Tears in rain monologue

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Tears in rain soliloquy)
Jump to: navigation, search
"c-beam" redirects here. For steel beams with a c-shaped cross-section, see structural channel.
Roy Batty, as played by Rutger Hauer after the "Tears in Rain" monologue in Blade Runner.

"Tears in Rain", also referred to as "The C-Beams Speech",[1] is a brief monologue delivered by replicant Roy Batty (portrayed by Rutger Hauer) in the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. The final form, altered from the scripted lines and improvised by Hauer on the eve of filming,[2][3] has entered popular culture as "perhaps the most moving death soliloquy in cinematic history"[4] and is an often quoted piece of science fiction writing.[5]

Script and improvisation[edit]

In Blade Runner, dying replicant Roy Batty makes this speech to Harrison Ford's character Deckard moments after saving him from falling off a tall building. Deckard had been tasked to kill him and his replicant friends. The words are spoken during a downpour, moments before Batty's death:

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears...in...rain. Time to die.

In the documentary Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner, Hauer, director Ridley Scott, and screenwriter David Peoples asserted that Hauer wrote the "Tears in Rain" speech. There were earlier versions of the speech in Peoples' draft screenplays; one included the sentence "I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched C-beams glitter in the dark, near the Tannhäuser Gate"[6] In his autobiography, Hauer said he merely cut the original scripted speech by several lines, adding only "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain"[7] although the original script, displayed during the documentary, before Hauer's rewrite, does not mention "Tannhäuser Gate":

I have known adventures, seen places you people will never see, I've been Offworld and back...frontiers! I've stood on the back deck of a blinker bound for the Plutition Camps with sweat in my eyes watching the stars fight on the shoulder of Orion. I've felt wind in my hair, riding test boats off the black galaxies and seen an attack fleet burn like a match and disappear. I've seen it...felt it!

Hauer described this as "opera talk" and "hi-tech speech" with no bearing on the rest of the film, so he "put a knife in it" the night before filming, without Scott's knowledge.[8] In an interview with Dan Jolin, Hauer said that these final lines showed that Batty wanted to "make his mark on existence ... the replicant in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of."[9]

When Hauer performed the scene, the film crew applauded and some even cried.[10]

The speech is the final track on the 1996 official release of Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack.

Critical reception[edit]

Sidney Perkowitz, writing in Hollywood science, praised the speech, "If there's a great speech in science fiction cinema, it's Batty's final words." He says that it "underlines the replicant's humanlike characteristics mixed with its artificial capabilities."[11] Jason Vest, writing in Future Imperfect: Philip K. Dick at the Movies, praised the delivery of the speech, "Hauer's deft performance is heartbreaking in its gentle evocation of the memories, experiences, and passions that have driven Batty's short life."[12]

Tannhauser Gate[edit]

Tannhauser Gate, Tannhäuser Gate, and Tanhauser Gate are variant spellings of this unexplained place name which is used only once in the film. It has since been reused in other science fiction subgenres.[13] The name probably derives from Richard Wagner's operatic adaption of the legend of the medieval German knight and poet Tannhäuser.[14] Joanne Taylor, in an article discussing film noir and its epistemology, remarks on the relation between Wagner's opera and Batty's reference, and suggests that Batty aligns himself with Wagner's Tannhäuser, a character who has fallen from grace with men and with God. Both, she claims, are characters whose fate is beyond their own control.[14]

Shoulder of Orion[edit]

The phrase "the shoulder of Orion" could refer to either Betelgeuse or Bellatrix, the stars that mark, respectively, the right and left shoulders of the human figure in that constellation.

References in other media[edit]

...I had seen and done things I wouldn’t have believed.
I’d watched grammasites in flight over the pleasure domes of Xanadu,
felt the strangeness of listeners glittering on the dark stair.
I had cantered bareback on unicorns through the leafy forests of Zenobia
and played chess with Ozymandias, the King of Kings...

  • Tears in Rain by Rosa Montero and Lilit Zekulin Thwaites is a novel written in a future where self-aware androids live among humans. The main character, Bruna Husky, is aware of her "mortality" in the same way that Roy Batty and his crew were and Bruna often thinks about the significance of Roy's monologue.[18]
  • The Venture Bros. episode 57, from season 5: "Venture Libre": When Dr. Venture is being briefed by General Manhowers about Venturestein on the X1, Hank insists it is a trap, saying "when we get there, if he's in a pair of bicycle shorts talking about 'tears in the rain', you run like hell."[19]
  • In the 2010 30 Rock episode, "Black Light Attack!" (season 4, episode 10), the character Jenna Maroney gives a significantly altered version of the monologue referring to events in the 1990s: "I've had a full life. Oh, the things I've seen. The first Clinton administration. The Nagano Olympics. Microsoft Windows '95. But I'm 41 now. Time to die."[20]
  • The monologue is referred to in Grand Theft Auto V: "The Shoulder of Orion II" is a classic sci-fi film in the game's universe.
  • An easter egg page about:robots in Mozilla Firefox alludes to the monologue: "Robots have seen things you people wouldn't believe" among a list of robot related trivia.[21][22]
  • The animated show American Dad! parodies the scene and parts of the speech at the conclusion of the episode "Steve and Snot's Test-Tubular Adventure" (Season 9, Episode 1).
  • The monologue is referenced in the Community episode "Ladders", in a line spoken by Leonard.
  • In Margin Call, the character Will Emerson (played by Paul Bettany) delivers a shortened version of the first line while standing on top of a building.
  • It was briefly a VFR reporting point for arriving aircraft to the Reese Air Force Base visual pattern.
  • The mission "Let's Build a Robot Army" in the game Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel features a little reference to the famous monologue with the AI Felicity while it defending from scavs and raiders in the dialogue between her and Jack:

Jack: Not bad, buttercup. You turned all those scavs into puddles.
Felicity: I did, didn't I... Everything's lost, like tears in a puddle.


The monologue is featured in many songs. Some of those are:

  • "All I Am", a single from the brazilian metal band Almah , has the following stanza:

Moments lost

As tears in rain

Silent portions of me

Fading sight of vain lucidity

Nothing gained

  • Neil Cicierega sampled Batty's monologue with "Chocolate Rain" by Tay Zonday on his 2014 album "Mouth Sounds".
  • The Ballad of Roy Batty by British neo-psychedelia duo Grumbling Fur on their album Glynnaestra uses the monologue as repeated lyrics throughout the song.[23]
  • The Berlin-based techno label Dystopian released a compilation referencing the speech in November 2014 and released a music-video entitled Like Tears In The Rain by Rødhåd.[24][25]
  • Nerd rap artist MC Chris has a song called Bad DD runner with the monologue featured in it.[26]
  • The instrumental "Tears In The Rain" by Joe Satriani was inspired and named after the speech.[27]
  • Canadian recording artist The Weeknd's debut album Kiss Land features a song called "Tears in the Rain" as the album closer.[28]
  • Swedish melodic death metal band Scar Symmetry references "tears in rain" in lyrics on their album The Singularity — Phase I: Neohumanity, a concept album dealing with many of the same themes present in Blade Runner.[29]
  • Vancouver folk-punk band AK-747s song Blade Runner incorporates the Tears in Rain monologue into the chorus, the remainder of the lyrics being direct quotes from the film.[30]
  • Tears In Rain by Vangelis, featuring Batty's final monologue from the film, was remixed by DJ Paul Oakenfold and is featured on his Another World set as an intro to the track Piledriver by Ameobassassin.[31]
  • "Lightsaber // Saviour" on Swedish rapper Yung Lean's album Unknown Death 2002 concludes with the monologue.
  • "Expiration Date" from the Fear Factory album Genexus uses part of the speech as spoken word sections, as well as the song "Genexus" which the quote "That's what it is to be a slave." can be heard multiple times.
  • "Lost Like Tears In Rain" from the Fightstar album Grand Unification was named after the speech as well as another of the band's songs "Tannhauser Gate" from their second album One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours
  • Actress Rose McGowan paraphrases the monologue in the intro to her debut song RM486 [32]
  • The Retrosic, a German Electro-Industrial project, has a song called "Tears in Rain" from the album "God of Hell" (2004), and uses the monologue in the song.
  • "Attack Ships on Fire" by Revolting Cocks is a 1986 song that gets its name from a phrase in the monologue.
  • The opening track from Swedish electronic band Covenant's 2000 album United States of Mind is named "Like Tears In Rain".
  • Stan SB's "Tears in Rain" opens with the monologue, and the words "Tears in rain" are used often in the lyrics.
  • Swedish band Kent (band)'s "Rollercoaster" includes the words "All Those Memories Will Be Lost In Time, Like Tears In The Rain".
  • British electronic musician Zomby's "Tears In The Rain" from the album "Where Were U in '92?" opens over breakbeats with the monologue followed by an emphatic air horn.
  • The Star One song "It All Ends Here", which describes the events of the film, incorporates part of the monologue along with other iconic lines.
  • British alternative rock band Radiohead reference the soliloquy in their song "Paranoid Android" from the album OK Computer.
  • British Drum and Bass producer and label owner London Elektricity named the track "Attack Ships On Fire" from his 2008 Syncopated City album after the speech and uses the "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe" line in the track.
  • Chilean band Sexual Democracia uses a translated version of this monologue on its song "Un robot de cién años" (A one-hundred years old robot).
  • American electro-industrial band Mentallo and The Fixer samples the monologue in the track "Ruthless".
  • The track "Against The Tide", by Celldweller references the speech in its lyrics, in the line "When all the prayers we've prayed feel lost like tears in the rain". Klayton, the sole member of Celldweller, is known to be a fan of the film.
  • MK Ultra - "Tears In The Rain" features a shortened version of Roy Batty's at the beginning of the track.


  1. ^ Blade Runner: The Final Cut (Commentary Track). Ridley Scott. Warner Bros. 2007 [1982]. 
  2. ^ Ridley Scott; Paul Sammon (2005), Ridley Scott: interviews, University Press of Mississippi, p. 103 
  3. ^ Jim Krause (2006), Type Idea Index, p. 204, ISBN 9781581808063 
  4. ^ Mark Rowlands (2003), The philosopher at the end of the universe, pp. 234–235, Roy then dies, and in perhaps the most moving death soliloquy in cinematic history... 
  5. ^ Mark Brake; Neil Hook (2008), "Different engines", Scientific American, Palgrave Macmillan, 259 (6): 163, Bibcode:1988SciAm.259f.111E, doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1288-111, ISBN 9780230553972 
  6. ^ Hampton Fancher & David Peoples (23 February 1981). "Blade Runner Screenplay". Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Rutger Hauer & Patrick Quinlan (2007), All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants and Blade Runners, HarperEntertainment, ISBN 978-0-06-113389-3 
  8. ^ 105 minutes into the Channel 4 documentary On the Edge of Blade Runner.
  9. ^ Laurence Raw (2009), The Ridley Scott encyclopedia, p. 159, ISBN 9780810869523 
  10. ^ "The top 10 film moments - 6: Blade Runner — Batty's dying speech in the rain", The Observer, 6 February 2000, retrieved 6 October 2014 
  11. ^ S. Perkowitz (2007), Hollywood science, Columbia University Press, p. 203, ISBN 9780231142809 
  12. ^ Jason P. Vest (2009), Future Imperfect, University of Nebraska Press, p. 24, ISBN 0803218605 
  13. ^ Hicham Lasri, Static, ISBN 978-9954-1-0261-9, ff 255
  14. ^ a b Taylor, Joanne (2006), "'Here's to Plain Speaking': The Condition(s) of Knowing and Speaking in Film Noir", Florida Atlantic Comparative Studies, 48: 29–54, ISBN 9781581129618 
  15. ^ Allon, Yoram; Del Cullen, Hannah Patterson. Contemporary North American film directors, ISBN 978-1-903364-52-9, p.14, "the two movies are connected by a single passing reference to Tannhauser Gate."
  16. ^ "CALTROPS -- Review: Homeworld II". caltrops.com. 
  17. ^ Fforde, Jasper. Something Rotten: A Thursday Next Novel. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  18. ^ Kross, Karin L. "Cyberpunk is the New Retro: Rosa Montero's Tears in Rain". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "The Venture Bros. Wiki — Venture Libre". teamventure.org. 
  20. ^ http://www.30rockquotes.net/seasons/Season_4/30rockquotes_black_light_attack.cfm?highlight=198#line198
  21. ^ Kotowski, Timo (13 April 2009). "Easter Eggs: Eiablage im Datendickicht". DER SPIEGEL. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  22. ^ "Find Hidden Features and Easter Eggs on Firefox's About: Pages". Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  23. ^ "The Quietus — Reviews — Grumbling Fur". The Quietus. 
  24. ^ "RA News: Dystopian delivers a Soliloquy". Resident Advisor. 
  25. ^ "Rødhåd — Like Tears In The Rain Music Video on youtube". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  26. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kerc6Bi4fRg.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ "Joe Satriani — Tears in The Rain". 
  28. ^ "The Weeknd Speaks: How Kiss Land Tells The Story Of His 'Second Chapter'". MTV News. 
  29. ^ "Scar Symmetry — The Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity) - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". metal-archives.com. 
  30. ^ "AK-747s — Blade Runner". Not Yer Buddy Records. 
  31. ^ "Paul Oakenfold — Perfecto Presents Another World on YouTube, At 1:02:22". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  32. ^ Smith, Raven; Delaney, Joseph. "Rose McGowan: RM486". Nowness. Nowness. Retrieved 22 September 2015.