Homemade whisky and other things you didn’t know about Highlander

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There can only be one! Yes, for a generation that catchphrase will always mean something: cool immortals hacking at each other with swords, accompanied by sparks and followed by an inevitable decapitation. Now we know a few more useless factoids about the awesome Highlander.

In anticipation of its upcoming 4K remastered release, two of Highlander‘s cast and crew spoke to The Guardian about the film. Main star Christopher Lambert and director Russell Mulcahy dished out a little, though it is sad we don’t hear from Sean Connery and Clancy Brown too.

Nonetheless, what the two revealed is quite interesting:

It didn’t matter that Christopher Lambert couldn’t really speak English

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He was chosen because of his cool eyes, said the director, spotting Lambert in a magazine shoot for Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan. Lambert spent months with a linguist to get his language right.

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Everyone knew a Frenchman was playing a Scot and a Scot was playing a Spaniard

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It’s one of the movie’s weird quirks: Lambert plays a Scottish warrior but doesn’t sound Scottish. Sean Connery sounds ALL Scottish, but is supposed to be Spanish. But the logic was that as immortals they could have picked up different accents over time. In the real world, nobody was going to tell Connery to change his accent.

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The sparks in the sword fights were from car batteries

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The actors had car batteries connected to their legs, with wires running to the swords. This created the iconic sparks during the sword fights, so it worked well. But it also heated the handles of the swords, so they had limited takes to shoot the fights.

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Why Queen wrote nearly all the songs

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Highlander is also renowned for its amazing soundtrack by the mega-band Queen, in turn providing some of their greatest hits. The director had shown a lengthy clip to the band, hoping they’d make a song for the movie. They loved it so much that almost all of Queen wanted to write their own songs. Freddie Mercury did Princes of the Universe, Brian May did Who Wants to Live Forever, Roger Taylor did It’s a Kind of Magic.

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Sean Connery nearly quit after a sword fighting accident

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In the iconic scene where Clancy Brown confronts Connery’s character, Brown crashes through a door and cuts a table in half. In an early take, Brown accidentally slammed the sword on its broad side, shattering the blade. A shard nearly hit Connery, who immediately left the set and threatened to quit. Brown explained that he was feeling nervous because the scene was with a legend like Connery. Tempers cooled, but Sean said they should use his stunt double more.

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Connery carried homemade whisky with him

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Well, he’s Scottish, after all. But to get the details and a lot of other interesting Highlander facts, go read the article over on The Guardian.

Last Updated: July 6, 2016

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it's something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway - even video nasties need love...

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