Dir: Russell Mulcahy
Star: Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown
Cert / Year: 15 / 1986
Format: VIDEO

"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."

Sean Conneryís opening dialogue from the start of Highlander (above) sets the stage for an absolute motion picture masterpiece. Forget the shameful TV series, and perhaps even a couple of the sequels (Hollywood trying to cash in!). Highlander is the first and the best..."There Can Be Only One!".

Highlander is the story of Connor Macleod ( Christopher Lambert), a Scotsman from the Highlands (naturally), who is mortally wounded during a battle in 1536, by a brutal barbarian called the Kurgan (Clancy Brown), when he doesnít die from his severe wound, the superstitious and over religious villagers of the village of Glenfinnan where he lives decide to banish him.

Five years later Macleod has a new home and a new life, but things change when he is visited by Juan Sanchez Villa Lobos Ramirez (Sean Connery) who is an immortal that wants to teach him who and what he is (and how to use a sword properly). Ramirez tells Macleod all about the dark knight that wounded him and how the Kurgan must never win "the prize" or else mortal man would suffer an eternity of darkness. He also tells him that all of the immortals must fight each other until there are only a few left, then they will be drawn to a far away land for "the Gathering". The Gathering is when the last of the immortals must fight until there is only one left, and he will win "the prize" a mystical reward for centuries of duelling between themselves, which includes them becoming mortal. Ramirez teaches Macleod what he needs to know, but the Kurgan has been looking for the Highlander for the last five years and manages to track him down to his new home. Unfortunately for the Kurgan, when he arrives Macleod isnít home but he does find Ramirez waiting there for him.

On through the centuries the immortals do battle with one another, culminating in the few remaining immortals going to America for the "Gathering". During a battle with an immortal in 1986 Macleod leaves small traces of his sword (metal fragments embedded in a stone pillar) that a police forensic specialist and edged weapon groupie called Brenda, finds and manages to carbon date the metal in his sword back to 600 BC which was allegedly historically impossible. So Brenda (Roxanne Hart) becomes obsessed with the sword and with Macleod which gives you a romantic angle to the story. Kurgan arrives in America and after four hundred years of lopping off heads and not been able to find Macleod it has kind of made him go a little loopy?, not that he was particuarly sane to begin with, but he is nonetheless eager for the final battle.

That is all that I want to say about the story. Highlander was an original story by Gregory Widen who also wrote Backdraft and The Prophecy (both brilliant films) and his collaboration with Peter Bellwood and Larry Ferguson on the screenplay is excellent. They have produced a film with a tremendous story that includes action, romance, tragedy, a philosophical perspective and some spectacular sword play. Russell Mulcahy could not have directed the film any better it is quite phenomenal, an absolute masterpiece. The way he managed to link the flashbacks to Macleods past to the present day are inventive and unsurpassed. The film also contains some of the most beautiful film of Scotland you will ever see (Braveheart couldn't do better, even with a bigger budget!)

The moving and stunning soundtrack by Queen fits perfectly and helps elevate the film and it's atmosphere. All in all Highlander is quite breathtaking, I cannot praise and recommend this film highly enough, this is one of my all time favourites.


"There Can Be Only One"

Rating: 5 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home