. In total he wrote 44 novels (of varying degrees of quality) and at least 120 short stories, mostly in the general science fiction genre (his non-sci-fi novels were only published in the late-1980s, after his death), and he was awarded the prestigious science fiction Hugo Award (after sci-fi magazine editor Hugo Gernsback) for Best Novel, The Man in the High Castle (1962), at the age of 33. This was a clever alternative history in which the Axis Powers had emerged triumphant from World War Two, set in a parallel 1960s USA now divided and occupied by Germans in the east and Japanese in the west with a sort of neutral buffer zone between the two. It probably still remains one of his best – most conventional in structure, plot and characters, some aspects being based on his real life situation and relationship at that time. It is notable for the introduction of a sympathetic Japanese character, and the Chinese I Ching, the so-called Book of Change, used as a sort of oracle. Although born in Chicago (his family origins are Irish), Dick eventually moved to the West Coast. He and his twin sister, Jane Charlotte, were born six weeks premature, but she died another six weeks later, and – rather bizarrely – her grave also had his name on it – something which almost certainly affected his thinking in later life, and the theme of a ‘phantom twin’. Wikipedia has this to say: “His fiction explored varied philosophical and social themes, and featured recurrent elements such as alternative realities, simulacra, monopolistic corporations, drug abuse, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. His work was concerned with questions surrounding the nature of reality, perceptions, human nature, and identity.” At least some of this still leaks through in to the Ridley Scott movie – the replicants given fake memories that seem completely real to them; who is human and who is an artificial humanoid? Since Dick’s death, the questions about truth and lies, what is reality, artificial intelligence (AI), consciousness and memory, the drug culture, social freedoms, and mega multinational corporations like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Tesla, Microsoft, etc., have become more challenging, not less. That said, his life was complicated; by wives, ex-wives, various relationships, moving from place to place, and later reliance on amphetamines and other drugs. Often written essentially to pay the bills and maintain his various dependents, his creative work was uneven – what George Orwell called ‘good-bad’ books – yet even the most surreal, or hurriedly written, of his novels still contained something special, something beyond the normal sci-fi novel, not least in that he was “more sympathetic of his average-guy characters than most science fiction writers.” In 1974 he underwent what he describes as a religious experience, and theological and philosophical themes came more to the fore. Rather like his contemporary, Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007, co-author of the Illuminatus! trilogy), Dick claimed to have had contact with extra-terrestrials, supposedly via a satellite intelligence he named as VALIS – Vast Active Living Intelligence System. He died, age just 53, from complications of a stroke.
The original 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was quite different from the eventual movie version. Initially set in 1992 (changed to 2021 in later editions), the story takes place in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco. Rick Deckard is still a bounty hunter for the SFPD, ‘retiring’ (e.g., eliminating) rogue Nexus-6 model androids, but he is married, the character Rachel is completely different, and there is a sub-plot featuring another character, “sub-par IQ” John Isidore, as well as robot animals, a goat and a toad! Influences at that time was L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986, founder of scientology, and his 1940 story “Fear”), and Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985). But Dick, in turn, influenced American science fiction ‘new wave’, and cyberpunk. At one point Martin Scorsese was interested, and producer Herb Jaffe optioned the novel in the early 1970s, but Dick was unimpressed (to put it mildly) with the proposed screenplay by Herb’s son, Robert. In 1977 Hampton Fancher wrote a new screenplay, and producer Michael Deeley (who, as we saw, had produced The Italian Job) was interested, and it was he who persuaded Ridley Scott to come on-board in 1980. In the meantime, another science fiction novel, published in 1974, by Alan E. Nourse (1928-1992), entitled The Bladerunner, had been acquired for a possible film adaption by William S. Burroughs (1914-1997), but Ridley Scott liked the title, and Michael Deeley obtained the rights. As pre-production costs mounted up, David Peoples was brought in to rewrite the Dick novel script, much to the apparent annoyance of Fancher, who departed in December 1980, although he was later still involved in fresh rewrites. Dick was initially unhappy at being out of the loop, but was pleased with the David Peoples rewrite. Later he was to say Ridley Scott had created the film exactly as he had imagined it. Finally filming began in March 1981, and lasted four months. As well as fraught relationships between the filmmakers and the movie’s financial investors, there were personal, on-set issues between Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford (later resolved – Ford declaring “I admire his work. We had a bad patch there, but I’m over it.”), and also between Ford and Sean Young. Both Scott and Ford were united in their disdain for Ford’s voice-over narrative, imposed against their wishes, written by Roland Kibbee (1914-1984), thinking it added nothing to the film.
No matter which version one prefers or watches, the overriding element is Ridley Scott’s grim, but totally realistic, future cityscape. The 1893 Bradbury Building, on South Broadway, featured as J.F. Sebastian’s apartment, and the rooftop scene; while the Mayan temple-like Ennis-Brown House (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1924), was also used, both much favoured Hollywood movie-maker locations. The LA street sets were constructed on the Warner Brothers backlot. Initially Ridley Scott’s vision was influenced by “Nighthawks”, the famous Edward Hopper painting of late-night urban diner; the architecture of Italian futurist Antonio Sant’Ella; and the artwork of French sci-fi artist/writer Jean Giraud, aka ‘Moebius’, whose influence was also apparent in The Fifth Element. Giraud declined to work on the design, something he later regretted. Instead Scott made the acquaintance of another big fan of the French sci-fi comic magazine, Métal Hurlant, Syd (Sydney) Mead (1933-2019), an American industrial designer and “neo-futurist conception artist”. Before going freelance, Mead had been employed by Ford Motor Corp., in those days when glossy car advertisements were often illustrated, rather than photographed. In 1979 a collection of Mead’s conception art was published under the title Sentinel, with text by Strother MacMinn (in the UK by Dragon’s Dream), bringing together his conventional vehicle and train carriage designs, with the more fantastic images of the near future – cruise-liners, super-highways, automobiles, architecture, urban living, fashion styles, interiors, even colonies in space. One huge illustration is entitled “Race at the Megastructure”, set in an Arizona-like landscape, but the megastructure itself is clearly an earlier version of the Tyrell Building. Although initially commissioned only to design the urban vehicles (including the ‘spinner’ flying car), Mead always draw backgrounds and people. Suitably impressed, Scott Ridley extended his remit to the overall set design. Most of the neon-lit street scenes, the underbelly of the city, are what Mead called “the street level as the basement” where “decent people don’t want to go”, a world of wires, tubes, piping, add-ons, adverts, controlled anarchy and chaos. The upper city would have sky lobbies, and most people would prefer to reside above the 30th level. One could see Mead’s Blade Runner influence in European graphic novels – Enki Bilal’s The Nikopol Trilogy, most notable in his images of 2025 London and Berlin; and the Tanino Liberatore/Stefano Tamburini RanXerox in New York (1984), with its glimpses of 21st century Rome and New York. In addition to Blade Runner, Mead also did concept design for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979); TRON (1982); Aliens (1986); and Time Cop (1994). “Science fiction,” he once said, “is reality ahead of schedule.” Art director David Snyder worked from Ridley Scott and Mead’s sketches. Design production was by Lawrence G. Paull. Special effects were by Douglas Trumball, Richard Yuricich, and David Dryer. Models were by Mark Stetson.
Blade Runner, released just months before Dick’s early death, gradually saw his – once fringe, still rather enigmatic – works move into the mainstream of American, and even global, culture. Described in one critic’s brief biography as “gnostic, paranoid, druggy, neo-realist gestalt – Jack Kerouac conflated with William Blake”, posthumously, he has become a icon for composers, rock bands, filmmakers, academics, playwrights, comics, and general readers. There is even a Philip K. Dick Society, founded by his friend and biographer, Paul Williams, promoting his works and philosophy. The next major movie after Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, was the 1990 Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, based on the short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”. This was later remade in 2012, starring Colin Farrell. A French movie, Barjo, in 1992, was based on Confessions of a Crap Artist. Screamers, 1995, was based a short story “Second Variety”. 2002 saw Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, directed by Steven Spielberg, again from a short story of the same name. That year also saw a remake of another short story “Imposter”, previously made in 1962 for the British television Out of This World series. 2003 saw another short story, Paycheck. A Scanner Darkly, with Keanu Reeves, was made in 2006, from the novel of that name. The following year saw Next, starring Nicolas Cage, from the short story “The Golden Man”. Radio Free Albemuth, based on the novel, was made in 2010, and The Adjustment Bureau was made in 2011, starring Matt Damon, from the short story “Adjustment Team”. Finally from 2015 to 2018 Amazon Prime made their extended version of The Man in the High Castle, and, also in 2015, Fox made ten episodes of Minority Report. VALIS was made and performed as an opera in 1987, and another novel, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, was made as a stage play in 1985.
In 2017 Harrison Ford and Edward James Olmos starred in the follow-up Blade Runner 2049, written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, director Denis Villeneuve, also starring Ryan Gosling, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, and Jared Leto. Distributed by Warner Brothers, this was 162 minutes long, and took up the story, thirty years later, of Deckard and Racheal, but in a word where there are now more and more replicants. The budget was apparently between $150 and $185million, and the box office taking was $260.5million. Some critics were disturbed by the underlying sexist/misogynist nature of this future dystopian society, but that was perhaps the point. The replicants were already the new slaves, and the caste system, with its “pornographic economy”, discriminated against woman, the replicants, orphans and the new slaves. At least it had a continuity from the original, with lead actor and the screenwriter.


7 thoughts on “*Guest Post* Garth Groombridge – My 40 Favourite Movies: 35 – Blade Runner

  1. “Loosely” is an understatement. The film completely subverts the subtext, the entire point, of the novel. I love it anyway, but that makes it not the best adaptation of PKD, which I feel to be A Scanner Darkly, or even the French film Confessions d’un Barjo (available on You Tube with English subtitles), which adapts the best of Phil’s non-SF novels.

    Phil was extremely emotionally bothered (in today’s parlance we’d probably say “triggered”) by people without empathy. He considered them in some ways to be other than human, and androids in the novel were his metaphor for people like that (hence the Voight-Kampff test). The book Rachel was not just different. Rather than being a love interest (Deckard being happily married) she was a sadistic antagonist. In the book, Deckard is absolutely, categorically, NOT an android. He possesses tons of empathy, and even follows the religion of Mercerism, which is based around empathy. If he is an android, the book has no point. Consequently, I equally categorically reject the idea that film Deckard is a replicant. That isn’t just because it would be a huge change from the book. It even makes for a weaker film. Film Batty rescuing film Deckard at the end loses its emotional punch if film Deckard is a replicant. The twist of the film is that Batty rescues a human. In the book, the difference between Rachel and Deckard carries the subtext. In the film, Rachel, and eventually Batty, are shown to be as empathetic as any other characters.

    Deckard as replicant was fan wank that grew out all of proportion. I feel that Scott leaped on the bandwagon in order to keep the film under active discussion, providing more “clues”, and profiting more from that. I originally saw it 1st run in Manhattan, and loved the theatrical version. The 1st director’s cut was an improvement, but every cut after that (I’ve watched 5 in total) was Scott cashing in on the “controversy”. The original director’s cut should be taken as definitive.

    The film is absolutely revolutionary in visual terms. I still have my issue of Cinefantastique that came out before release, with dozens of stills, and they are remarkable. Overpopulation in the film is actually an improvement over the underpopulation in the book. It is a great movie. Along with Alphaville and Stalker, it’s one of my top 10 SF films. A Scanner Darkly, while good, isn’t. But the subtext of the book is an important one, and we should not lose sight of that.

    1. Garth’s response:

      I bow to Socrates17’s knowledge of the book, and the differences with the movie which I’ve never read, although I read a number of Dick’s other books, which, as I said, always had something of interest going for them, but – oh! – a long time ago now, back in the 1980s. I did read a biography of Dick, which I would quite like to get again and re-read. He was another one perhaps, who used science fiction as a metaphor, yes, a ‘subtext’, for his ideas of life, reality, philosophy, etc., but a very complex character, a fascinating mind, but likeable? That I’m not so sure about. He was very much on the edge, more so than, say, Ballard – but then they are difficult cultures, different back-story experiences, but using the medium outside the traditional sense.

      I read the preview of Syd Mead’s work on “Blade Runner” – I think it was in either “Future Life” or “HM”, and that is still what grabs me from memory, that crazy future LA. But, like I say, Scott should have pushed it further into the future by another couple of decades. The original ending? Yeah, tacked on. Like the church bells in the US version of “The Day the Earth Caught Fire”, gotta have a ‘happy’ ending. I never bought into the Decker is really a replicate idea. That just didn’t make story sense. So, at times a bit like “Metropolis” – city was great, interiors impressive, pity about the story

      Thank him for his interesting comments

      1. I’m not sure if PKD was likable in person, either. He gave the impression of being pretty erratic. Especially if you were a woman. He had particular issues with women with dark hair, in book after book. Ballard, who I’m also very fond of, comes across as much nicer in person. I also really like The Day the Earth Caught Fire, but I never saw the US cut. I had read a lot about it and bought the UK DVD from Amazon UK.

  2. Garth replies:

    Yes, the dark hair thing comes over in “The Man in the High Castle”, doesn’t it, where the Gestapo assassin guy recruits Juliana because the “Grasshopper” author likes women like her. It’s that old thing Martin and I often discuss, we might love their books, but maybe not always the authors once you start to learn stuff about them. Two of my early literary favours, especially for their writing style, were Georges Simenon and Hemingway. Hemingway especially is another author you have to be a certain age (teens, twenties at most) to really take to him, like Arthur C. Clarke once said about Edgar Rice Burroughs. When I read the Martha Gellhorn biography, Hemingway of the 1940s came over as a drunken, arrogant, boor, not at all likeable, especially again in his treatment of women. Same with Simenon, whose relationship with the truth was always rather vague, his auto-biographies weren’t much different from his novels.

    As I understand it with “The Day the Earth Caught Fire” the Americans just added the bells ringing, whereas the UK version just had the alternative front pages, leaving you on the cliff-edge, a much better ending! They probably cut lots of other stuff, I guess the entire bath sequence went!

    1. Speaking of Hemingway, I have never read any of his work, but Dave Sim chose to incorporate him as a character in that final 100 issue sequence of Cerebus, and was none too complimentary about him, either in his depiction as ‘Ham Ernestway’ or in the sunstantial annotations in the back of the book. Of course, half or more of the point of the sequence, which included Hemingway’s death by suicide, was to savage Mary Hemingway who, of course, was to blame. Another open-minded un-mysogynistic take. That’s basically all the Hemingway I know.

  3. Garth comments:

    Ask Socrates if he has read Ballard’s “Miracles of Life”, which I found fascinating, especially the real childhood story behind his novel (and the movie) “The Empire of the Sun”, that kind of childhood would screw most people up for life, like living in Ukraine today. Ironically my favourite Ballard was his first “The Wind From Nowhere”, which he later pretended he didn’t write. I found his “The Drowned World” a good idea but a silly plot, while “Crash” was, well, disturbing but interesting. He certainly didn’t write ‘cost catastrophes’ (to use Brian Aldiss’s sneering comment – and sour grapes – on John Wyndham) but Ballard’s characters were – as I recollect – totally unlikeable, so I, the reader, neither cared what happened to them – drowned, fried, frozen, be turned into crystal, whatever, just hurry up and die, damn you, so I can read something else.

    On Hemingway, macho man meets woman in whatever war setting – WW1, Spanish Civil War, WW2, post-WW2…. I liked that his style was lean and a bit mean. His best book – controversially – for me is “Death in the Afternoon”, the only book of his I kept, mostly non-fiction (with funny short snippets in between) about bull-fighting. Hemingway, of course, was a fan, and he argues a good case why, even if – as I do – you don’t agree with him. At least he’s honest. This is what I think, and why. I felt the same about the Hilaire Belloc book “The Cruise of the Nona”. William Nolan, who wrote “Logan’s Run” (the film was probably as good as the book, which doesn’t say much), was a big Hemingway fan, and one of his (fun) short stories is “Papa’s Planet”, with lots of Hemingway robots. Third wife Martha Gellhorn and Hemingway was probably never going to last. They were both strong characters, Martha especially, and ultimately she ended up not taking the crap he dished out. As I say, the D-Day story was great – Hemingway the boor, pretending he was big hero, meantime Martha had smuggled herself onto a US hospital ship and was down the beach, ferrying injured GIs back. Hemingway, who had done the dirty to keep Martha out, went ballistic when everyone preferred her frontline, no-nonsense reporting to his bullshit. End of Marriage. By the time Hemingway (single-handedly) ‘liberated’ Paris and moved into the Hotel Scribe, he had already hooked up with Mary Welsh, wife No 4, who seemed to be one of those women war correspondents who gave women war correspondents a bad name, living it up in the officer’s mess, on the lookout for the main chance, while others like Lee Miller and Margaret Bourke-White, and Gellhorn herself as soon as she shook Hemingway off, were getting down and dirty (and living dangerously) on the front-lines.

    As for why he blew his brains out, he was sick, unhealthy, tired, even in 1944 he wasn’t the action hero he liked to be, another 15 years on in 1961 and he was 62, passed bull-fighting, big-game hunting, chasing women, and the booze. The world had moved on. He hadn’t. As he once said, a story’s never over until the hero dies. It was written that way.

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