When I first saw this movie, I loved it. Having recently seen it again after several years, I found it to be every bit as good as I remembered in fact, better. So I thought I would visit IMDB and see what others had to say. I learned four things;1/ This movie was a flop at the box office. Funny, I had always assumed it was a hit it was so good, and spawned three soon to be four sequels and a television series.2/ I expected some to be less than entranced with Highlander, but was interested to learn that there are those who think it complete rubbish.3/ Some people think the sequels are <more>
good movies. How could they?4/ Some people don't like the Queen soundtrack. How could they not?It is always interesting to see different viewpoints, especially when they are completely contrary to your own. But for me, this movie was perfect. The premise was intriguing, the story was beautifully told, the joy and pathos of an immortal amongst mortals revealed with great skill. There was great action, romance, the tragedy of love lost and the baddest of bad guys to overcome.The casting was excellent, as was the acting. Sean Connery's contribution was exactly as it should have been, and no more. Clancy Brown's performance as The Kurgan was joyfully terrifying, Christopher Lambert was spot-on.The screenplay was excellent, as was the script. I was especially impressed with the way that flashbacks were interwoven with the ongoing story. In fact, this is the only flashback movie I have ever liked.I was also thoroughly impressed with the action sequences. Unlike so many recent movies, none of the action involved the physically impossible with the obvious exception of the fact that the immortals were immortal, of course . This added enormously to the appeal, in direct contrast to so many movies made in the last decade. I despair when I watch movies where people perform the impossible. Even the classic scene `Oh, I'm falling but it's OK, I can just grab this rope/branch/flagpole/whatever, and even though I have fallen 30 feet and am travelling at 20 mph, I can just stretch out my hand and arrest my fall as though I was no heavier than a feather' destroys all credibility in the action. I know, this is a fantasy movie anyway, so what does it matter? Well, realistic action is even more important in fantasy movies; it helps the audience to willingly suspend disbelief. This is very difficult to do when you are busy giggling at the latest fantastical feat you have witnessed. No such concerns in this movie the action was perfectly judged to reflect the prowess gained from centuries of experience, whilst avoiding the impossible and the ridiculous.I was intrigued to find one user comment on IMDB criticising the use of `unnecessarily large and heavy weapons'. Anyone who has used or even picked up any edged weapon will be aware that they are very heavy. Moving that kind of mass means lots of momentum, and involves very distinctive body movements to counterbalance the weight. Most movies use toy weapons plastic, fibreglass or wood and the lack of mass shows in the actor's movements. For the uninitiated, this may make for flashier and faster action but for those who know, it looks like children playing pretend. The use of weapons with real weight in Highlander adds tremendously to the realism. It was particularly impressive that the actors could use the weapons properly at least to the extent demanded by the choreographed scenes and that is all that is required for movies . Clancy Brown as The Kurgan deserves special praise here he had the largest and heaviest weapon, yet wielded it like a veteran. One can only imagine the endless hours he spent perfecting his movements and balance.I do understand why some would find the soundtrack intrusive, but for me this was another area that was perfectly judged. Queen's songs enhanced the mood of the moment whenever they played. One related fact that some might find interesting a few years ago I saw a list of the top ten best movies for music as voted for by students. Highlander made the list the only non-musical to do so. In fact, I think it came in the top five. So I would guess that the soundtrack works for most people..I also understand why the accents in the movie Christopher Lambert's and Sean Connery's are a problem for some. However, I was happy with Lambert's accent; it was Scottish enough for the Highland scenes, and suitably indefinable for the modern settings. Sean Connery was, of course, Sean Connery he never adopts any accent other than his own. But that's OK it doesn't detract from the film, any more than it detracts from any of his films such as Red October . I tend to agree with his point that accents don't matter emotions are the same, regardless of nationality. Just a quick word about the sequels disappointing. I am not one to decry all sequels as inferior. In fact, many sequels are very good, and some are better than their progenitors. However, the Highlander sequels were without exception very poor. The original film was obviously conceived as a one-off, and was all the better for it. The story was complete with Highlander, and the sequels were necessarily contrived. However, Highlander II exceeded all expectations in this regard. The plot changed the story of the immortals beyond all recognition. Egregious just isn't a big enough word to describe it.The sequels are best viewed as being entirely separate from the original. If you haven't already seen them, be prepared for a decidedly tepid experience.But Highlander itself ah, there's a real movie. Sit back and enjoy! 9.5/10
I didn't get this film at first audition. I thought the acting wasn't great. But something about the film kept pulling me in. When I watched it again I fell in love with the movie. Its full of romance, heroism and over all loss. A very involving and emotional film. The Queen song "Who wants to live forever" never fails to stir emotions. The battle scenes are also very good. What also makes the film work is the casting. The Highlanders all look very brave and fearless not to mention scarred. Also the costumes are fantastic. I'm mo expert on the exact clothing for <more>
Highlanders in the 16th century, but they looked pretty good to me. I had no real feelings about Scotland before I watched this film, But after the film got under my skin it was the next place I visited. I was amazed to find that there really is a Glen Finnan on the shore of Loch Sheil. And I can say first hand that it is a truly historicaly magical place.
It does exactly what a movie is supposed to do! It lets your imagination run away with you. It lets you forget all your worries for a time. The music is Fantastic!!! It is haunting and relaxing at the same time. Sean Connery is of course, wonderful in his part. Christopher Lambert has a way of making you feel what he feels. The scenery is utterly gorgeous. The special effects are very well done.Makes you want to live forever and at the same time glad that you don't! Worrying about getting your head cut off sure makes our bills seem like such tiny little problems! Great entertainment!! A <more>
Connor McLeod, 1518- A Prince Of The Universe (by bkoganbing)
I'm coming to Highlander in reverse order so to speak. I did love the syndicated series so much that it was a shame I had never gotten around to seeing the film that inspired it. I have to say I was not disappointed in any way. Especially getting to see Sean Connery albeit in a supporting role. Face it, twenty years earlier Connery would have been a natural for the part. As it is he's fine as Ramirez, mentor to Connor McLeod of the clan McLeod who maybe the best of a race of immortal beings who seem to pop up in the human gene pool every so often.Christopher Lambert never followed up <more>
this film with anything remotely as successful. Be that as it may, he's an earnest young Highland warrior whom we see as first in modern era of 1986 New York and then in his beginnings when he finds out he is an immortal. Most of the cops are interested in solving a present day homicide, but Roxanne Hart who is an expert in metallurgy finds an opponent's sword below Madison Square Garden and realizes it's an antique made of the best Toledo steel and priceless. That sends her into some unusual directions to find out just who is this guy the cops picked up near the crime scene.The immortals ranks have trimmed and as Sean Connery figured it over 400 years ago one of the two left will be the Kurgan, a truly evil man with impressive battle skills played by Clancy Brown. Between Brown and Jeff Kober, these two have brought us some of the best psychotic villains in the last 30 years. Brown is at his worst as the Kurgan.Which brings me to the flashback where another immortal played by Connery sees in MacLeod the warrior who can defeat the Kurgan for the immortal championship. That is called the Quickening and of course it's not reached on the television series. It's not really explained there either, but trust me it's not something you want the Kurgan to experience.I was not disappointed in the slightest in the film version of Highlander. The only question I have for the movie and for series is how those immortals manage to conceal those broad swords?
Connor MacLeod, a Scottish fighter in the 16th century, is killed in the battlefield, only to learn that he's unable to die. Banished from his village, he's taken under the wing of an Egyptian warrior, who's also immortal like him. Immortals can die only when they are decapitated, and are fated to be drawn to fight each other throughout the ages, until only one of them remains and inherits the mysterious "Prize"...Highlander is unique action-adventure film. It has a highly original concept conveyed through a simple story which it uses not just to provide an excuse to <more>
show sword battles in late 20th-century New York, but also to explore themes such as the how the passage of time affects people and how problematic eternal life would be. The action scenes are not spectacular for today's standards, but I think they work. The atmosphere, from medieval Scottish plains to dirty and dark New York back alleys, is impeccable. Although the side characters might not be very complex, the protagonist's personality does change throughout the film, making him enjoyable to watch. I also find that Christopher Lambert was a great choice for the lead. The British band Queen ended up writing a few songs for this film which, somehow blending perfectly with the story, are one of the main elements that make Highlander unique.Highlander keeps its mystery as far as the origins of the Immortals are concerned, and it concludes in what was, for me, an unpredictable fashion as we learn what the Prize is. Many attempts at following the story up with sequels have been made, but it's virtually agreed that they all fall short. In the end, as the famous line goes, "there can be only one!"
As in "the first one's a classic and the sequels are horrible".It's funny because the movie is set in so many different eras but this is, for some strange reason, my favorite 80s-movie. There's something fascinating about the combination of the Queen soundtrack, the 80s actors Lambert, Brown and the overall high 80s type of quality that it's got.In my opinion, Christopher Lambert is one of the most underrated actors of all time. Just look at his performance in the scene in his library with the female love interest and the dagger, for example. And the strange <more>
accent.. Whoa! Don't listen if someone says it's just another sword-action-sorcery-flick, this is also one of Sean Connery's best movies.
A Good Film Whose Reputation Has Been Dragged Down By Poor Sequels (by CTS-1)
When I first saw this film, I thought it was great. Connery is good, Lambert does passably well, the effects are good, the idea of a bunch of special individuals who had known about each other and in some cases, liked each other for centuries being drawn together, knowing that only one could come out alive. The effects were, at the time, good and had not been flogged to death. I even enjoyed the introductory clan-on-clan warfare.Then came Highlander 2, a film which deserved its place on the Bottom 100 and the nadir of Sean Connery's career. As someone else said about that film: <more>
"don't break every rule you set up in the first film." Even the series didn't do that. And the reputation of the first good film suffered.Separating the first film from the bad sequels, and a series that a lot of people can take or leave, it is still a good film. Unfortunately, a good idea was taken and flogged to death afterward.
There is an important scene missing in the American cut of Highlander: During World War II, MacLeod finds an orphaned little girl hiding amongst ruins. When a Nazi guns them down, his body shields hers, absorbing the bullets, and they both fall. In answer to her amazed, "You're still alive?", he flashes that winning smile and whispers, "Hey, it's a kind of magic!" We learn that the orphan is his present secretary, Rachel, now an attractive older woman, whom MacLeod never took as a lover, though it is obvious she spent years yearning for him to do so.When MacLeod <more>
leaves Rachel to face The Kurgan, both knowing it is the last time they will ever see each other, his parting words, "Hey, it's a kind of magic", lack the tear-jerking poignancy they should possess, for in excluding the war scene, this line is not a callback but simply a cute phrase tangentially apropos to the moment.It's a kind of tragic.Notwithstanding this omission, "Highlander" is still a fantasy masterstroke; a sui generis film of classic proportions. Brought to life by former music-video director, Australian Russell Mulcahy and writers Gregory Widen, Peter Bellwood and Larry Ferguson, this tale is so original and well-executed, it is hard to imagine it was not culled from Scottish folk legend. As far as I can tell, there is still no evidence to suggest this.The opening tracking shots across a frenzied wrestling arena foreshadow how the movie intends to move us in great arcs, with the bulk of humanity becoming a blur, as grander designs are played out. Long before Michael Bay abused the swooping camera pan, Mulcahy utilized it with heady effect for the grandeur it purveyed in tales such as this. The sweep zeroes in on the hawk eyes of a lone serious figure amidst the multitude of ululating rednecks, Christopher Lambert, who makes his apprehensive way to the parking garage and the first of many sword battles! Intrigue is piled high in these first few scenes, as the samurai milieu is juxtaposed with the grittiness and cynicism of modern-day New York; harried talk about blade-steel folded 200 times and millennia-aged weapons. Further, this is a white guy in blue jeans and sneakers wielding a samurai's katana a novel iconic image, soon to be burned into our retinas.After Lambert *beheads* his adversary now THIS was taking the crazy train into surreal station and before any questions can be formulated, let alone answered, the Scottish Highlands are revealed in a breath-taking horizontal wipe. And a major piece of the puzzle is wrought: it is the 1500's and we see Lambert in another role, a young man in kilt and flowing mane, riding into his first battle with his clan. He is Connor MacLeod, of the Highland MacLeods.Back and forth, between present-day New York and medieval Scotland, in creative transitions, Mulcahy reveals ever more details of MacLeod's storied life until the character of Ramirez an egregiously overdressed Sean Connery, promptly and aptly nicknamed "ya Spanish peacock" by MacLeod fills in all the gaps after his timely appearance and battle-training of the inexperienced Connor.Ramirez and MacLeod are a breed of Immortals who cannot die unless beheaded. They anticipate The Gathering, a time hence when every remaining Immortal will battle to the death, for There Can Be Only One to claim The Prize the unknown condition that overcomes the last man standing.That time is now present-day New York, where MacLeod must face the most malevolent of the last Immortals, The Kurgan an eeevil-yet-riotous Clancy Brown, playing for ostentation, who has trailed MacLeod since their meeting on a Scottish battleground centuries ago .The invented "Highlander" mythology provided the sturdy skeleton upon which to drape the incredible story. It would nevermore be so seamless, as the film's cult success was its undoing; systematically murdered by its own inappropriate and diabolically-inferior sequels and offshoots.It's a kind of tragic.Michael Kamen composed the score, but the more prominent driving sounds are the Queen songs and instrumentals, which engine this movie into nostalgic memorability.Button-nosed Roxanne Hart is MacLeod's "love-interest". But for sheer romantic swoon, nothing beats Beatie Edney's scenes as Connor's first wife, Heather, in the lush, undulating Highlands, where we first hear Queen's haunting, "Who Wants To Live Forever", a song more prophetic than even Queen could have guessed, as vocalist Freddie Mercury had less than 5 short years remaining to astound the world with his musical gifts, achingly aware in the lyric, " This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us " An unbidden tear still threatens my masculinity whenever I hear that line It's a kind of tragic.MacLeod wins The Prize - foresight and mortality which may seem, at first, not so glittering a prize, but to be appreciated, a more than cursory comprehension of "mortality" is required.When I first viewed this movie in '86 with my Queen-fanatic clique, the import of being "merely mortal" was altogether alien to us strapping 20-year-olds. It's a sad fact that only when one experiences sickness can one appreciate health; likewise, when one has not experienced one's mortality in the manner of debilitating sickness, disfiguring accidents, chronic pain and the like one inherently believes that one is "immortal" and that the world owes one Forever. But now, closing in on 40 like a rocketsled with faulty brakes, I surely grasp how this world has only one sweet moment set aside for us And only now does Connery's closing monologue achieve crystal clarity - as applied to ALL mortals: " You are generations being born and dying. You're at one with all living things. Each man's thoughts and dreams are yours to know. You have power beyond imagination. Use it well, my friend." "Don't lose your head." Movie Maniacs, visit: www.poffysmoviemania.com
There can be only one ...Too right there can! (by cosmorados)
After Sean Connery's sultry tones launch the introduction narration and Queen's thumping Princes of the Universe brings proceedings off to a cracking start we see Christopher Lambert bored and enduring a wrestling match whilst caught in a flashback to an ancient highland battle. When something catches his eye he winds up going down to the car park and engaging in armed combat with another man. All of this occurs within the first ten minutes leaving the viewer utterly confused.From this point on the film moves at an electric pace as we are shown a world were immortals do battle for a <more>
prize so startling that they know not what it is, only that when there is only one of them left the prize will be theirs and theirs alone. Whilst most of the immortals we meet are good there is one called Kurgen who is determined to use the prize to enslave mankind, the strongest and most twisted of all immortals.This is a fabulous films that follows the Matrix school of film-making, cash in on inferior sequels and try to destroy the rep of the first, in both cases though the films revolve around the idea of there being only one and the film makers should have paid heed to this. If you're smart you'll just watch this and ignore the sequels.The performances are all spot-on, especially Christopher Lambert as a French Scotsman and Sean Connery as a Scottish Eqyptian Who cast this movie? but once you've watched it you can't imagine anyone else in the roles. The sword fights are great and even though the effects are poor especially at the end it takes little away from what is very enjoyable way to spend a rainy afternoon indoors ...well ...apart from that.Nuff said Em.