1. Highlander: The Movie (There Can Be Only One)

1.1. Quick Summary

"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."

Connor MacLeod was born in 1518AD. 18 years later in 1536, he is killed in battle by The Kurgan, but Connor "recovers." Because of this, his clansmen kick him out of the village, saying that he has made a pact with the devil. In 1541, Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Chief Metallurgist to King Charles the Fifth) appears to tell him that he is Immortal. Ramirez tells him that he is a member of a group of people who are Immortal and are involved in The Game. Over the centuries, they will all be drawn toward a far-away city where they will chop off each other's heads until there is only one left. This Immortal will win The Prize. Connor ends up in NYC in 1985, where he and The Kurgan end up being the last two Immortals. In a grand climactic scene, with lots of water, pyrotechnics and broken glass, Connor wins.

1.2. What are the differences between the European release and the American release?

At least three different cuts were made of this movie: the American version, the European version, and the English/Japanese subtitled version. The Japanese subtitled version has the longest running time with 118 minutes. The American version is 110 minutes.

  English/Japanese Highlander Extra Material

  1.  Battle flashbacks during wrestling match.           60s
  2.  End-to-end tumbling run during fight in garage.     15s
  3.  Scot girl (same one that says he's in league with Lucifer 
      later) tells Connor that God is on his side before big
      battle.  Tells Angus to watch after him.            60s
  4.  3 head-butts just before Angus stops the beating of
      Connor for being a witch.                           15s
  5.  WWII Flashback/Saves Rachel (as little girl) from
      Nazis.                                             120s
  6.  ** Scene Missing From Euro Version, included in
      Amer Version ** !!  Right before Connor arrives at
      Brenda's for dinner.  Cop sitting in car outside
      Brenda's, drinking coffee.                         -10s
  7.  After Connor walks away from Duel in 1783 flash-
      back, the other guy's second trys to get Bassett to
      shoot Connor in the back.  Bassett shoots the Second
      (Hotchkiss) instead!                                60s
  8.  Wacko Marine impaled on blade for extra time       10s
  9.  In the Church, Kurgan licks the back of the Priest's
      hand.                                               10s
  10. After sex scene and before Kurgan kidnaps Brenda,
      scene at Zoo where Connor breaks off relationship
      with Brenda.  Kurgan in background.                 60s
  11. Rachel says 'Goodbye, Russell Nash' after Connor
      says 'Hey, it's a kind of magic' from the elevator
      on his way to final fight with Kurgan.               5s
  12. Final fight scene.  Underwater bit between when the
     "I" and the "S" on the sign fall.                   30s
  13. ** Dialogue Missing From Euro Version included in
      Amer Version **!!  After fight, as Connor lies on
      the floor, just before he puts his head in Brenda's lap.
      She's looking down on him and he is not in frame.
      Connor's voice says, "I want to go home."

  115 mins from Opening speech of Ramirez to
  start of credits.  118 mins to end of credits.

  American Version - 107 mins/110 mins

1.3. Is there a soundtrack available for Highlander?

Despite the reference in the credits at the end of the movie, there never was an 'official' soundtrack released for HIGHLANDER. There are reports of an orchestral version floating around and there were promos given out when the movie was first released. But an official soundtrack INCLUDING the Queen songs was never released. Most of the Queen songs appeared on their album 'A Kind of Magic' (1986; re-released 1991) which is currently available.

In 1995 an album was release that had all of the incidental music (non-Queen) from all three movies.

1.4. Was Highlander based on a book or a short story?

No, HIGHLANDER originated as a screenplay that Gregory Widen wrote for a screen-writing course that he took at UCLA. From the Official Highlander Web page :"While in the writing program at UCLA's Film School, Gregory Widen traveled to Scotland and then England where he visited the Tower of London's world famous armory collection. This visit inspired Widen to imagine life in the Middle Ages and then the life of an Immortal "born" at the same time."

1.5. What was the drink that Connor ordered in the bar after following Brenda there?

Glenmorangie. a fine Scotch malt whisky.

1.6. Where in Scotland is Connor from?

He was born in 1518 in the village of Glenfinnan (which really exists), on the shores of Loch Shiel. The battle was in 1536 and it was between the Macleods and the Frasers. The castle shown in the movie is Eilean Donan Castle which is actually located in Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands on a small rocky island near the Isle of Skye.

1.7. What is Ramirez' full name?

Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez and he states that he is the Chief Metallurgist to Charles V of Spain. When he meets Connor in 1541 he is 2,437 year old. He says that he is Egyptian so Ramirez is probably just his latest name. His sword was made in 593 BC by Masamune and his last wife was Shakiko, daughter of Masamune. He was killed by the Kurgan in 1542. There was a family (actually more of a dynasty) of sword makers by the name of Masamune in Japan. But by the dates the one referred to by Ramirez pre-dates the great master Japanese sword smith of that name by a few centuries.

1.8. How many Immortals were in the movie?

Five, but a sixth was mentioned. The five were Connor Macleod, Ramirez, the Kurgan (Victor Kruger), Iman Fasil, Sunda Kastagir. Fasil is the Immortal that Connor battled in the parking garage; Connor meets Kastagir on the bridge and reminisces about 'boom-boom.' Kastagir later loses his head to the Kurgan. The sixth Immortal was "Wasilycz" (pronounced Vasilich), a Polish national who was killed in New Jersey two nights before the swordfight with Fasil in the Madison Square Garden parking garage. Of this list only Ramirez dies before the Gathering.

1.9. Who played so-and-so in the movie? How do you spell so-and-so's name?

The following is directly from the movie credits

   Connor Macleod      - Christopher Lambert     (Immortal)
   Brenda Wyatt        - Roxanne Hart
   Kurgan              - Clancy Brown            (Immortal)
   Ramirez             - Sean Connery            (Immortal)
   Heather             - Beatie Edney
   Lt. Frank Moran     - Alan North
   Rachel Ellenstein   - Sheila Gish
   Det. Walter Bedsoe  - Jon Polito
   Sunda Kastagir      - Hugh Quarshee           (Immortal)
   Kirk Matunas        - Christopher Malcolm
   Iman Fasil          - Peter Diamond           (Immortal)
                         (also Stunt Coordinator) 
                         {Note- this character is referenced in the TV
                         series but his first name is changed to Aman}
   Dugal Macleod       - Billy Hartman
   Angus Macleod       - James Cosmo
   Kate                - Celia Imrie
   Chief Murdoch       - Allistair Findlay
   Garfield            - Edward Wiley
   Father Rainey       - James McKenna
   Kenny               - John Cassady
   Bassett             - Ian Reddington
   Hotchkiss           - Sion Tudor Owen

1.10. Does the book 'A Metallurgical History of Ancient Sword Making' actually exist?

No. There are numerous librarians on the HIGHLA-L mailing list who have searched all through the various library databases for it with no luck. It's purely fictional.

1.11. What year did the duel between Connor and Bassett occur?

1783 and the duel was held on Boston Common. The cause of the duel? Connor had called Bassett's wife a 'bloated wart hog'. The bottle of brandy that Connor brought to Brenda's apartment was bottled in 1783. Right before the flashback Connor comments about the bottle, "Brandy, bottled in 1783. 1783 was a very good year. Mozart wrote his Great Mass. The Montgolfier brothers went up in their first balloon. (hah!) And England recognized the Independence of the United States."

1.12. Did the Kurgans, as a people, really exist?

Yes. According to the movie they were 'an ancient people from the steppes of Russia. For amusement, they'd toss children in pits with hungry dogs to fight for meat.' According to research, the Kurgans, a semi-nomadic pastoralist culture from Russin steppes to Danubian Europe c. 3500 BC. Around 2300 BC the Kurgans arrived in the Aegean and Adriatic regions. They buried their dead in deep shafts and were known as horse breeders. In addition, the term 'kurgan' is usually used to refer to ancient stone-age burial mounds found in Russia. Also 'Kurgan' is a city of over 200,000 in southwestern Siberia.

1.13. Why was Fasil's sword so special? Why was Ramirez'/Connor's katana so special?

Fasil's sword was a rare Toledo Salamanca supposedly worth over a million dollars. The Ramirez' katana was made for him in 593 BC. using a technique that supposedly wasn't developed until the Middle Ages. Brenda calls it 'the Samurai' with a tone of reverence and awe.

1.14. What other names has Connor used?

From the title search that Brenda's friend did on Connor's house, from latest to earliest, Russell Nash, Rupert Wellingford, Alfred Nicholson, Jaques Lefeburt, Adrian Montegue.

1.15. Are there any Highlander-related books available?

There was a novelisation published in England 'The Highlander' by Garry Douglas (1986), Severn House, London PR6054.082. See ordering information in Section 7 of this FAQ.

1.16. Did Connor sense the Kurgan before the battle?

Yes, he tells Ramirez this later:

Ramirez: "When we first met, you fell ill. That wasn't the first time you felt that sensation was it?"
Connor replies: "When the Macleod's fought the Frasers, and a black knight, I felt it then. Only it was different, more painful."
Ramirez: "That was the Kurgan."

1.17. How was Queen involved with the movie?

{Compiled from 'Queen: As It Began' and the film documentaries 'Queen: The Magic Years' and 'Queen: Champions of the World'}

In September [1985] the band were approached by director Russell Mulcahy, a well-know promotional-video director, who as making his first major feature film, for which he wanted Queen to write and record some of the music. They initially agread to provide at least two tracks, as long as one was used as the title track.

Filming has already begun and Russell gave them definite ideas about the type of music needed. It was a strange story, called 'Highlander,' about an immortal man, his life over the 600 years he had so far lived and his subsequent meetings with the other immortals to gain mastery and win 'the prize'. Once the band had wrapped up their current projects they were taken to the studios to see 20 minutes of film from the movie and they were so charged up after the viewing that they promptly decided to write five songs for it. Brian May penned most of the lyrics and music for 'Who Wants To Live Forever' in the limo ride back.

In January 1986, the band was working in ernest on the songs for Highlander. The song "It's a Kind of Magic", though not used in the movie, was inspired by a line uttered by the lead character [that line was in a section that was cut in the American release]. They decided to involve Christopher Lambert in the music video that was made for 'Princes of the Universe' to provide a tie-in to the movie. Now it was customary to use clips from a movie for a soundtrack video but Queen wanted something more. So Lambert was flown in from his home in Paris for the shoot, and in the final cut it appears like he walks right out of the movie on to the stage with the band. Roger Taylor claims that most movie actors are closet rockers and Chris Lambert was no exception.

Freddie Mercury wrote 'Princes of the Universe' which was used as the title song for Highlander 1 and has been used as the title song for Highlander-The Series.

1.18. Miscellaneous Trivia

Christopher Lambert spent time with a dialog coach, developing an accent which sounded unspecifically foreign.

In the European version, MacLeod says "It's a kind of magic", which is the name of the Queen album which contains songs from the film. Connor also uses this phrase to Rachel as he leaves his antique shop to go to the final battle the Kurgan.

The Vietnam vet, Matunas, who tries to machine-gun Kurgan has the Queen song _Hammer to Fall_ (released on the Queen albums 'The Works' and 'Classic Queen') playing in his car.

Also Matunas drives a 1977 Firebird, which soon turns into a 1979 Firebird.

The Queen version of "New York, New York", heard on the radio while the Kurgan is careening around New York with Brenda, was never released on any albums. According to Queen member Brian May "New York, New York" was only recorded as a song fragment and all that was recorded exists in the movie.

In the last battle, just before Connor and the Kurgan fall through the skylight, the Kurgan's sword is noticeably bent (high quality props??) .

By doing the math from the information provided in the movie Ramirez was born in 896BC and died in 1542. And at the time of the movie (1985) Connor Macleod is 467 years old.

The Kurgan's phrase "It's better to burn out than to fade away." is originally from the Neil Young song "My My, Hey Hey" from the album "Rust Never Sleeps" (1979).

The castle where Connor MacLeod lived is the same castle used for the interior shots for Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974).

The wires are obvious suspending MacLeod in the air as he receives The Prize.

The shadow of the boom microphone is visibe behind MacLeod and Brenda as he shows her some 18th century silver.

The movie was filmed in the following locations:
Glencoe, Scotland, UK
Eilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland, UK
British Columbia, Canada
New York City, New York, USA

1.19. Quotable Quotes

   [Just before the MacLeod clan goes to war]
   Kate: Angus, you'll keep him in one piece, ya hear?
   Dugal MacLeod: And we all know what piece that is!

   Ramirez: Why does the sun come up, or are the stars just pinholes
   in the curtain of night?

   Ramirez: If your head comes away from your neck, it's over!

   Kurgan to Ramirez: Tonight you sleep in hell.

   Connor MacLeod: I have been alive for 400 years, and I cannot die.
   Brenda: Well, everyone has got their problems

   Candy: Hi, I'm Candy.
   Kurgan: Of course you are...

   Kurgan: Forgive me father, I am a worm...

   Kurgan: Nuns. No sense of humor.

   Kurgan: It's better to burn out, than to fade away!

   Kurgan: So now it ends...

   [Repeated line by Ramirez, The Kurgan and Connor MacLeod]
   Connor MacLeod: There can be only one!

   [After he is shot by the German officer]
   Conner MacLeod to Rachel: Hey, it's a kind of magic.

   [Looking at the body lying next to its head]
   Garfield: What do you think the cause of death was, Lieutenant?

   Connor MacLeod: You only have one life! Value it!

1.20. Actors Biographies

1.20.1 Christopher Lambert (Connor MacLeod)

Born in 1957 (March 29) in Great Neck, New York to diplomatic surroundings (his father was serving as a UN diplomat). When he was two when his family returned to Europe.

Two years into his studies at the Paris Conservatoire he was chosen as the lead in the Academy Award-winning director Hugh Hudson's "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan." (During the principal filming Christopher really learned English; rather than the "school English" that he learned in Swiss boarding schools). In his motion picture debut Lambert gave a commendable performance and has since emerged as an important and exciting star in the international film arena. He is particularly fond of acting in Action/Adventure type movies.

In 1985 Lambert worked with director Luc Besson and starred in "Subway" for which he garnered the French Cesar Award for Best Actor.

Film credits: "Telephone Bar" {Le Bar due Telephone} (1980) (French), "Legitimate Violence" 1980) (French), "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes" (1984), "Love Songs" (1984), "Subway" (1985) (French), "I Love You" (1986) (French), "Highlander" (1986), "The Sicilian" (1987), "To Kill a Priest" (1988), "Priceless Beauty" (1989), "Why Me?" (1990), "Highlander II: The Quickening" (1991), "Max and Jeremy" (1992) (French), "Knight Moves" (1992), "Fortress" (1993), "The Gunmen" (1993), "The Roadkillers" (1994; video only), "Highlander: The Final Dimension {Highlander III: The Sorceror}" (1995), "The Hunted" (1995), "Mortal Kombat" (TBA)

Fanmail will eventually reach Christopher Lambert if sent to the following address:
Christopher Lambert
c/o Brillstein and Grey Entertainment
9150 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 350
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

1.20.2 Sean Connery (Ramirez)

Born Thomas Sean Connery, on 25 August 1930, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Despite his childhood rearing in a blue collar family, Connery found fame and fortune as the suave, sophisticated British agent, James Bond. After six Bond films, Connery yearned to break from the Bond image, and eventually earned an Oscar as veteran Chicago cop, Jimmy Malone, in THE UNTOUCHABLES. A genuine movie star, his co-stars often complement his professionalism. Connery continues to be at his best when he plays no-nonsense characters. Most recently he has delighted audiences as Indiana Jones' father in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," and the sexy but crusty Dr. Campbell in "Medicine Man. He is also the father of actor Jason Connery.

Trivia: In 1953, he entered the Mr. Universe contest, finishing third in the tall man's division. He was voted PEOPLE's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1989.

Notable quote:
"I never disliked Bond, as some have thought. Creating a character like that does take a certain craft. It's simply natural to seek other roles." "More than anything else, I'd like to be an old man with a good face, like Hitchcock or Picasso."

Mr. Connery's extensive film credits are too numerous to include here. For a complete list visit the Internet Movie Database .

1.20.3 Clancy Brown (The Kurgan)

Mr. Brown (playing John Danziger) graced U.S. TV screens (94-95 season) on NBC as a member of the ensemble cast of "Earth 2", about a colonizing expedition to a distant Earth-like planet 200 years in the future.

Brown's admiration for acting began in high school in Urbana, Ohio, where he made his stage debut in the avant-garde drama, "Woyzeck." Summers brought Ted Walch's repertory Shakespeare and Co. to Brown's hometown, and the teenaged talent appeared in small roles in such productions as "The Cherry Orchard," "The Merchant of Venice," "The Seagull" and "A Streetcar Named Desire."

At 6'3", Brown was a solid athlete, and he attended Northwestern University on a track scholarship, specializing in the discus. He was also attracted to the university's drama department, and he appeared in such productions as "The Merchant of Venice," "Hippolytus" and "Short Eyes."

Following graduation he worked on the Chicago stage, mixed drinks as a bartender at a northside tavern and became a member of the Chicago Dramatists Workshop, a theatre lab which presented plays written by its members.

He made his film debut in the 1983 teen gang drama, "Bad Boys," and won wide recognition for a trio of early film performances, as the Frankenstein Monster, in "The Bride" (1985), as the cowboy Rawhide in "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension" (1984) and as the evil, immortal Kurgan in "Highlander" (1986).

Other motion picture credits include "Extreme Prejudice" (1987), "Season of Fear" (1989), "Blue Steel" (1990), "Thunder Alley," "Shoot to Kill" (1988), "Waiting for the Light" (1990), "Ambition" (1991), "Pet Semetary II" (1992) and "Past Midnight" (1992), "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994).

On the small screen, Brown has starred in the telefilms "Love, Lies and Murder" (1991), "Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story" (1992), "Johnny Ryan" (1990) "Bloodlines: Murder in the Family" (1993), Showtime's "Last Light" (1993), "The Room Upstairs" (1987) and the HBO movies "The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains" and "Cast A Deadly Spell" (1991).

He has also guest-starred on HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" and the series "China Beach," "Bay City Blues" and "Chicago Story."

1.20.4 Roxanne Hart (Brenda Wyatt)

Born 1952 in Trenton NJ. Film credits: "Chicago Hope" (TV) 1994-present, "Living a Lie" (TV) 1991, "Once Around" 1991, "Tagget" (TV) 1991, "Big Time" 1988, "Pulse" 1988, "The Last Innocent Man" (TV) 1987, "Highlander" 1986, "Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story" (TV) 1986, "Vengeance: The Story of Tony Cimo" (TV) 1986, "The Little Sister" (TV) 1984, "Oh, God! You Devil" 1984, "Old Enough" 1984, "Special Bulletin" (TV) 1983, "The Verdict" 1982, "Kent State" (TV) 1981, "The Bell Jar" 1979, HBO's "Dream On".

(If you have more biographical information on Roxanne Hart please forward it to Debbie Douglass at douglass@chaplin.ndhm.gtegsc.com)

1.20.5 Beatie Edney (Heather)

Daughter of British actress Sylvia Syms. Film credits: Esther in "The Affair" 1995, Susan Covington in "Prime Suspect: The Lost Child" 22 October 1995 (TV-PBS), Louisa in "Hard Times" 1994 (TV), Natalia in 'MacGyver' episode "Trail to Doomsday" 24 Nov. 1994 (TV), Carole Richardson in "In the Name of the Father" 1993, Celia Rudbeck in "Mister Johnson" 1991 (UK), "Just Another Secret"(TV-UK) 1989, "Diary of a Mad Old Man" 1988 (USA), Marjorie in "A Handful of Dust" 1988 (USA), Tina in "Onassis: The Richest Man in the World" 1 May 1988 (TV), and, of course, Heather in "Highlander" 1986.

(If you have more biographical information on Beatie Edney please forward it to Debbie Douglass at douglass@chaplin.ndhm.gtegsc.com)