The French theatrical version of "Highlander" is mainly the same version as the US theatrical. It does add the World War II flashback but it also removes the interior shot of detective Bedsoe in his car while on a stakeout. This has been issued on 2-disc and 3-disc DVD sets in France with French dialog only.
In the U.S director's cut the chants "Kill the MacLeod!" are removed at the beginning of the film compared to the original U.S. release.
In the U.S director's cut the wires that are seen pulling Connor MacLeod up when he receives the Prize are removed compared to the original U.S. release and European cut.
The European cut has the "Kill the MacLeod!" chanting dialogue in the flash back Connor has at the beginning of film, where as the Directors cut does not.
Uncut version has a longer love scene between Connor and Brenda.
The Directors Cut has whooshing sound effects added before the MacLeod vs Fazil and the Ramirez vs Kurgan fights to indicate that one immortal has detected the presence of another, where as the European cut and U.S theatrical do not.
Non-American versions of this film include a WWII flashback sequence showing MacLeod rescuing Rachael, where he tells her ''It's a kind of magic''.
The European version also has a scene between Connor and Brenda talking at a zoo about how he's not willing to commit to another relationship after his wife's death. The most important thing about this scene is that Kurgan can be seen in the background trailing the twosome. This solves the continuity problem in the American version about how Kurgen finds Brenda's apartment in the next scene.
Uncut version shows MacLeod having a short flashback about his first battle in Scotland during the wrestling match.
Uncut version has Fazil doing a backward cartwheel as he flees from MacLeod in the parking garage.
Uncut version shows MacLeod's girlfriend wishing him luck before the first battle in Scotland.
Uncut version has MacLeod's dueling partner (remember, he kept stabbing MacLeod to no avail?) shooting his assistant in the back for being annoying.
In the uncut version Kurgan licks the priest's hand in the church
Uncut version has a much longer fight scene between MacLeod and the Kurgan at the end of the movie.
The European version and later US Director's Cut does not contain a short scene shot from inside Det. Bedsoe's car as he stakes out Brenda's apartment during MacLeod's visit.
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.
Complete Director's Cut is available on video in the US, featuring all footage from the European version and still photos from unused footage at the end. This includes scenes of a fight between the Kurgan and an unreferenced Immortal, Yung Dol Kim, a security guard in an office building who fights the Kurgan. Ultimately, he surrenders wearying of Immortal life and willing to suicide himself. The Kurgan takes his head and the body explodes out of the 40th story of the building. Kim fights Japanese two-sword style. Additional unused footage features a flashback where Connor meets with Thomas Jefferson, as well as a bar scene when Connor and Kastagir go out for a drink, and meet Det. Walter Bedsoe.
Reportedly a version shown at the Brussels film festival features a slightly different ending than the theatrical and video releases. In this version after the final battle, the demons circling around Lambert are clearly saying "thank you". The final prize is only that Lambert is not an immortal anymore and that he can now have a normal life.
Versions shown on the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Networks are heavily cut, and not just because of the head-chopping sequences. Many parts of the movie were removed for airing on these networks, including much of the Ramirez training sequence, most of the "Who Wants to Live Forever" sequence, all of the flashback to 1783, and other various pieces of scenes and their dialogue, making for an extremely chopped-up movie.
In the original U.S. release during the scene when Connor and Ramirez jump off the cliff, you can hear Ramirez yell, "MacLeod, this is the Quickening!" In the US Director's Cut, Ramirez and Connor just yell as they jump.
In addition to the many scene differences, the version commonly shown on TV has VERY degraded sound quality versus the director's cut. For example, the score can not even be heard during the parking lot fight scene on the TV version. Some networks now show the director's cut version.
The U.S Director's Cut and the European Director's cut differs some in dialog. Example: When Connor falls from the boat and end up on the sea floor, the U.S version dialog says: "I'm alive" European version says: "I'm alive...I can breath..." Shortly followed by; "I'll split you in half!" (spoken in the same moment as Connor draws his sword under water)
In earlier versions Ramirez says he's "...chief metallurgist of King Phillip II of Spain" while in later versions and the Uncut DVD he says he's "...chief metallurgist of Charles V." This change is shown in Highlander Two Ramirez still says the first version.
In the American versions, as the Kurgan is driving into New York, the opening guitar to the Queen song "Gimme The Prize" can be heard over the news report and the vocals start when the Kurgan pops in the tape. However in the Director's cut, the opening guitar part has been taken out and the song starts at the vocals like before when the Kurgan pops in the cassette.