Forgotten Friday – Highlander

Thanks for checking out our Forgotten Fridays feature. This is a feature to review some older films that maybe you have forgotten about or maybe never got around to seeing that we just want to share. They may not be old, maybe not forgotten, but they are not new. Just fun to share.

Today’s review is Highlander


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 and finding a life of solitude with a wife, 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.”


Before I get into the heart of the film I want to touch on how amazing the soundtrack was. Queen dominates this film and it is almost confusing to think of the soundtrack album as anything but a Queen Album. And it fits the film so perfectly. Queen was in a world of their own, and so was Connor MacLeod.

The fantasy element is beautifully played. There are SO many questions that require answers, but you just don’t care. They talk about “The Prize” and you feel the urgency and desire to acquire it. It’s tangible, its real, and yet you don’t care that no one explains what the prize is (Until the epilogue) Why are they immortal? Who made them this way and to what end? What is drawing them to this final “Gathering”? But its played out so wonderfully that you just accept that this is what is happening and you get sucked into the story.

Some films suffer trying to explain to much. This movie has a LOT that needs explaining, but does a wonderful job giving you as much as you need to know so you don’t care that its not all spelled out for you.

Lambert plays his character and defines him. Sean Connery is spot on and entertaining as hell (he has some stinkers but this isn’t one of them) and his brotherly chemistry with Lambert makes you really feel his kinship with Connor. The Kurgen is deliciously evil for the sake of evil. There is no deep backstory to him. He is just an asshole. An immortal asshole. And evil. He serves his purpose and is amusing enough without ruining his hardcore evil imagery. (Watch for his neck wound held together with safety pins – awesome)


The effects are a little dated but cool for its time, and don’t hold up to today’s standards. This might be distracting to some.


This film impacted me on more than one level. It is highly under rated, and is a brand for the hardcore geek. I have to remind myself of how old this film is when people don’t understand references to Sea

Everytime they add to the mythos instead of letting this wonderful story stand on its own, they devalue the entire premise of the immortals conflict and the Gathering. I didn’t hate the TV spinoffs, but their very presence bothered me.

And for every reason that this movie is great, all the sequels are not.

There can only be ONE!!! Unless there is another.

Typically this is where we would write a “Out of 10″ rating, but since all of these Forgotten Friday reviews are going to be what I would already give a high rating to, I have made my own rating system.

TV – Make a point of watching it if you see it listed on TV.
Rent – Good enough to go out of your way to see it, but not enough to buy it.
Buy – So good. You will watch it again and again. Buy it!

So on a scale of TV, Rent or Buy I suggest BUY!

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47 thoughts on “Forgotten Friday – Highlander

  1. I love the first movie, hated the sequel, have a soft spot for The Final Dimension and Endgame, LOATHED The Source.

    I also loved Highlander the series with Adrian Paul an the limited spin-off the Raven.

  2. This was one my favorites of all time…..a near perfect film with really only one bad edit seam. Sure the films that followed were less than steller however we all wanted them to be as great as the first film. Inspiring the series ment there were plenty of Highlander fans out there. And with the best looking red-headed co-stars during those times are a fond memory. With the “new” version and the added scene on DVD was an added plus and explained Rachel in the art store….if I remember, the director played the Nazi in the re-shoot and Conner saved the little blonde girl. I think the director Mulchy used his own money to shoot this added scene. It was ahead of it’s time in vision and production. I remember being amazed at the theatre and it’s funny how some did not like it, because they did not understand it. Much like Cloverfield a few years back and District 9. Good choice Rodney.

  3. Loved this movie growing up, though the sequels (especially the second one) left something more to be desired. I was also a fan of the series that was based on this. That said, all iterations are so dated now. The movie, and sequels that followed, just scream 80s… even the sequels that were made in the 90s. The TV series, as well, just screams 90s.

    That said, I know how people hate reboots/remakes… but damn, I would love to see Highlander rebooted either as a movie or in a TV series. I’m talking a complete reboot, though. New cast, new characters, new story… completely ignore the past movies. Play off the mythos of immortals that can only be killed by beheading.

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I loved the mythos the movies were based on but the datedness of them kill me now.

  4. Rodney –

    When you first started this series, with “The Power of One,” I was impressed. Great movie, greatcast – and I utterly had forgotten about it. As the weeks progressed, your choices – save for John Hughes tribute – have gotten worse and worse.

    Highlander? Really? Did you have another deadline to meet? Are you ill – got a cold?

    I mean – could you at least make it look like you are putting some effort into this? I truly love the idea of Forgotten Fridays – and i have looked forward to it each week. I am starting to feel cheated…

    1. Then don’t read them Dan. I don’t recall any of the rules saying you had to agree with me.

      More often then not, people are enjoying this feature. I won’t be changing how I do them just because you don’t have the same taste in films as I do.

      1. Although let me add one last thing: I like the movies you have chosen by and large – the choices themselves just seem a little too obvious, that’s all.

  5. ” it is almost confusing to think of the soundtrack album as anything but a Queen Album. “

    An interesting choice of words, since shortly after Highlander’s disappointing North American box office take, the majority of the Queen tunes (along with “One Vision” from “Iron Eagle”) were put on “a Queen album”, ‘A Kind Of Magic”. Also, it is easy to overlook the contributions from the late composer Micheal Kamen, who worked closely with Queen on the film’s themes.

    Now all that aside


    The biggest question is which version of Highlander should one own. I currently have on DVD the Immortal Edition (aluminum cover, QUEEN bonus CD…

    But I noticed in recent reissues of Highlander that most of the QUEEN extras (music videos, still gallery of Queen making the vids, the CD) are gone. I will say I liked the little insert booklet, I don’t know if that’s still in recent re-issues.(It’s really nice!)


    Now for the film itself.

    When I first saw the film
    I, like most of the masses, caught up to it on cable and VHS. That awful pan and scan crap didn’t help matters, and I was extremely confused as to what was going on. But I still thought the swordfights were neat and Kurgan was a badass. It actually inspired me to go out and look for a raincoat like the one Lambert had in the opening scenes—but I had to settle for a trenchcoat, which I still have to this day, minus a button.

    It took me multiple viewings to like it more, and when the 10th anniversary edition VHS came out, Letterbox format and being the “Director’s Cut” (more or less the one shown internationally) I loved the film even more. I waited for the right time to get it on DVD. Now the snap case is falling apart (oh no!)

    I suppose the real downside to this is not just the dated effects (the final quickening in particular- the animation never did quite match with the explosion of shattered glass and was nowhere near as impressive as electric currents above water and the SILVERCUP letters crashing down) but rather, the sequels that followed it. Although I loved the production design in Highlander 2, it was a huge piece of turd. They keep trying to fix it, only making it worse with each improvement. They tried to explain it and kicked everyone in the nuts for doing so. Then Highlander 3, which was okay, but just a remake of the first film. Then Endgame turns Connor into a ineffective wuss. And The Source?
    We should be kind to Highlander 2.

    The TV series was okay…but despite the retcons (*I had a theory on this, where if the redone Highlander 2 kind of ‘happened’ in the past, and various imoortals are randomly sent in time, then, the timeline keeps changing, and…oh, screw it, nevermind, I try to speculate too much you know me)

    There should have been only one. And…there…shall be again?


    Not ONE mention of the women in the film, Rodney! NOT ONE!
    Allow me…

    Roxanne Hart- at first glance, a plain jane. Then sex. Plain no more.

    Beatie Edney (Heather) who played a character who aged rather well(!)

  6. Next film should be “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” classic 80s teen film that can still connect with a young audience if they are not bothers by all the odds and end of the decade.

  7. after John’s rave reviews on Highlander, i decided to watch the movie recently. i anticipated something really fun but dated – something that could stand up to films like Alien, Back to the Future and so from the same age. it was awful. i mean some parts were just laughably awful. most of it was just bad. as soon Sean Connery showed up, the movie just died. i mean he just stands there and lets Clancy Brown decapitate him. he’s supposed to be hundreds of years old – guess he didn’t focus much time on fighting. the whole scene where the styrofoam castle walls are breaking apart by lighting was just eye rolling. i stopped watching after connery died. it was just unbearable.

    maybe i “didn’t watch enough” but if the movie was already that bad, why would i want to suffer through the rest. maybe my taste is just for newer films, but i can’t understand how anyone could say that movie is one of the greatest movies of all time. sorry. films like star wars and indiana jones are older but they stand up to today. highlander is bad.

    1. Just to mention something about Sean’s death.
      1. He knew he was going to die. No question.
      2. Prolonging a fight wouldn’t do anything, as any wounds would heal too quickly.
      3. He preferred to die there than have to face his student in the future.

    2. I dunno, with a small castle falling around in pieces all around (they didn’t make ’em to last, apparently), having been disarmed, and being stuck by a sword, I think it would slow Ramerez down. But you also make a good point, seeing how Kurgan nearly lost his head in the opening moments of that swordfight…

    3. I completely agree. This film is crap. Not only does it contain probably the worst actor ever in Christopher Lambert, but the director was also able to direct Sean Connery to his hammiest performance to date, of course I’m not counting the sequels. If ever a film screamed to be remade it’s The Highlander.

      1. Darren: “the director was also able to direct Sean Connery to his hammiest performance to date”

        You’ve obviously not seen many Sean Connery films. The man was a considered a bad joke in Hollywood between Thunderball and The Untouchables. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Zardoz is awesome, but it ain’t exactly oscar material. And don’t get me started on Outland.

    4. You are no longer entitled to an opinion on the film as you admittedly did not watch it in its whole (in fact you barely made it half way)

      You cannot say Highlander is bad when you didn’t watch it all. You can’t possibly know – you didn’t watch it all.

      1. Because the ending could have fucking ruled in your opinion

        My parents almost walked out of Watchmen, they HATED IT
        Then they stayed, from the 30 minute orgasm scene on, it was awesome for them. They loved it.

        They liked it and were buying it on Blu Ray, if they would have left before that sex scene in which Nite Owl first gets his costume they would have hated it

      2. so are you saying the the first half is bad but the second half is great? connery as a “spaniard” totally ruined it for me. i pretty much can’t stand the guy in anything after Dr. No. christopher lambert has as much charisma as mayonaise. but i love clancy brown as lex luthor.

      3. Cut him some slack, Rodney. I didn’t watch all of The Love Guru, after all, but I can say that was a horrible film.

        However, that said, even my first viewing of Highlander wasn’t great, it took multiple viewings for the film to grow on me. Start to finish. Then the director’s cut…

      4. You can say you heard it was bad, or that you chose not to watch it based on the bad reviews, but you cannot honestly say a movie was bad without seeing it. You literally do not know that.

        There is no way around it. Calling something a bad movie when you haven’t watched it is pure hypocracy.

      5. but rodney i wanted to see it because i heard it was terrific from john. i didn’t stop watching because of reviews or anything. i don’t think i’ve even read a review of the film. i saw half the thing and it was a terrible. it’s not like i went in thinking it was gonna be bad and turned it off saying “see what i told you”. i went in with a completely unbiased look. i didn’t even know connery was in the film until i saw him.

        i actually viewed the film itself – and it was bad. when people walk out of movie theatres because they’re so dissatisfied with the film – they’re not allowed to say it was terrible because they didn’t stay till the end? why do you think people stop watching movies?

        do i have to listen to an entire song to claim is bad? do i have to watch and entire season of a tv show to claim it’s a bad show? it’s not hypocracy. it’s valid.

  8. So,everyone agrees that the first is the best, but how would we all feel about a re-make/re-imagining, whatever you call it? I’m kinda mixed about it. If done right,it COULD be awesome,but I don’t want the original ruined (any more than the sequels have already)

  9. Dude! If Highlander is forgotten then I really am freakin old!!!

    When did i get old?!

    I know when Christopher Lambert got old(cough Highlander Endgame cough) but when did I get this old?!

  10. Great pick!! If I may quote Ricky Bobby…”it was an awesome movie, it won awards, like for the best movie ever!”

    Seriously, this is a great film that did not need sequels! Especially those that were made, oiy vey!

  11. This film for me is one of my all time favourites and the Queen soundtrack, kicking off with “Princes of the universe” is a stroke of genius.

    “Here we are, born to be kings
    We’re the princes of the universe
    Here we belong, fighting to survive
    In a world with the darkest powers”

    and not forgetting “Its a kind of Magic” and “Who want’s to live forever”

    1. Well, to answer your question. At the time this movie was released, it was great and still is.

      It is just after LOTR, Fantasy movies are judged at a whole different level now. The younger generation may see this movie now and say, “Whats the big deal” but at the time of its release, it was exciting and the soundtrack just kicked major a##!

    2. Cool Charakters who try to cut each others head in epic Swordduels threw different timelines off.. accompanied with one of the greatest soundtracks ever made!

    3. There are many awesome things about Highlander. Great premise. Great villain. Awesome soundtrack. Not so great plot. And I mean it. If I can recall correctly, there are very few subplots, and so it doesn’t take long before the film bogs down a little, eventually detracting somewhat from the climactic fight scene. But that’s the only major problem I can think of. For the most part, the plot is rather interesting. The flashes between present and past keep you watching and wondering.

  12. Rodney!!

    Are these forgotten fridays supposed to be about forgotten movies that were good?

    Because 1) Highlander wasnt forgotten 2) it wasnt good it was damn near perfect

    If you answered this already on your post sorry, i havent read it. I just feel surprised.

    You wouldnt put Star Wars episode 5 on the forgotten fridays post would you?

    Now excuse me im going to read your post

      1. Maybe you should read the premise behind the Forgotten Fridays again.

        “This is a feature to review some older films that maybe you have forgotten about or maybe never got around to seeing that we just want to share. They may not be old, maybe not forgotten, but they are not new. Just fun to share.”

      2. Rodney
        Im sorry
        I read nothing before writting that
        Its just that the tittle was like ‘Wtf!?’

        I mean “Forgotten Fridays: Highlander” sounds a little different then where id put it
        “Unforgotten Epic Movies: Highlander”

        Now in response to the rest of the post:
        Yeah the post seems like a normal human being wrote it…what with you usage of the words

        And you did mention the sequels without using the word “embarrassing” which was odd, but ok.

        Excellent article Rod, but weird ass tittle. Wtf

        Make a Unforgotten Timeless Epic Movies article thing so you can include this in it

      3. So as an answer to your question, yes, he might just put Star Wars Empire Strikes Back.

        My question is this, is he ever going to review anything that he doesn’t give a Buy to? What is the point of the scale if he only uses one of the three options. The feature should just be called “Forgotten Friday: Movies That Rodney Thinks You Should Own”

      4. Calvin, you should read them more regularily then. While most have been a buy, I have a rent in there. Though I haven’t thrown up a TV yet.

        But we also rate films from 1-10 and I havent given out a 1 yet.

      5. Calvin

        These are movies from 30 years ago, why would Rodney talk about a bad movie from the last millenium? Its okay to talk about bad movies if they just came out. like if John or Rodney go watch District 9, and they give it a bad review, thats cool. It was bad and it just came out, now we know.

        But Rodney ALREADY KNOWS if these movies will be bad. So he wont review a movie like this:

        “Hmmmm Critters..I guess it was a 1/10, who knew!? That was surprising, DONT WATCH IT! Newsflash Critters was bad”

        Rodney dont make a negative review now just because of this discussion.

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