4.4 24
Director: Russell Mulcahy

Cast: Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown


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With the ultimate throw-down -- "There can be only one" -- Highlander captured the imaginations of fantasy fans seeking a well-executed swordplay epic, becoming a cult classic in the process. Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) is one of a waning few survivors of a clan of immortals. The breed have been dueling each otherSee more details below

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With the ultimate throw-down -- "There can be only one" -- Highlander captured the imaginations of fantasy fans seeking a well-executed swordplay epic, becoming a cult classic in the process. Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) is one of a waning few survivors of a clan of immortals. The breed have been dueling each other for centuries in the quest to be the last one remaining, and hence achieve a supreme enlightenment that would be dangerous in the wrong hands. The immortals can only die by decapitation, so they hunt each other over the centuries and across continents to meet for each decisive duel, which will bring one of them a step closer to ultimate power. In present-day America, the troubled hero MacLeod lives a brooding and lonely existence, having lost his true love centuries ago. The evil Kurgan (Clancy Brown), an immortal who plans to use his power toward unspeakable ends, has fought MacLeod before but is still trying to finish him off. After emerging victorious from a parking garage skirmish with the third-to-last immortal, MacLeod knows that only Kurgan is left, and the two are on a collision path toward the inevitable. In the film's numerous flashbacks to the past, Sean Connery plays Ramirez, the immortal who first tutors MacLeod after the hero survives a mortal battle wound, prompting his fearful village to banish him. Roxanne Hart plays MacLeod's modern-day love interest, who tries to help him while struggling to believe his incredible story. The director's cut runs four minutes shorter. ~ Derek Armstrong

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jason Bergenfeld
While the Highlander name was becoming synonymous with less-than-par sequels, the television show based on the movie effectively took over the lore. Through it all, though, the exhilarating original stood out as a superior film, placing unintentional irony in the film's popular refrain: "There can only be one." When Connor McLeod (Christopher Lambert, in his most memorable role) is killed in a 16th-century battle, he surprises everyone, including himself, by coming back to life. He is subsequently banished by his fellow warriors; while in exile, he learns from a fellow "Immortal" (Sean Connery) the truth behind this newfound life: Death comes only in decapitation, and all Immortals are set to conquer one another in order to gain a nirvana-like existence, the "Quickening." Surviving eras, McLeod finds himself in modern-day Manhattan, pursued by the only other remaining Immortal, the dreaded Kurgan (Clancy Brown). Lambert's steely gaze and deadpan cool make McLeod a fitting king of the Immortals. With swordplay reminiscent of the Errol Flynn classic The Adventures of Robin Hood, plus a dashes of myth and mysticism, Highlander's fantasy action charms were unique enough to copy into oblivion. It also earns bonus points for an otherworldly soundtrack by the rock band Queen, who made both Flash Gordon and Wayne's World memorable.
All Movie Guide
Essentially a B-movie that found an audience, Highlander made less than six million dollars in its American theatrical release, ten million shy of its budget. But it developed enough of a word-of-mouth following on video to spawn three confused sequels, and deliver Christopher Lambert a career's worth of low-budget action vehicles. Although downright laughable in spots, Highlander won its audience on the basis of a giddy idea -- that life for these immortals is the ultimate game of Survivor, with beheadings determining the outcome instead of votes at the tribal council -- and film noir visuals that span centuries of narrative. Director Russell Mulcahy does a noteworthy job of blending the time periods, with visually ambitious segues in which shapes from one scene blend seamlessly into the next. What detracts from Highlander, making it a cult hit rather than a legitimate one, is the poor acting by everyone not named Sean Connery, and some pretty amateurish dialogue. Lambert has always been something of a hack, and Clancy Brown gives one of the more over-the-top portrayals of evil of his typecast career. Still, the duels are executed crisply enough, and the story has epic genre flair that's easy to get lost in. It's understandable why the movie was eventually beloved by teens and young adults, even beyond the Dungeons & Dragons set. However, as tightly resolved as it is, Highlander was just as predictably doomed in its attempt to support a franchise, resulting in a bunch of messy, self-contradicting sequels.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Audio commentary with director Russell Mulcahy; Deleted scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christopher Lambert Connor MacLeod
Roxanne Hart Brenda Wyatt
Clancy Brown Kurgan
Sean Connery Ramirez
Beatie Edney Heather
Alan North Lt. Frank Moran
Sheila Gish Rachel Ellenstein
Jon Polito Detective Walter Bedwoe
Alistair Findley Chief Murdoch
Nicola Ramsey Rachel as a Girl
Ian Reddinton Bassett
Waldo Roeg German Soldier
Hugh Quarshie Sunda Kastagir
Christopher Malcolm Kirk Matunas
Peter Diamond Fasil
Billy Hartman Dugal MacLeod
James Cosmo Angus MacLeod
Celia Imrie Kate
Ed Wiley Garfield
James McKenna James/Father Rainey
John Cassady Kenny
Sion Tudor Owen Hotchkiss
Damien Leake Tony
Gordon Sterne Dr. Willis Kenderly
Ron Berglas Erik Powell
Louis Guss Newsvendor
Peter Banks Priest
Ted Maynard Newscaster
Anthony Mannino Boisterous Drunk
Helena Stevens Old Woman in Car
Frank Dux Old Man in Car
Prince Howell Drunk in Hotel
Anthony Fusco Barman
Ian Tyler Lab Technician
Corrinne Russell Candy
Buckley Norris Derelict

Technical Credits
Russell Mulcahy Director
James Acheson Costumes/Costume Designer
Martin Atkinson Art Director
Peter Bellwood Screenwriter
Peter Brace Stunts
Andrew Bradford Stunts
Lois Burwell Makeup
Allan Cameron Production Designer
Peter S. Davis Producer
Diane Dimeo Casting
Sandra Exelby Makeup
Larry Ferguson Screenwriter
Gerry Fisher Cinematographer
Graham Freeborn Makeup
Martin Gutteridge Special Effects
David Lee Henry Screenwriter
Ilona Herman Makeup
Peter Honess Editor
Tim Hutchinson Art Director
Garth Inns Special Effects
Michael Kamen Score Composer
Graham Longhurst Special Effects
Bert Luxford Special Effects
Vic Magnotta Stunts
Michael McLean Casting
Douglas Milsome Camera Operator
E.C. Monell Executive Producer
Eva Monley Associate Producer
William N. Panzer Producer
John H. Starke Associate Producer
David Tringham Asst. Director
Ian Whittaker Set Decoration/Design
Gregory Widen Original Story,Screenwriter

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