In 1986 a film was released that changed the world of film and fantasy forever. Directed by Russell Mulcahy 'Highlander' caught the imagination of children and adults alike in a film that has become a cult classic.

When writer Gregory Widen first penned Highlander he could hardly have known the impact that his story would have on the Scottish tourism industry.

With follow up films and a television spin offs, the world of 'Highlander' has become a gargantuan monster with varying quality but unfortunately most of that quality is rather poor.

That's why I would like to concentrate on the magical film that launched the franchis. So let us go back to 1986 and rediscover that wondrous moment in cinematic history.

The story itself is set mainly in New York in 1985 but frequently reverts back anywhere as far back as 1536  in the past in which Connor MacLeod (played by Christoper Lambert) lived.

Here is the story in a nutshell.

Connor is of course an immortal (as is the Kurgan) but only finds this out after The Kurgan (played by Clancy Brown) inserts his sword into Connor's stomach during a battle of the clans in 1536.

Connor makes a miraculous recovery from a mortal wound and is therefore thought to be in league with Lucifer, so his frightened clansmen decide to run him out of the village.

Macleod  then goes on to meet the lovely Heather who he falls in love with but is told by another immortal called Ramirez (played by Sean Connery) who becomes his mentor not to get too attached to Heather because she will grow old whilst he will remain young forever.

Connor is not impressed with Ramirez's advice and decides to stay with Heather regardless of the price he would have to pay.

The scene where Heather dies of old age never fails to make this writer cry even though I have seen the film countless times and if you don't cry watching this scene then you're not a real man and you must the by product of a very bad case of inbreeding.

Anyway the whole thing skips back and forth in time but is centred in the present day (New York in 1985) where Connor is living under a different name and identity, which he has to change every couple of years to keep up the pretense of being a mortal.

It turns out all immortals are fighting each other with swords trying to decapitate each other in order to receive 'The Quickening', which is the life force of the immortal. This is all leading up to 'The gathering' which is the battle between the last immortals until only one is left.

"There can be only one"

Right that's a rough synopsis of the story out of the wa,  so what makes Highlander such a great film?

Well it's just a film where everything worked together perfectly. The castling is inspirational, the story is great, the music is amazing with both Queen and Michael Kamen, and the cinematography is very clever with scenes merging in ways they should not be able to without the aid of advanced CGI. But all the editing was  done in an age before these technological wonders.

To sum it up, I would just say the whole thing comes together to create a work which has magic fairy dust sprinkled all over it.

You're just drawn into the film  by the atmosphere created by Russell Mulcahy and all participating crew and cast members in this great work.

The Kurgan played by Clancy Brown is one of the strongest and unique characters you will ever see on film and Christopher Lambert's portrayal of Connor is otherworldly.

If you have not seen Highlander then first you must head-butt the nearest wall for being so devoid of culture seeing as this is one of the greatest films of all time, then go and buy the film on blu-ray.

If you do not own a blu-ray player then I suggest you go and buy one just to watch this film on. And if you don't own a HD ready television then your not playing cricket old boy.


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