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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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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:

He fought his first battle on the Scottish Highlands in 1536. He will fight his greatest battle on the streets of New York City in 1986. His name is Connor MacLeod. He is immortal. 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

According to the Director's commentary, the animated lightning on Connor's shoulders when he receives The Prize was actually supposed to disguise the wires. Ironically, this may have just drawn more attention to them. See more »

Goofs

Conner claims to be born in 1518. His first battle is supposed to be (based on the war-cry of the priest) in 1536. However, if these details are correct, he looks at least a decade older than he should. See more »

Quotes

Kurgan: You can't defeat me, Ramirez! I am the strongest!
Ramirez: My cut has improved your voice!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Uncut version has MacLeod's dueling partner (remember, he kept stabbing MacLeod to no avail?) shooting his assistant in the back for being annoying. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The One (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

A Dozen Red Roses for my Darling
(uncredited)
Performed by Queen
Written by Roger Taylor
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Great story told with heart
15 February 2006 | by LordBlacklistSee all my reviews

I can honestly say that Highlander is one of the most original and affecting stories I have ever had the pleasure of viewing, although sadly not in the cinema. The film has its flaws but the cumulative effect of all the various elements make this a film that is really like no other, and often imitated. There are many elements in the film that were experimental at the time, especially for a genre film. The editing style is much more painterly and nonlinear than what one normally expects. The integration of modern songs in a period setting was handled brilliantly, with the crowning achievement of the film being the "who wants to live forever?" montage, which is an absolutely heartbreaking scene. Anyone who has ever truly loved someone will understand when you see it. One of the refreshing aspects of Highlander is that the movie is not just set up with an interesting concept and becomes a mindless action film from there, but that it actually comments on the questions posed by immortality. With Connor Macleod we are given a fantastic character who is brilliantly realized through Chrisopher Lambert's complex performance. The change he goes through from young, innocent Scotsman to a sad, world weary antiques dealer is a wonderful achievement. I actually feel through his performance how lonely the life of an immortal must be, and how he keeps people at a distance whereas to not get too deeply involved. This film has it's heart in the right place because it comments on the fact that when people lose everything they hold dear, in this case because Macleod will outlive everyone he cares about, they travel inward, cutting themselves off from the world in hopes that they will be spared the pain of seeing the ones they love die. From a story standpoint alone, this is a truly magnificent film, which isn't to say it is lacking in other areas. The camera angles are very inventive and some of the transitions between time frames are jaw-dropping. The musical score by Michael Kamen is lush and romantic, while at the same time allowing for an integration with the songs by Queen that is a tremendously successful idea that in theory you'd never think would work right, but strangely it does so extremely well. There is a wide range of performance in the film ranging from Lambert's subtle, understated interpretation of Connor, to Clancy Brown's flamboyantly theatrical portrayal of the main Villain. Sean Connery also makes quite an impression as Connor's mentor. He is both hilarious and charming, powerful and poignant. The female character's are also handled very well with Conner's first wife Heather being the standout. Highlander has a very odd sense of humor that seems to have come from improvisation from the actors. The entire film has a spontaneous energy that works very well because you never quite know what is going to happen next. This is not a perfect film, and sometimes it tends to fall back on genre stereotypes but the overall effect of the film more than makes up for it. Highlander is one of the more original films ever made, and sadly none of the sequels ever built on that. As far as the Highlander series goes; There can be only one, and this is it.


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