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Highlander (1986)

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An immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his immortal opponent, a murderously brutal barbarian who lusts for the fabled "Prize".

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(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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In the future, Highlander Connor MacLeod must prevent the destruction of Earth under an anti-ozone shield.

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Stars: Christopher Lambert, Mario Van Peebles, Deborah Kara Unger
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Duncan MacLeod is Immortal, and must live in modern society, concealing his true nature while fighting other Immortals.

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Immortals Connor and Duncan MacLeod must join forces against Kell, an evil immortal who has become too strong for anyone to face alone.

Director: Douglas Aarniokoski
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Adrian Paul, Bruce Payne
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Connor MacLeod
... Brenda Wyatt
... Kurgan
... Ramirez
... Heather (as Beattie Edney)
... Lt. Frank Moran
... Rachel Ellenstein
... Det. Walter Bedsoe
... Sunda Kastagir
... Kirk Matunas
... Fasil
Billy Hartman ... Dugal MacLeod
... Angus MacLeod
... Kate
Alistair Findlay ... Chief Murdoch
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Storyline

In New York, the owner of a sophisticated antique shop Russell Edwin Nash is challenged to a sword fight in the parking lot of the Madison Square Garden by a man called Iman Fasil that is beheaded by Russell. He hides his sword and is arrested by the police while leaving the stadium. Russell recalls his life in the Sixteenth Century in Scotland, when he is Connor MacLeod and is fatally wounded in a battle against another Clan. However he surprisingly survives and his Clan believes he has a pact with the devil and expels him from their lands. Then he meets Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez who explains that he is immortal unless he is beheaded. Further, the immortals dispute a game killing each other and in the end only one survives receiving a prize with the power of the other immortals. Russell is released by the police, but the snoopy forensic agent Brenda J. Wyatt is attracted by the case since she found fragments of an ancient Katana and follows Russell. But the also immortal ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From another time comes a man of incredible power. He is immortal. Now he is about to face the ultimate challenge. At stake is the greatest prize imaginable. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong action violence, a scene of sexuality and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dark Knight  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,453,021, 9 March 1986

Gross USA:

$5,900,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,885,193
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the film scene at Eilean Donan castle, the car park by the castle had to be covered up with tons of peat to disguise it. The house located by the bridge out to the Castle was boxed in with hardboard, and painted over, so that it looked just like real stone even when you stood right beside it. Extras were paid 25 pounds a day, with a ten pound bonus, if they took their own horse. A lot of the locals took several days off work to do it. See more »

Goofs

During the final fight between Kurgan and MacLeod, Kurgan kicks MacLeod's sword behind and away from him. There are a couple of close shots, and when they cut back to the wide shot (same angle) MacLeod's sword in seen on the ground in the forefront. The cycle repeats twice - another set of close shots, then a wide shot with no sword, close shots, followed by another wide shot that includes the sword. See more »

Quotes

Ramirez: The Kurgan. He is the strongest of all the immortals. He's the *perfect* warrior. If he wins the Prize, mortal man would suffer an eternity of darkness.
Connor MacLeod: How do you fight such a savage?
Ramirez: With heart, faith and steel. In the end there can be only one.
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Soundtracks

Hammer To Fall
(uncredited)
Performed by Queen
Written by Brian May
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Largely panned by the critics, but surprisingly a good, ingenious sci-fi offering.
5 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

Highlander is an ingenious and very entertaining science fiction film which has come in for rather a lot of (unwarranted) scathing criticism. Although the plot jumps around with reckless abandon, the scripters Gregory Widen, Larry Ferguson and Peter Bellwood manage to pull in all the loose ends by the climax. The word "confusing" has been used to describe the film quite often as well, but if you stick with it the confusing moments are explained quite cleverly towards the closing reels. This is, in fact, not a bad film at all. I'd venture to say it's a pretty good one.

The opening sequence has Russell Nash (Christopher Lambert) at a wrestling match in New York's Madison Square Gardens. He leaves early, and while walking through the underground car park is confronted by a man with a sword. Nash is not perturbed by this - he merely brandishes a sword of his own, and the pair of them fight to the death, resulting in the decapitation of Nash's opponent. Slowly, we learn (via flashbacks) that Nash is an immortal swordsman who has spent centuries duelling with like immortals. The only way they can die is by decapitation at the hands of one of their counterparts. Each swordsman has spent the whole of history pursuing the others, hoping to be the last one alive whereupon he will gain mortality, virility and vast knowledge.

The film is very energetic (what would you expect from a former music video director?) with dazzling camera work and a pounding, Flash Gordon-style soundtrack by Queen. Sean Connery has a pleasant supporting role as an immortal who teaches Lambert the art of swordplay, and Alan North has a funny part as a bewildered cop who can't figure out why headless corpses keep turning up in his city. The film's intentionally muddled structure is slightly irritating on the first viewing, but with repeated viewings it becomes more comprehensible, even clever. Highlander is a good, inventive piece of hokum.... and it's a real shame that those very same critics who are always grumbling about the lack of cinematic imagination these days didn't give it some merit when it was first released.


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