Highlander (film): Wikis


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Original style-A poster
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Produced by Peter S. Davis
E.C. Monell
William N. Panzer
Written by Screenplay:
Gregory Widen
Peter Bellwood
Larry Ferguson
Gregory Widen
Starring Christopher Lambert
Sean Connery
Clancy Brown
Roxanne Hart
Music by Queen
Michael Kamen
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) March 7, 1986
Running time U.S. Theatrical Cut:
110 min.
French Theatrical Cut:
112 min.
European Theatrical Cut:
116 min.
Director's Cut:
116 min.
Language English
Gross revenue $5,900,000 (USA)[1]
Followed by Highlander II: The Quickening

Highlander is a 1986 fantasy action film directed by Russell Mulcahy and based on a story by Gregory Widen. It stars Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, and Roxanne Hart. The film has inspired a franchise that includes film sequels and television spin-offs. The movie is set between several time periods, but concentrates on 1985 in New York. The movie launched Lambert to superstardom and is considered one of his best roles yet. A remake of the film was announced in 2008 with a 2010/2011 release.



Connor MacLeod(Christopher Lambert) was born in the year 1518 "in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel." In 1536, his clan is in conflict with the Clan Fraser, and Connor rides along into his first battle. The Frasers are working with a seven foot giant of a man known as The Kurgan (Clancy Brown), who has recognized that Connor is a fellow Immortal and hopes to use the battle to kill Connor before he becomes aware of his abilities. On the battlefield, Connor feels a strange sensation especially when he sees the Kurgan on top of a hill and thunder and lightning appear. As the battle rages, Connor wonders why none of the Fraser's forces will attack him, until he comes across the Kurgan and is struck again by an odd pain (from sensing the proximity of another immortal, though he doesn't know it at the time). This leaves him open to attack. Connor was no match for the Russian and The Kurgan mortally wounds Connor and prepares to decapitate him, but the MacLeod kinsmen intervene just before this occurs, with the Kurgan vowing to return. The clan mourn Connor, but he miraculously revives shortly after his "death." Accusing him of witchcraft, Kinfolk and loved ones turned their backs on him and beat him up and prepare to burn him, but his cousin Angus (James Cosmo) persuades them to exile Connor instead. Connor escapes with his life but is banished forever from his clan and birthplace vowing never to return again.. MacLeod eventually becomes a blacksmith in Glencoe, where he marries Heather (Beatie Edney). In 1541, he is located by a much older Immortal, who introduces himself as Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (Sean Connery). He explains that the pain he feels in the Kurgan's and Ramírez's presence is "The Quickening," which compels Immortals to battle each other. Ramírez appoints himself MacLeod's tutor in the ways of being Immortal, their pursuit of The Prize, and the rules of an age-old "Game," which will end when the few who remain participate in "The Gathering," noting that "in the end, there can be only one." Immortals can only die by decapitation and can only avoid battle on holy ground. Ramírez later explains that his own name is just his current alias, being Egyptian by birth. He adopted it while serving as Chief Metallurgist for Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (also King of Spain between 1516-1556). His sword is a katana he received in Japan in 593 B.C., made by his (then) father-in-law Masamune. Masamune, a genius far ahead of his time in the forging of swords, was the father of Princess Shakiko, Ramírez's third wife. Ramírez also takes it upon himself to improve MacLeod's swordsmanship, which he declares is "no better than that of a clumsy child." Ramírez warns MacLeod to leave his wife or face heartbreak, explaining that "I was born 2,437 years ago. In that time, I've had three wives. The last was Shakiko, a Japanese princess... When Shakiko died, I was shattered. I would save you that pain. Please, let Heather go." He also explains that Immortals are incapable of having children. MacLeod refuses to leave his wife, though he continues to train under Ramírez, who also explains the origins of the Kurgan and the risk for the world if he wins the Prize. One night, the Kurgan arrives at MacLeod's home while MacLeod himself is absent, though Heather and Ramírez are there. The Kurgan and Ramírez duel, with the frightened Heather their only spectator. After an extended duel, which destroys the house, the Kurgan manages to decapitate Ramírez. MacLeod soon returns to find his home in ruins, his mentor killed, and his wife alive but traumatized. MacLeod remains with his wife until her death from old age. Dying in MacLeod's arms, she confides that her only regret was not having his children. After burying Heather, MacLeod burns their residence and wanders the world.

In 1985 New York City, the few surviving Immortals are participating in "The Gathering", a final series of confrontations to determine the winner of "The Prize". Eventually, the last two surviving are MacLeod, under the alias of "Russell Edwin Nash" and the Kurgan, under the alias of "Victor Kruger." Meanwhile, the spike in what appear to be murders by decapitation has drawn the attention of the police, One night while attending a wrestling match in Madison Square Garden, Connor senses an Immortal closeby and leaves. He goes the the garage under the garden where he is confronted by Iman Fasil (Peter Diamond) who lunges at Connor with his sword. But Connor counters this move and kicks Fasil and takes out his katana and fights him. The fight swings back and forward, Fasil eluding MacLeod amongst the cars, rushing at him out of the shadows. Then the momentum swings to Fasil, as he separates MacLeod from his sword, but he cannot press his advantage and MacLeod vanishes. Out of sight, MacLeod recovers his sword and then steps out to face Fasil. This time, there is nowhere to go and Fasil is the one disarmed. The two look at each other for a last moment, before MacLeod beheads Fasil and recives his quickening. Picking himself up, Connor hides his sword in an overhead grating before driving out of the garage. But he is not quick enough and is arrested by police arriving to investigate the disturbance. The police question him but he denies killing Fasil or Vasselik(Another Immortal killed in New Jersey a few nights ago) and with no evidance, they let Connor go but still consider him as thier prime suspect. Among the investigators of the case is forensic scientist Brenda Wyatt (Roxanne Hart), who is well-versed in the provenance of swords. Samples taken from the crime scene reveal the sword used is more than 2000 years old (MacLeod is now using Ramírez' sword) and she begins investigating him, primarily over interest in the sword. MacLeod returns to Madison Square Garden to collect his sword, but finds that he is not the only one searching. Brenda Wyatt is also there collecting samples. Connor later follows her to a bar but strikes a nerve with her and she leaves. As Connor does the same, Brenda follows him and is amazed when the Kurgan attacks Conner. The fight is interrupted by a police helicopter and both men flee, the giant’s parting shot being that they will meet again. Brenda follows MacLeod, asking what the giant meant. Why did he call him “Highlander”? And if there can be only one, only one what? Connor tells her to go home and leaves her standing on the street corner. More determined than ever to find out what is going on, Brenda uses a little subterfuge to confirm that the man she followed from the bar is Russell Nash, the antiques dealer questioned over Fasil’s death. She goes to his antiques store, but is stonewalled by Nash’s secretary, Rachel (Sheila Gish) until the man himself appears, inviting himself to dinner at her apartment. That evening, as he prepares to go out, Rachel confronts him about what he is doing. She is more to him than a secretary, being his adoptive daughter and confidant. Connor found her orphaned amongst the ruins of the Second World War and the young Rachel saw him killed, only to come back to life and save them both. For her, on many levels, this man has a kind of magic and she is concerned at his eternal isolation and loneliness. Connor goes to Brenda’s apartment, already knowing that she is with the police. He lets her know that he knows by giving her a copy of her own book on the metallurgy of swords. He accuses her of trying to set him up with the cops, but she is desperate to find the sword and only that. She demands answers, but he tells her she has no right to them. He leaves, but as he walks away, Ramirez’ voice comes unbidden to mind. “You must leave her, brother. Days later Connor meets his best friend and fellow African Immortal Kastagir(Hugh Quarshie) in Central Park and the two men share a night of partying one last time. Later, Kastagir challenges the Kurgan in an Alley There are a street full of witnesses to the fight and one of them, a survivalist, tries to gun down the Kurgan after he kills Kastagir but is impaled on the Kurgan’s sword and thrown against the wall. Unable to move, he has a front row seat as the Kurgan receives Kastagir’s Quickening. The Kurgan makes his escape, leaving the survivalist to give a description to the police, who are less than pleased that their mysterious head-hunter isn’t Russell Nash. Later, Connor goes to church, his yearly remembrance of his promise to Heather, but his reflections are disturbed by the Kurgan, gloating in the death of Kastagir. They are the last and the Kurgan has every intention of taking Connor’s head and the Prize. He mocks Connor, telling him how Ramirez died on his knees and how he raped "His woman". Connor’s reaction tells him that his long-held belief that she was Ramirez’ woman was wrong. The Kurgan gloats, believing that he has wounded Connor, but he soon realises that all he has done is light a fire under MacLeod. Now, the Highlander has a reason to want him dead that goes beyond mere survival. Connor returns to the store to find Brenda demanding to see him. When she tells him that she knows the truth about Nash, he tells her the rest of it. And kills himself to prove it. sees a way to distract the Highlander. As Brenda returns home, the Kurgan is waiting and forces his way into her apartment, kidnapping her. He terrifies her with a high speed rampage through the New York traffic, playing chicken with trucks and mowing down pedestrians. When he finally has her cowed, he leaves a message for Connor, inviting him to come get her. Rachel knows that, win or lose, Connor is not coming back and says her goodbyes to both Russell Nash and Connor MacLeod.

Connor goes to the abandoned movie studio where the Kurgan is waiting and finds Brenda tied to the neon sign on the roof. As he tries to free her, the Kurgan comes out of the dark and attacks him. Connor eludes the Kurgan, who smashes through the supports for the neon sign, causing it to crash down. As it does, it brings down the water tower next to it and floods the roof. Brenda scrambles from the wrecked sign in time to see Connor and the Kurgan fall through a roof light into the building below. Both men are winded, but the Kurgan is quicker and kicks away Connor’s sword. He is ready to finish the Highlander when Brenda hits him with a piece of pipe. Distracted, he turns his attention on her, giving Connor time to retrieve his katana and blocks the Kurgan's sword from hitting Brenda. "What kept you?" Connor says to Brenda and continues the fight. The two of them face off for a final time, but each time they clash, it is the Kurgan who feels steel slicing through his skin. The two stare at each other, but for the first time fear mingles with the madness in the Kurgan’s eyes and Connor steps through, and with one stroke of his sword taking the Kurgan’s head. The final Quickening is unleashed and Connor is lifted into the air as the power of the Prize rages around him in the empty building. When it is finished, Connor leaves New York, taking Brenda with him, and returns to Scotland. He knows the thoughts of all men and can guide them as he wishes, he can live, grow old and have children. He is at one with all living things. He has power beyond imagination and, in his mind, he hears Ramirez urging him to use it wisely. And not to lose his head.


Actor Role
Christopher Lambert Connor MacLeod / Russell Nash
Roxanne Hart Brenda Wyatt
Clancy Brown The Kurgan / Victor Kruger
Sean Connery Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez
Beatie Edney Heather MacLeod
Alan North Lieutenant Frank Moran
Jon Polito Detective Walter Bedsoe
Sheila Gish Rachel Ellenstein
Hugh Quarshie Sunda Kastagir
Christopher Malcolm Kirk Matunas
Peter Diamond Iman Fasil
Billy Hartman Dugal MacLeod
James Cosmo Angus MacLeod
Corinne Russell Candy
Celia Imrie Kate MacLeod




Gregory Widen wrote the script to Highlander, then titled "Shadow Clan", as a class assignment while he was attending the workshop of Richard Walter, chairman of the screenwriting department at University of California, Los Angeles.[2] Widen sold the script in 1982 for two US$10,000 paychecks.[3]

According to Bill Panzer, producer of the Highlander franchise, " Gregory Widen was a student at film school, and he wrote this as his writing class project. (...) He was apparently travelling through Scotland on his summer vacation and he was standing in front of a suit of armor, and he wondered, 'What would it be like if that guy was alive today?' And that's where everything fell into place - the idea that there are Immortals and they were in conflict with each other, leading secret lives that the rest of us are unaware of.

Gregory Widen's original draft of the movie was very different from the movie version in many ways. The first draft of the script was darker and graphically violent. The main characters are also different in a number of ways; Connor was born in 1408 instead of 1518. He lived with his mother and father. In the draft, Heather (Connor's beloved wife in the film) does not exist; Connor was promised to a young girl named Mara whom he loved with all his heart, but who later rejects him after he becomes immortal. Connor leaves his village instead of being banished. His alias in the draft was Richard Tupin and his weapon was a custom broadsword. Ramirez was a Spaniard born in 1100 A.D. instead of being an ancient Egyptian born 2437 years ago. The Kurgan was known as the Knight using the alias Carl William Smith. He was not a savage but a cold blooded killer. Brenda was known as Brenna Cartwright.

Other major factors that were later changed during the rewrite. Initially, immortals could have children; in the draft Connor is said to have had 37. In a flashback in the first draft, Connor attends the funeral of one of his sons. His wife (in her 70's) and his two sons, who are in their mid 50's, see him revealed as an immortal. Also, there are no quickenings in the first draft. When an immortal kills another, nothing happens. There is no mention of the Prize either. When Connor finally kills the Knight, he feels a sharp burning pain. We are not told if he is still immortal or not.


The role of Connor MacLeod was allegedly offered to and turned down by Mickey Rourke. Marc Singer was also allegedly offered the role, but turned it down due to his commitment on the original miniseries V[citation needed].

According to Roxanne Hart, Brooke Adams was the original choice for Brenda Wyatt. Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Beals, Jodie Foster, Tatum O'Neal and Jennifer Jason Leigh auditioned for the role of Brenda.

Clancy Brown nearly turned down the role of The Kurgan because he thought that the prosthetics required later on in the film would cause him health problems (He is allergic to make-up)[4]

Virginia Madsen auditioned for the role of Heather. She later appeared as Connor's love interest in the second film. The wrestling match in the beginning of the movie involves the tag team "The Fabulous Freebirds".


Filming began in April 1985 and ended August 30, 1985. It took place in Scotland, England and New York City.

Director Russell Mulcahy filmed it using music video techniques including fast cutting and pacy music.[5]

Director of Photography Arthur Smith filmed the scene where fish fall out of MacLeod's kilt, but Lambert's kilt was too short. Smith says, "I stuck part of a drain pipe above Chris's kilt out of camera range, and fed live trout down the tube." Smith also had difficulties shooting the scene where MacLeod meets the Kurgan. It was raining and the crew had to use umbrellas and hair dryers to prevent the water from hitting the camera lenses and appearing on the film. Smith also remembered that Lambert, who is near-sighted, "kept forgetting to take off his glasses as he came over the hill on his horse."[6]

The filming of the parking garage scene took place in two different places. According to New York location manager Brett Botula, "the garage exterior is Manhattan, across from Madison Square Garden, and the interior is 'somewhere in London.'"[7]

The location for the scene where the MacLeod clan sets off to battle is Eilean Donan Castle, which is in the same general area where the action is supposed to take place, but is really on the shore of Loch Duich, a sea loch near Kyle of Lochalsh and the Isle of Skye.

According to the DVD commentary, the film's climax was originally intended to take place on top of the Statue of Liberty. Then it was changed to an amusement park, and finally changed to the rooftop of the Silvercup Studios building. The opening sequence was originally intended to take place during an NHL hockey game. But the NHL refused to allow the crew to film there because they were intending to emphasize the violence of the match.

The church scene involving Kurgan (Clancy Brown) was filmed at Augustines C of E in Kilburn London at night time with the permission of the priests in charge. Still, Brown's lines were ad-libbed and were reportedly considered so sacrilegious that the priests off-camera were making the sign of the cross as he said them.

The scene in the alley where the Kurgan (Clancy Brown) beheads Kastagir (Hugh Quarshie) and then stabs the gun nut, followed by the explosion, was filmed in an alley in England even though it was set in New York. The director was reluctant to set off the explosion in the alley because the windows were full of Victorian glass, but he was given permission to do so because that particular site was going to be destroyed in a few months anyway.

All of Sean Connery's scenes were filmed in a week due to Connery's schedule. During the filming of this movie, Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert got along even better than their on screen counterparts, even going as far as to call each other by their characters' names when not filming. The two were (and continue to be) such good friends that Lambert threatened to back out of the sequel unless Connery's character was added to the film.[citation needed]. The opening voice over by Sean Connery has an echo effect because it was recorded in a bathroom. It was played for the producers over the phone, and they approved of it because they could not discern the quality of the recording that way.

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.


The original orchestral score was composed by Michael Kamen, but the soundtrack includes several songs by Queen, like "Princes of the Universe," which was also used in the Highlander television series title sequence. Queen wrote many of the songs specifically to match the mood of the scenes when the songs were played, notably Brian May's "Who Wants to Live Forever", concerning the doomed love of Connor and his wife Heather.

While an album specifically tied to the Highlander movie was never released, Queen's 1986 album A Kind of Magic features most of the songs from the film, as well as other music on the same theme. Notably, Queen's version of "Theme from New York, New York" (playing while The Kurgan drives Brenda through New York) was never released by the band.

All of Queen's songs in Highlander were purposely written for the movie, except for "Hammer to Fall", which had been previously released on their album The Works in 1984.

Deleted and Abandoned Scenes

A duel sequence that introduced an Asian immortal named Yung Dol Kim was cut from the film and the footage for the scene, along with certain other deleted scenes, was later destroyed by fire. A few stills from the sequence, some in color and others in black & white, did survive and were later used in the collectible card game based on Highlander for cards featuring the Kim character. All that is known about Kim is that he was working as a night security guard in a New York City office building at the time of the Gathering, where he was challenged and ultimately beheaded by the Kurgan. In the continuity of the film, the Kurgan's duel with Kim takes place before his duel with Kastagir.

Other scenes missing include;

  • There was also a scene of Conner, kastagir and Bedsoe partying at a bar.
  • Conner showing Brenda his katana after making love.

In the scene following Connor taking the Kurgan's head, director Russell Mulcahy had originally envisioned an animated dragon with the Kurgan's skull battle helmet emerging from the Kurgan's decapitated body and challenging Connor again. Only after Connor had defeated this Ghost-Dragon would he have received the final quickening and subsequent Prize. This idea was eventually cut due to budget restraints.

Alternative versions

The European version of the film contained scenes not found in the U.S. cut. The Director's Cut is based upon this cut, and runs eight minutes longer than the U.S. cut.[8] Even so, there is some missing dialogue that was in the theatrical version, such as the chants of "Kill the MacLeod!" at the beginning, "I want to go home," after Connor receives The Prize and does not contain a short scene shot from inside Det. Bedsoe's car as he stakes out Brenda's apartment during MacLeod's visit.[9] It includes;[10]

  • A flashback to World War II that further develops the character of Rachel Ellenstein.
  • A scene where the Kurgan can be seen in the background trailing MacLeod and Brenda at the zoo.
  • MacLeod having a short flashback about his first battle in Scotland during the wrestling match.
  • Longer sex scene between Connor and Brenda.
  • Much longer fight scene between MacLeod and the Kurgan at the end of the movie.

In the scene where MacLeod rescues Rachel, the SS-Officer is speaking German, but in the English video versions no subtitles are provided. The text goes as follows:

German: "You should be dead!"
MacLeod: [in English:] "Move!"
German: "No! First you'll have to shoot me!"
MacLeod: [laughs; in English:] "Whatever you say, Jack. You're the master race." [shoots him]

While the U.S. Director's Cut is based on the European cut, there remain differences in dialogue. In the American cut, when Connor falls from the boat and ends up on the sea floor, he says "I'm alive", whereas the European version expands upon that: "I'm alive... I can breathe... ." Shortly followed by "I'll split you in half!", spoken while drawing his sword under water.

The French theatrical version of "Highlander" is mainly the same version as the U.S 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.[citation needed]



The film was directed by Russell Mulcahy and scripted by Peter Bellwood, Larry Ferguson, and Gregory Widen. Upon initial U.S. release, it was not well-received, but it gained wide and persistent popularity in Europe and on other markets, as well as on home video. It has since obtained status as a cult classic film in both domestic and non-domestic markets, leading to four sequels, a television series, and various other spin-offs.

The movie made $2,453,021 on its opening weekend and ended up making $5,735,847 domestically. Internationally, the movie made $12,885,193.

Danél Griffin of Film as Art awarded the film four stars (out of four), saying: "The key to Highlander's success is in its approach to its subject matter. What could have been a premise that breathes cliché is given a fresh approach due to Mulcahy’s unique directing style and a cleverly-written script. [...] Highlander is certainly a classic film that will continue to be cherished and watched as the world of movie making continues to grow and change. It is a triumphant example of the art of cinema, and watching it reminds us all of why we like going to the movies in the first place."[11] Christopher Null of FilmCritic.com gave the film four and a half stars out of five, "Highlander has no equal among sword-and-sorcery flicks."[12] Null later called Highlander "the greatest action film ever made," saying that it features "awesome swordfights, an awesome score, and a time-bending plotline that only a philistine could dislike."[13]

Matt Ford of the BBC gave the film three stars out of five, saying: "From the moody, rain-soaked, noir-ish streets of late 20th century America to the wild open spaces of medieval Scotland, Mulcahy plunders movie history to set off his visceral fight scenes with suitably rugged locations. [...] What the film loses through ham acting, weak narrative, and pompous macho posturing it more than compensates with in sheer fiery bravado, pace, and larger than life action."[14] Dean Winkelspecht of DVD Town also gave Highlander three stars out of five, saying: "The film's slow pace and dated look will turn away many a new viewer [...] However, there is a certain appeal to the film that brings back many for a second or third helping. I have learned to appreciate the film over the years, [and] the film's story is unique and entertaining."[15]

Also giving the film three stars out of five, Adam Tyner of DVD Talk said, "The screenplay spots a number of intelligent, creative ideas, and I find the very concept of displacing the sword-and-sorcery genre to then-modern-day New York City to be fairly inventive. The dialogue and performances don't quite match many of the film's concepts, though. The tone seems somewhat uneven, as if Highlander is unsure if it wants to be seen as a straight adventure epic or if it's a campy action flick."[16] IGN, awarding Highlander a score of 8 out of 10, said: "This 80s classic has a lot going for it. The hardcore MTV manner in which it was filmed is common these days, but was groundbreaking then. This movie features some of the best scene transitions committed to celluloid. [...] To this is added some fun performances by Connery and especially Clancy Brown."[10]

Home video

The video was a domestic hit in the United States.[17] The theatrical release of Highlander II: The Quickening in 1991 significantly increased the rental activity on Highlander even though the sequel was not a box-office success.[18] Highlander was first released to DVD in the United States in 1996, in a "10th Anniversary Edition" Director's Cut that contained the International uncut version of the film[10]. A "15th Anniversary" edition was released worldwide in 2001, which also contained the International cut of the film.[19] Highlander was again released in 2002 in two editions: a special edition "Immortal Edition" with several extra features and a standard edition, both of which contain the International uncut version.[20] On the 6 July 2009 a Blu Ray version was released in the UK.


A novelization of the film was written by Gary Kilworth. It expanded more on the movie by telling how The Kurgan met his first death, his training with an Immortal Arab only known as "The Bedouin" and eventually killing him. The novel also reveals how The Kurgan gets his customized Broadsword and his battle with an Immortal Mongol before meeting MacLeod in 1536. The novel also expands on Connor's friendship with the African Immortal Sunda Kastagir. There is a flashback of them during the Zulu Natal Wars of 1879 in which Connor was captured by Zulu King Cetewayo's men and Kastagir helps his friend escape and showed Connor the way to the closest British camp. Rachel in the novel is posing as Connor's mother.

References in popular culture


  • Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby: Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) compares the intense rivalry with NASCAR driver Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) with the plot of Highlander. While explaining the movie to Girard, a Frenchman, he states that it won the Academy Award for "Best Movie Ever Made." Later in the film, Girard claims he had seen the movie, and says "It was shit!"
  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno: Zack goes to his high school reunion and runs into one of his classmates, also named Zack, who says "There can be only one". Zack 2 explains that he used to shout it whenever the two Zacks passed in the halls.
  • Ninja Assassin: follows the same general structure of a modern investigation interleaved with flashbacks leading to a final confrontation. In the climax of the movie, the heroine assists the hero in his battle against the primary villain leading the hero to joke, "What took you so long?"


  • Psych: Shawn Spencer and Henry Spencer are investigating a robbery, and Henry says, "This house was chosen for a reason." Shawn replies, "There can be only one," (as Christopher Lambert) and tells his father he thought they were doing lines from Highlander. He then imitates Sean Connery. His father then replies, "Everybody can do Connery. Your Lambert sucks."

Other Media

  • Laura l'immortelle by 12-year old Canadian Marie-Pier Côté. On March 13, 2007, the French-language newspaper La Presse published an article noting a list of similarities between Laura l'immortelle and Highlander.[21] Côté later admitted that the story was a plagiarized Highlander fan fiction originally written by a Frenchman.[22][23]
  • Team Fortress 2: the Demoman, a one-eyed black Scotsman, can obtain a sword called The Eyelander. The sword is a reference to the film's title and the Demoman's missing eye. It is capable of decapitations, which is the only way to kill Immortals. Players can also earn an achievement playing as the Demoman titled "There can be only one."


On March 2008, Summit Entertainment announced that it had bought the film rights to the Highlander franchise and are making a remake of the 1986 original movie with Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway writing the script scheduled for release in 2010.[24] Actor Kevin McKidd is in talks to play Connor Macleod.[25] In September 2009, Fast & Furious director Justin Lin was announced as director of the film[26] while Neal H. Moritz will co-produce.


  1. ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=highlander.htm
  2. ^ Hamlin, Jesse (12 November 1991). "Something Else - Daily Datebook". The San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Communications Inc., Hearst Newspapers Division): p. E2. ISSN 1932-8672. 
  3. ^ Frook, John (7 April 1991). "Anatomy of a Movie Script From Pitch to Production, Greg Widen's Struggle To See 'Backdraft' on the Screen Chronicles the Business of Writing in Hollywood". Los Angeles Daily News: p. B1. ISSN 0279-8026. 
  4. ^ "Mickey Rourke: The bruiser is back". The Independent (independent.co.uk). 3 January 2009. ISSN 0951-9467. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/mickey-rourke-the-bruiser-is-back-1222876.html. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  5. ^ "Running on MTV". The Straits Times (Singapore Press Holdings Limited). 8 August 1991. 
  6. ^ Foo, Juniper (31 March 1991). "All the world is his stage". The Straits Times (Singapore Press Holdings Limited). 
  7. ^ Piccoli, Sean (12 January 1992). "The Rise of Car Noir - For mayhem and menace, Hollywood pulls into the parking garage". The Washington Times (Washington Times Library): p. 2-D1. ISSN 0732-8494. 
  8. ^ DVDown Under Review - Highlander 15th Anniversary Edition
  9. ^ "Highlander-The Immortal Edition DVD. Film Freak Central.
  10. ^ a b c Highlander: Director's Cut DVD Review, IGN, June 16, 2000
  11. ^ Highlander Review, Danél Griffin, Film as Art
  12. ^ Highlander Review, Christopher Null, FilmCritic.com, 2000
  13. ^ Highlander II: The Quickening review, Christopher Null, FilmCritic.com, 2004
  14. ^ Highlander Review, BBC, 5 October 2000
  15. ^ Highlander: The Immortal Edition DVD Review, Dean Winkelspecht, DVD Town, April 22, 2002
  16. ^ Highlander: The Immortal Edition DVD Review, Adam Tyner, DVD Talk, April 11, 2002
  17. ^ Ryan, Desmond (26 August 1991). "Och, laddie, Highlander won't die". The Toronto Star: p. D2. ISSN 0319-0781. 
  18. ^ McCullaugh, Jim (4 April 1992). "Video aims to co-star with film sequels. (Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.'s CBS-Fox Video's movie promotional videos)". Billboard (Cincinnati, Ohio: BPI Communications) 104 (14): 4. ISSN 0006-2510. OCLC 1532948. 
  19. ^ DVD.net : Highlander: 15th Anniversary Edition - DVD Review
  20. ^ IGN: Highlander: The Immortal Edition Review
  21. ^ (English) Charlebois, Gaetan L. (Freelance) "Artists split on election: France, Quebec split on the thong thing." The Gazette (Montreal). Sunday March 18, 2007. Final Edition. Arts & Life, Chaud Show, A22.
  22. ^ (French) http://web.archive.org/web/20070326002303/http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20070322/CPARTS02/703220719/0
  23. ^ (French) "Plagiat aux Intouchables." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at Radio-Canada.ca.
  24. ^ "Summit takes on 'Highlander' redo". 2008-05-20. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3if545c66bc7e57054f14d54f2c9da7995. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  25. ^ "Kevin McKidd Offered Highlander Remake". 2008-08-22. http://www.beyondhollywood.com/kevin-mckidd-offered-highlander-remake/. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  26. ^ "Justin Lin Remaking 'Highlander' for Summit". 2009-09-22. http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/justin-lin-remaking-highlander-for-summit. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Highlander article)

From Wikiquote

Highlander is a 1986 fantasy movie starring Christopher Lambert, who plays Connor MacLeod, the Highlander of the title. The original movie spawned three subsequent theatrical releases and a television series of relative success.



  • Tagline: There can be only one.
Movie's catch phrase: a reference to the fact that in the end only one Immortal may survive The Game and gain The Prize.


  • From the dawn of time we came, moving silently down through the centuries. Living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the gathering, when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you.....until now.
  • When only a few of us are left, we will feel an irresistible pull towards a far away land, to fight for The Prize.
  • You cannot die MacLeod. Accept it!
  • Crude and slow clansman, your attack was no better than that of a clumsy child!
  • Don't lose your temper. If your head comes away from your neck, it's over.
  • [Explaining the rules of The Game] We must fight until only one remains. You are safe only on Holy Ground. None of us will violate that rule. It's tradition.

Connor MacLeod

  • [MacLeod's unanswered question to Ramirez, when he defeats him for the first time.] If it came down to us two, would you take my head?
  • I am Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. I was born in 1518 in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel. And I am immortal.

The Kurgan

  • I have something to say: it's better to burn out than to fade away!


Garfield: You a faggot Nash?
Nash: Why Garfield, you cruising for a piece of ass?

Connor: Stop it, you pompous Haggis!
Ramirez: Haggis? What is haggis?
Connor: Sheep's stomach, stuffed with meat and barley.
Ramirez: And what do you do with it?
Connor: You eat it!
Ramirez: How revolting!!

Ramirez: Never overextend your thrust. You are vulnerable... and off balance!
[MacLeod stumbles to his knees while Ramirez places his blade on his neck. MacLeod's wife, Heather, laughs at the scene.]
MacLeod: Heather, Please!

Heather: My beautiful man...my husband.
MacLeod: I am that, my love.
Heather: I've never really known...
MacLeod: What?
Heather: Why you stayed.
MacLeod: Because I love you as much now as the first day we met
Heather: And I love you. I don't want to die. I want to stay with you...forever.
MacLeod: I want that, too.
Heather: Will you do something for me, Connor?
MacLeod: What, blossom?
Heather: In the years to come, will you light a candle and remember me on my birthday?
MacLeod: Aye, love. I will.
Heather: I wanted to have your children.
MacLeod: They would have been strong, and fine.
Heather: Don't see me, Connor. [Heather hides her face.] Let me die in peace...where are we?
MacLeod: We're in the Highlands. Where else? Darting down the mountainside, the sun is shining. It's not cold. You've got your sheepskins on, and the boots I made for you.
[We see Connor bury Heather later that day, and then leave Heather's grave-marker.]
MacLeod: Good night, my bonny Heather.

[The Kurgan enters a church MacLeod is praying at. As he enters he makes the sign of the cross and puts out prayer candles. He leans over a praying MacLeod.]
Kurgan: Kastagir is gone. Only you and I remain.
MacLeod: Nice to see you, Kurgan. Who cut your hair?
Kurgan: I am in disguise. This way, no one will recognize me.
MacLeod: I do. What do you want?
Kurgan: Your head... [MacLeod scoffs.] ...and the Prize.
[A group of nuns walk by.]
Kurgan: Happy Halloween, ladies! [He leans out of his seat and barks at the nuns. The nuns cross themselves, otherwise ignoring him.] Nuns...no sense of humor.
MacLeod: Ramírez's blade did not cut deeply enough. He was right about you. You are slime.
Kurgan: Ramírez was an effete snob. He died on his knees. I took his head and raped his woman before his blood was even cold! [MacLeod absorbs the information, glaring at Kurgan.] I see...Ramírez lied. She was not his woman. She was your woman, and she never told you. I wonder why..? Perhaps I gave her something you never could... [MacLeod grabs Kurgan by the collar. Kurgan looks at MacLeod's hand.] ...and secretly, she yearned for my return. [Kurgan releases himself from MacLeod's grip. He rises, bringing MacLeod up with him.] Holy ground, Highlander! Remember what Ramírez taught you.
MacLeod: You can't stay in here forever!
[The two sit down.]
Kurgan: You are weak, Highlander. You will always be weaker than I.
[MacLeod grabs Kurgan by the throat.]
MacLeod: I'll be out front.
[Kurgan releases himself from Connor's grip once again.]
Kurgan: Good-bye, MacLeod. We will meet soon enough.
[MacLeod exits.]]
Minister:[Approaching the laughing Kurgan in the church after MacLeod leaves.] These people are trying to pray. You are disturbing them.
Kurgan: He cares for these helpless mortals?
Priest: Of course he does. He died for our sins.
Kurgan: That shall be his undoing. [He rises from his seat and takes the priest's hand.] Father, forgive me. I am a worm. [He kneels, licks the priest's hand, and squeezes it. He prepares to leave, turning around.] I have something to say! It's better to burn out, than to fade away! [He dances out of the church, cackling.]]

Connor: It seems like 100 years.
Kastagir: It's been 100 years.

Highlander II: The Quickening

General Katana

  • [Taking over a subway composition after taunting a boy by offering him the control first.] I'll bet you've always wanted to drive one of these...Me too!
  • [To MacLeod, at Brenda Wyatt's grave.] Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if you don't take it out and use it, it's going to rust.


David Blake: You're still alive?
MacLeod: Always!

MacLeod: Don't worry. We'll be okay.
Louise: Easy for you to say. You don't have to worry about getting killed.

[MacLeod and Ramirez resurrect in a morgue after being shot at by the entire security detail of the Power Factory. They proceed to compare how many times each has been shot.]
MacLeod: 108.
Ramirez: I win. I count 112 bullet holes.
MacLeod: You're not counting that scratch!
Ramirez: Scratch?! It went right through my lung!


  • Monk: For leading the revolution, you are exhiled to the planet Earth. Once there, you will be immortal. You can only die if your head is cut from your body. When one of you becomes the last of us on Earth, he will claim the prize. He can return to Zeist, or chose to grow old and die on Earth.
  • Monk: Prepare yourselves...There can be only one.

Highlander III: The Final Dimension

Connor MacLeod

  • From the dawn of time we came, moving silently among you, down through the centuries...immortals. I'm Connor MacLeod of the clan MacLeod, the Highlander. After the death of my friend Ramírez and my beloved wife Heather, I left my home in the Highlands of Scotland and began to wander the world, searching for answers. Finally I came to Japan, to the mountains of Niri, and the cave of the sorcerer Nakano.


Kane: I'll see you...in hell!
Connor: I'll be the judge of that.
[Kane attacks Connor. Connor cuts Kane down.]

Highlander IV: Endgame


[During Duncan's wedding with Kate.]
Connor: You know Kate is like us, immortal?
Duncan: Aye, I sensed something the day we met, but I wasn't sure.
Connor: Well now you know, and you also know as well as I do that her immortality can only be triggered by the shock of a violent death.
Duncan: Yes, I do. Without such a death, she will simply grow old and die. Yes, I know Connor. Is that what you came to tell me on my wedding day? Come on, drink up man!
Connor: No, I was wondering, does she know?
Duncan: Why?
Connor: Many years after I was married, one night, I found Heather in front of the house. She had a knife in one hand, and her hair in the other. When I asked her why she had done such a thing to herself, she said it was the one part of her that would never age. It would remain the same as when I first fell in love with her. That's how she wanted me to remember her.
Duncan: Why are you telling me this?
Connor: Because I once loved a woman, more than life itself...and I watched her die. Unlike me, you have a choice.
Duncan: What would you have me tell her?
Connor: I'd tell her nothing. She wouldn't believe you anyway.
Duncan: Then I can do nothing!
Connor: She's in the flare of her youth. Enjoy the moment, and let it pass!
Duncan: And if it were you in my place?
Connor: I was in your place! But I thank god I never had the choice.
Duncan: I love Kate, and I will hold on to her as long as I can, and that is all I can do!
[Duncan storms off.]

Highlander: The Series

  • [Original narration] Adrian Paul: I'm Duncan MacLeod, born four hundred years ago in the Highlands of Scotland. I am immortal and I am not alone. For centuries we've waited for the time of the Gathering, when the stroke of a sword and a fall of a head will release the power of the Quickening. In the end, there can be only one.
  • [Second narration] Adrian Paul: I was born four hundred years ago in the Highlands of Scotland. I am immortal and I am not alone. Now is the time of the Gathering, when the stroke of a sword will release the power of the Quickening. In the end, there can be only one.
  • [Third narration] Joe Dawson: He is immortal, born in the Highlands of Scotland four hundred years ago. He is not alone. There are others like him, some good, some evil. For centuries he has battled the forces of Darkness, with Holy Ground his only refuge. He cannot die, unless you take his head and with it, his power. In the end there can be only one. He is Duncan MacLeod, the Highlander.
  • [Fourth and final version] Joe Dawson: He is Duncan MacLeod, the Highlander. Born in 1592 in the Highlands of Scotland and he is still alive. He is immortal. For four hundred years he's been a warrior, a lover, a wanderer, constantly facing other Immortals in combat to the death. The winner takes his enemy's head and with it, his power. I'm a Watcher, part of the secret society of men and women who observe and record, but never interfere. We know the truth about Immortals. In the end there can be only one. May it be Duncan MacLeod, The Highlander.


  • It's good to be a myth.
  • That's what I'd ask, if I'd just met me.
  • I'm in charge of finding myself and I make sure it never happens.
  • Remember, Highlander: live, grow stronger, fight another day.
  • People living forever running around cutting each others' heads off with swords... It'll be filed away with alien abductions and Elvis sightings.
  • Only you and Joe know that I'm Methos the Immortal. To the rest of the world I'm still Adam Pierson, mild-mannered Watcher.
  • Live, grow stronger, fight another day.
  • A couple of medieval songwriters came up with the idea of chivalry one rainy day, and you embrace it as a lifestyle.
  • I've known a lot of us in five thousand years, MacLeod. Of them all, you were the best I'd seen.
  • I haven't felt guilt since the 11th century.
  • It is the ultimate in arrogance to think that one person can alter the course of history.
  • History makes men, MacLeod, men don't make history.
  • I am Methos. You live to serve me. Never forget that.
  • The times were different, MacLeod. I was different. The whole bloody world was different.
  • Just because I don't like to fight doesn't mean I can't.
  • Don't go, MacLeod! It's a trap, MacLeod! MacLeod, your pants are on fire!


  • Can you imagine going in to somebody and saying, 'Hello, I'm Duncan MacLeod and I've gotten a little neurotic over the past four hundred years and I'd like to talk to you about it'? They'd lock you away.
  • You're still who you are. You don't change when you become immortal, you just live longer.
  • You know, I once heard it said that the main difference between a wise man and a fool is that the fool's mistakes never teach him anything.
  • If something's always done it does not make it right.
  • You know what they say - two's company, and four is... not sanitary.
  • You know, I don't know who or what you are, Methos, and I know you don't wanna hear this, but you did teach me something. You taught me that life is about change, about learning to accept who you are, good or bad - and I thank you for that.


  • Kalas: Fetch me another, this one is broken
  • Richie: These guys should sell tickets!
  • Darius: I wasn't always a priest, you know. When I was a young man the first thing you had to do when introduced to a woman was compliment her father's horse.
  • Richie: Okay, everybody who's Immortal, raise their hand.
  • Robert: What's with you guys and the swords? There are easier ways to kill people.
  • Mary MacLeod: Let no man tell you different. You are Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod.
  • Joe Dawson: I know damn near everything about you, Duncan MacLeod. I know who you fought, who you killed. I know who you loved. I know it ALL!
  • Carolyn Marsh: Duncan MacLeod is every woman's sexual fantasy: a warrior with the heart of a poet.
  • Connor MacLeod: Do you think we ever lived like this? Like a tribe? Together, with a common language, a reason and a name for each living thing? Did we once belong somewhere? A time, and a place, however briefly?

Cast (Highlander)


Cast (Highlander II)


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