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. -Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez
Born in the Highlands of Scotland in 1518, Connor Macleod is immortal. When he is wounded in battle but does not die, he is banished from his village. He meets another like himself, Ramirez, who teaches him swordsmanship--the only way to kill another immortal is to take his head--and the ways of the immortals. Modern-day New York is the location of "The Gathering," where Connor and the few remaining immortals must battle to the last for "The Prize."
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-He fought his first battle on the Scottish Highlands in 1536. He will fight his greatest battle on the streets of New York City in 1986. His name is Connor MacLeod. He is immortal.
-There can be only one.
-Don't lose your head
Mickey Rourke was considered for the role of Connor Macleod.
Christopher Lambert spent time with a dialogue coach, developing an accent which sounded non-specifically foreign. oh so that explains it. Lambert had just barely learned to speak English when he took this role. The only other English-speaking film he had been in at that point was Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, in which he spoke only a few words.
Clancy Brown nearly turned down the role of Kurgan, concerned that his allergy to makeup would prevent him from wearing the prosthetics required late in the film.
The brandy scene with Macleod and Brenda was inspired by Russell Mulcahy's dinner with Jim Steinman who, as a wine bottle from 1949 was being opened, sniffed the air between the cork and the bottle and told Mulcahy that he just sniffed air from 1949.
Among the many ancient artifacts in MacLeod's storeroom is Ramirez's vest and hat.
The priest in the church scene was actually an orthodox rabbi.
The castle they used for the shoot is the same castle they used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Lambert and co-star Beatie Edney who played Heather had an affair while making the film. Can you blame him? She's quite lovely!
In the scenes 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.
All of Sean Connery's scenes had to be filmed in a week due to Connery's schedule.
Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert got along so well during filming that they called each other by their characters' names even when they were not filming and it was at Lambert's insistence that Connery and his character returned for the sequel.
The quickening is a term for when a baby in the womb shows its first sign of life, its first noticeable movement within the womb.
Connor MacLeod: Tell me how'd it happen for God's sake.
Ramirez: Why does the sun come up? Or are the stars just pin holes in the curtain of night, who knows? What I do know is that because you were born different, men will fear you... try to drive you away like the people of your village. You must learn to conceal your special gift and harness it until the time of the gathering.
Connor MacLeod: What gathering?
Ramirez: When only a few of us are left, we will feel an irresistible pull towards a far away land... to fight for the prize.
Connor MacLeod: 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.
Ramirez: If your head comes away from your neck, it's over!
Kurgan: Tonight you sleep in hell.
Connor MacLeod: I apologize for calling your wife a bloated warthog, and I bid you good day.
This is the real thing. Ignore anything Highlander that was made after this movie because it's pretty much crap.