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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".

Director:

Russell Mulcahy

Writers:

Gregory Widen (story), Gregory Widen (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1,315 ( 45)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lambert ... Connor MacLeod
Roxanne Hart ... Brenda Wyatt
Clancy Brown ... Kurgan
Sean Connery ... Ramirez
Beatie Edney ... Heather (as Beattie Edney)
Alan North ... Lt. Frank Moran
Sheila Gish ... Rachel Ellenstein
Jon Polito ... Det. Walter Bedsoe
Hugh Quarshie ... Sunda Kastagir
Christopher Malcolm ... Kirk Matunas
Peter Diamond ... Fasil
Billy Hartman Billy Hartman ... Dugal MacLeod
James Cosmo ... Angus MacLeod
Celia Imrie ... Kate
Alistair Findlay Alistair Findlay ... Chief Murdoch
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Storyline

In New York City, 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 ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark Knight See more »

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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:

$5,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director of photography Arthur Smith filmed the scene in which fish fall out of MacLeod's kilt, but Christopher Lambert's kilt proved to be too short. Smith said, "I stuck part of a drain pipe above Chris' kilt out of camera range, and fed live trout down the tube." Smith also had difficulties shooting MacLeod meeting the Kurgan. It was raining that day and the crew had to use umbrellas and hair dryers to prevent water from hitting the camera lenses and appearing in the movie. Smith also remembered that Lambert, who was near-sighted, "kept forgetting to take off his glasses as he came over the hill on his horse." See more »

Goofs

Immediately after Ramirez slices the Kurgan's throat in their fight in the castle, there is no blood on Ramirez's sword. See more »

Quotes

Barman: [Brenda sitting alone in a pub] Hey, Brenda. The usual?
Brenda: Lots of it.
Barman: [Barman pours Brenda's drink into her glass] Say when.
Brenda: When.
Barman: [Connor arrives and sits at the bar] Excuse me a minute, Brenda.
Connor MacLeod: A double Glenmorangie on the rocks.
Barman: Glenmorangie? - Right.
Connor MacLeod: Go to the Garden often?
Brenda: What did you say?
Connor MacLeod: [Connor points at himself] Hmm?
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

As MacLeod lays on the floor after the final battle, he can be heard saying "I want to go home" on the original US version, but not on the European version and later US Director's Cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Baby Driver (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

A Kind Of Magic
(uncredited)
Performed by Queen
Written by Roger Taylor
See more »

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 barnabyrudgeSee 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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