Highlander (film)

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Highlander is a 1986 film about an immortal Scottish swordsman who must confront the last of his immortal opponents, a murderously brutal barbarian who lusts for the fabled "Prize".

Directed by Russell Mulcahy. Written by Gregory Widen, Peter Bellwood, and Larry Ferguson.
There can be only one. taglines

Connor MacLeod

a tower by a lake in the Scottish Highlands
I was born in 1518 in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel.
  • [MacLeod's unanswered question to Ramirez, when he defeats him for the first time.] If it came down to just us two, would you take my head?
  • [Surviving being shot by Nazis; explaining to Rachel, then a little girl] Ssh, it's a kind of magic.
  • Whatever you say, Jack. You're the master race. [kills a Nazi soldier]
  • [Revealing his true nature to Brenda] 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.
  • [After killing the Kurgan, and about to receive The Prize] There can be only one.
  • I'm sorry I called your wife a bloated warthog [snickers] and I bid you good day.


  • When only a few of us are left, we will feel an irresistible pull towards a far away land, to fight for The Prize.
  • Sometimes, Macleod… the sharpest blade is not enough
  • You cannot die, MacLeod. Accept it!
  • Crude and slow, clansman. Your attack was no better than that of a clumsy child!
  • Don't lose your temper. If your head comes away from your neck, it's over.
  • [Explaining the rules of The Game] We must fight until only one remains. You are safe only on Holy Ground. None of us will violate that rule. It's tradition.
  • [Explaining how one fights the Kurgan] With heart, faith and steel."

The Kurgan

  • Nuns. No sense of humor.
  • I have something to say: it's better to burn out than to fade away!


A sword is arranged in a glass case in a museum next to other antique weapons
It's a Toledo Salamanca broadsword, worth about a million bucks.
[Connor is in a police interrogation room, being observed by Sergeant Garfield and Detective Bedsoe. Garfield is eyeing Connor up. Connor knows this, and stares into Garfield's eyes. Garfield looks unnerved. Detective Lieutenant Moran walks in, with a mug of coffee in one hand, a sword wrapped in plastic in the other, and a red file under his arm with the sword. He sets the mug on the desk, sets everything else on the desk too, and sits down opposite Connor, who looks at him.]
Moran: [Opening the folder, taking out a black-and-white photograph of a man and setting it so Connor can see it] You ever see this guy before, Nash?
[Connor briefly looks at the photograph, then shakes his head.]
Moran: His name's Vasilek, Polish national. Had his head chopped off in New Jersey two nights ago. You ever get over to New Jersey, Nash?
Connor: Not if I can help it.
Garfield: You talk funny, Nash. Where're you from?
Connor: [To Garfield] Lots of different places.
Moran: You're an antique dealer, right?
Connor: Yes.
Moran: Okay... [He reaches for the sword and brings it onto the table] ...what's that?
[Connor leans over to have a look at the sword.]
Connor: [Almost sarcastically] A sword?
Garfield: Wise up, smart-ass. [Connor shoots him a dirty look as he leans back.]
Moran: It's a Toledo Salamanca broadsword, worth about a million bucks.
Connor: So?
Moran: So you wanna hear a theory?
Connor: Yes.
Moran: You were down that garage to buy this sword from that guy, whatshisname?
Connor: I don't know, you tell me.
Moran: Okay, his is Iman Fasil. You fought about the price and cut off his head.
Connor: [Laughs briefly] Wanna hear another theory? This Fasil was so upset about the lousy wrestling tonight, he went down to the garage and in a fit of depression, cut off his own head.
[Bedsoe laughs.]
Moran: That's not funny, Walt.
Garfield: You a faggot, Nash?
Connor: Why, Garfield? You cruising for a piece of ass?
Garfield: [Walks over to Connor] I'll tell you what happened, Russell. You went down to the garage for a blowjob, and just didn't wanna pay for it.
Connor: [Laughs briefly] You are sick. [Garfield punches him in the face. Connor recoils, then jumps out his chair, knocks it over, and races straight into Garfield, rugby-tackling him and driving him directly into the wall.]
Moran: Hey, hey! HEY! STOP THAT!
Bedsoe: What you doing?
[The rooms outside the interrogation room stop work, because the other civilians have seen what's happening, and are cheering.]
Bedsoe: [On Connor's right arm] What are you, crazy?! [Connor shoves him away, with such a force that knocks him to the floor and sliding across it, to the opposite wall.]
Moran: [Angrily] BREAK IT UP! [Interposes himself between Connor and Garfield] That's enough! That's it! CUT IT OUT!
Connor: [Walking over to the desk] Am I under arrest?
Moran: Not yet.
Connor: Then we're through. [He prepares to leave the interrogation room.]
Moran: Hey! We're just getting started.
[Connor leaves the interrogation room. The civilians are all cheering him, especially the ladies.]

haggis on a platter
Sheep's stomach, stuffed with meat and barley.
Connor: [during a training exercise in a boat] You look like a woman, you stupid haggis!
Ramirez: Haggis? What is haggis?
Connor: Sheep's stomach, stuffed with meat and barley.
Ramirez: [confusedly] And what do you do with it?
Connor: You eat it!
Ramirez: [grimacing] That's revolting!!

Ramirez: Never overextend your thrust. You are vulnerable... and off balance!
[MacLeod stumbles to his knees while Ramirez places his blade on his neck. MacLeod's wife, Heather, laughs at the scene.]
MacLeod: Heather, please!

Heather: My beautiful man...my husband.
MacLeod: I am that, my love.
Heather: I've never really known...
MacLeod: What?
Heather: Why you stayed.
MacLeod: Because I love you as much now as the first day we met
Heather: And I love you. I don't want to die. I want to stay with you...forever.
MacLeod: I want that, too.
Heather: Will you do something for me, Connor?
MacLeod: What, blossom?
Heather: In the years to come, will you light a candle and remember me on my birthday?
MacLeod: Aye, love. I will.
Heather: I wanted to have your children.
MacLeod: They would have been strong, and fine.
Heather: Don't see me, Connor. [Heather hides her face.] Let me die in peace...where are we?
MacLeod: We're in the Highlands. Where else? Darting down the mountainside, the sun is shining. It's not cold. You've got your sheepskins on...[MacLeod looks to see Heather dead in his arms, having peacefully passed] ...and the boots I made for you.
[We see Connor bury Heather later that day, and then leave Heather's grave-marker.]
MacLeod: Good night, my bonny Heather.

SS-Officer: [in German] You should be dead!
MacLeod: Move!
SS-Officer: [in German] No! First you'll have to shoot me!
MacLeod: [laughs hoarsely] Whatever you say, Jack. You're the master race. [Shoots him dead; to Rachel] Let's go! [They run out]

[MacLeod is inside a church, possibly in the Catholic denomination, very large interior, decorated with arches and columns, stained-glass windows and candles, and an altar draped in a purple tablecloth decorated with gold embroidery. He approaches a shrine, possibly dedicated to the Virgin Mary, lights a fresh prayer candle, and places it into one of the shrine's candle holding cups. He then drops to his knees, with his hands in front of the shrine.]
MacLeod: [Very softly, whispering in some places, and somewhat sadly] For you, my bonny Heather. Happy Birthday. And you, Juan Ramirez... [with a near-invisible sense of laughter in his voice, as if remembering funny memories] take care of her, you overdressed haggis.
[The Kurgan enters the church, as MecLeod is sinking into one of the pews, on his own. As the Kurgan enters, he struts over to the shrine, makes the sign of the cross on his head and chest as Catholics do, puts his hands together as if in prayer, and puts out the prayer candles, including the one MacLeod has just lit. He struts down the aisle and leans over a praying MacLeod.]
Kurgan: [Placing a hand on MacLeod’s shoulder] Kastagir is gone. Only you and I remain. [He sits down in the pew behind MacLeod.]
MacLeod: [Turning round] Nice to see you, Kurgan. Who cut your hair?
Kurgan: [Looks briefly at his badly-shaved head] I am in disguise. This way, no one will recognize me.
MacLeod: [Laughs briefly] I do. What do you want?
Kurgan: Your head. [MacLeod scoffs.] And the Prize. Watch...
[Two nuns walk by.]
Kurgan: [Leering out of his pew] Happy Halloween, ladies! [He makes licking gestures with his tongue, and barks at the nuns. The nuns cross themselves, otherwise ignoring him, continuing up the aisle.] Nuns. No sense of humor.
MacLeod: [Examining the horrible scar on the Kurgan's neck] Ramírez's blade did not cut deeply enough. [To the Kurgan] He was right about you. You're slime.
Kurgan: [Loudly] Ramírez was an effete snob! He died on his knees. [In a bragging sort of manner] I took his head and raped his woman before his blood was even cold! [MacLeod absorbs the information, turning away. Disturbed people and choirboys start to leave. MacLeod faces the Kurgan again, angry now. The Kurgan realises the truth.] I see... Ramírez lied. She was not his woman. She was your woman, and she never told you. I wonder why? Perhaps I gave her something you never could... [MacLeod grabs him by the collar. He looks at MacLeod's hand.] ...and secretly, she yearned for my return! [He releases himself from MacLeod's grip. He rises, bringing MacLeod up with him.] Holy ground, Highlander! Remember what Ramírez taught you.
MacLeod: You can't stay in here forever!
[The Kurgan sits down in the pew again.]
Kurgan: You are weak, Highlander. You will always be weaker than I.
[MacLeod grabs Kurgan by the throat.]
MacLeod: I'll be out front.
[The Kurgan releases himself from Connor's grip once again.]
Kurgan: Goodbye, MacLeod. We will meet soon enough.
[MacLeod leaves the church. The Kurgan laughs]
Minister: [Approaching the laughing Kurgan] For the love of God! These people are trying to pray. You're disturbing them.
Kurgan: [With his hands folded behind his head, and his feet swung up on top of the pew MacLeod was sitting at] He cares for these helpless mortals?
Priest: Of course He does. He died for our sins.
Kurgan: That shall be His undoing. [He rises from his seat and takes the priest's hand.] Father, forgive me. I... am a worm. [He stoops, licks the priest's hand, and squeezes it. He prepares to leave, strutting back up the aisle, fastening his jacket, and then turns around.] [Loudly] I have something to say! It's better to burn out than to fade away! [He dances out of the church, cackling.]

Kastagir: It seems like 100 years.
Conner: It's been 100 years.


  • 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.


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