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I have the Blade Runner Five-Disc Blu-Ray and it comes with a variety of different versions of the film. I'm not sure which version would be appropriate for my first viewing of the film - Theatrical Cut? Director's Cut? Final Cut? Workprint? International version? I heard the pacing might be a bit slow in the theatrical version, but I'm not sure of the details of the other versions of the film.

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Start with the Final Cut, it's the version that Ridley Scott had complete control over, so it's essentially the definitive version. See the first two paragraphs here, which lack any spoilers. It discusses some of the work done to make the Final Cut. The Final Cut has many minor and major issues with the film cleaned up and fixed, so you're lucky that you get to have it as your first viewing.

After that, I recommend watching some of the other cuts to see how much has been done to this film over the years. That Wikipedia link covers a great deal of its history.

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I'd actually recommend the Theatrical version first. It has a voice-over narration by Harrison Ford which is very useful for getting the story straight (at least for a ten-year-old, when I first watched it).

Then skip to the Final Cut. It's so lushious and deep. You can see objects in the backgrounds. And dancers outside the stripclub!

The others, sad to say, you don't really need. Unless you're reading somebody's college paper that refers to a specific version, the Final Cut is the final word. It's absolutely gorgeous. It's the exact level of tweaking that we all expected from Star Wars.

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  • Wow. Disagree. The voice-over narration makes it a much worse movie, IMO. Opinion, though, so certainly not worth a downvote or a major debate. – PoloHoleSet Oct 26 '16 at 20:42
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Having seen the Theatrical and the 1992 Director's cut, and read the P.K. Dick novel it's based upon, the director's cut is closer to the novel.

I'd recommend the Director's cut for that reason.

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    I don't see enough resemblance to the novella to matter, and always treat the film and book as separate works. They share a darkness, a philosophical ambiguity and some character names but they are significantly different stories. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jun 14 '12 at 21:53
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    @dmckee Agreed, the movie is very loosely based off the novel, watching the one that closest resembles the novel doesn't necessarily follow logically. That being said, the final cut from the director is usually the most appropriate for viewing. – NominSim Jun 15 '12 at 3:07
  • Deckard is a much more sad, needy, insecure character in the novel. – PoloHoleSet Oct 26 '16 at 20:43

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