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Highlander (1985) US theatrical cut, anyone?

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A preservation project perhaps?
Anyone thought about doing the US theatrical of Highlander? There's a French 2-DVD set out with the second disc supposedly containing the US theatrical cut in widescreen albeit with French audio. Is anyone game for taking the audio off the US laserdisc and merging that with the French DVD, assuming someone could get their hands on these?
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Or you could just slice a few chunks out of the "real" version of the film.
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Sure, but there is at least one scene in the US theatrical that is not in the international theatrical or the US Director's cut.
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From imdb:

"The European version and later US Director's Cut does not contain a short scene shot from inside Det. Bedsoe's car as he stakes out Brenda's apartment during MacLeod's visit."

"As MacLeod lays on the floor after the final battle, he can be heard saying "I want to go home" on the original US version, but not on the European version and later US Director's Cut."

"In the original U.S. release during the scene when Connor and Ramirez jump off the cliff, you can hear Ramirez yell, "MacLeod, this is the Quickening!" In the European version, Ramirez and Connor just yell as they jump."

"In earlier versions Ramirez says he's "...chief metallurgist of King Phillip II of Spain" while in later versions and the Uncut DVD he says he's "...chief metallurgist of Charles V." This change is shown in Highlander Two Ramirez still says the first version."

"In the American versions, as Kurgen is driving into New York, the opening guitar to the Queen song "Gimme The Prize" can be heard over the news report and the vocals start when Kurgen pops in the tape. However in the Director's cut, the opening guitar part has been taken out and the song starts at the vocals like before when Kurgen pops in the cassette."
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It is a small scene of Det. Bedsoe outside Brenda Wyatt's apartment building. I guess it wasn't really needed since it is established when Connor spots him gazing out her living room window.
Also, after taking the Kurgan's head he says "I want to go home" which is left out of all other versions.
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Originally posted by: mcfly89
From imdb:"In the original U.S. release during the scene when Connor and Ramirez jump off the cliff, you can hear Ramirez yell, "MacLeod, this is the Quickening!" In the European version, Ramirez and Connor just yell as they jump."


Hmm, that doesn't sound quite right, the European version does have that line. The US Director's cut doesn't though.

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Apparently it's a bunch of things... the buzz Immortals feel when another of their kind is near, the energy release that happens when one is beheaded, the ability to feel at one with living things around them (the stag) and the power that makes them immortal itself. Highlander 2 attempts to expand upon this by showing it as a power that "binds" Connor and Ramirez together beyond life and death. There's also a scene in the first movie that makes me think there is some kind of "coming of age" that each Immortal experiences when they are struck by lightning that could be called "the quickening" (unless the scene I'm thinking of is just Ramirez having Connor struck by natural lightning to show him what the real "Quickening" will feel like when he beheads another Immortal, as part of his training).


But as the movies and series progress, it becomes such that "The Quickening" is just an electrical storm when an Immortal gets killed in proximety to another.



Other differences between the US theatrical cut and the Director's cut on DVD (besides those already mentioned), from memory:

The final Quickening is modified. In the original you can barely make out the wires that are lifting Christopher Lambert into the air. In the DC, extra lightning effects were layered over them to cover up the wires, and some extra CG pyrotechnics were added forming a circle around him at various points. The Kurgan's head actually falls off in the original and you see energy underneath it. In the DC his head starts to "crack" from the cut in it and then it pauses as energy surges out of it (like glowing blood or something) and you hear a supernatural "woooO" type sound effect.

The "buzz" of the Immortals is modified. You hear a characteristic humming helicopter (hard to describe) sound effect when Immortals are near each other (for instance in the scene near the beginning where Connor stops suddenly in the parking garage and then steps on a coke can, originally there was no extra sound effect, the "buzz" we hear was inserted, to make it more consistent with the TV series that always plays some sound effect to notify the viewer that Immortals are sensing each other). Originally you had to just go by the acting alone.

The first Quickening is modified. In the DC version, the energy of the quickening that surrounds Fasil's body and levitates it actually forms a "phantom head" (where his head used to be) made out of energy, that wasn't there before.

When Kurgan beheads Ramirez, there's a series of whooshing crackling sound effects that weren't there before. Originally there was just some normal lightning flashes in the background and he's shivering with the unseen power.


But yeah, otherwise it's just spliced in footage from the European/Japanese versions, the removal of the scene of Bedsoe burning himself in his car and the voice over "I want to go home."


What should be preserved is the "making of" featurette that is featured on the recent European "Immortal Edition" set but not the US Immortal Edition (that came out earlier).

Speaking of extras, many pages of publicity still images and script pics from the Laserdisc version were copied over to the 1997 DVD but not the Immortal Edition (due to a glitch, they would speed by the viewer ultra fast, making them impossible to read unless you paused and did frame by frame, rather than the slideshow they were intended to be), also the quality was poor.

The Laserdisc edition supposedly also included a "3D connor macleod sword model" that you could view on the disc, but I never saw what they were talking about.

If somebody wanted to throw those onto a "bonus disc" that would be worth seeing.


Also, I haven't watched the 1997 DVD in years, but some folks claimed, when the Immortal Edition came out, that the new version's audio wasn't quite as good, but I couldn't really tell a difference (I don't have good equipment, I still watch my movies on my computer).
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Originally posted by: ferdinandhudson
A preservation project perhaps?
Anyone thought about doing the US theatrical of Highlander? There's a French 2-DVD set out with the second disc supposedly containing the US theatrical cut in widescreen albeit with French audio. Is anyone game for taking the audio off the US laserdisc and merging that with the French DVD, assuming someone could get their hands on these?


the french disc does NOT include the Us cut. it includes the European Cut and the French cut (shorter than the int. cut but longer than the Us Cut). The french cut has the WWII flashback.
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Originally posted by: Ash595
Originally posted by: ferdinandhudson
A preservation project perhaps?
Anyone thought about doing the US theatrical of Highlander? There's a French 2-DVD set out with the second disc supposedly containing the US theatrical cut in widescreen albeit with French audio. Is anyone game for taking the audio off the US laserdisc and merging that with the French DVD, assuming someone could get their hands on these?


the french disc does NOT include the Us cut. it includes the European Cut and the French cut (shorter than the int. cut but longer than the Us Cut). The french cut has the WWII flashback.



Ah, thanks. Oh well, guess not. But now we have a fourth version...
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As I recall, the director's cut had this cheesy exploding-glass transition to the WWII flashback. I always thought this was added in the 90's for the director's cut DVD. Is the same transition in the french cut from the 80's?
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Originally posted by: mcfly89
As I recall, the director's cut had this cheesy exploding-glass transition to the WWII flashback. I always thought this was added in the 90's for the director's cut DVD. Is the same transition in the french cut from the 80's?


It was in the European cut prior to the release of the US director's cut. Can't speak for the French cut.
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Received the 3-disc ultimate edition of Highlander a short while back and while French cut technically isn't the same as the US theatrical it is the closest thing to it. Remove the WWII flashback and re-insert the detective Bedsoe scene and... voila... there you have it.
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[quote]The first Quickening is modified. In the DC version, the energy of the quickening that surrounds Fasil's body and levitates it actually forms a "phantom head" (where his head used to be) made out of energy, that wasn't there before. [/quote]

Now that I watched one of the trailers more closely, I see this appeared in it, so I could be wrong on this point...


UNLESS of course, this special effect was unfinished in the US cut and tweaked in the international versions (since trailers aren't always identical to the theatrical release of a film).

I'd have to go back and check my US non-DC Vhs tape over the summer...
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Originally posted by: Kurgan
[quote]The first Quickening is modified. In the DC version, the energy of the quickening that surrounds Fasil's body and levitates it actually forms a "phantom head" (where his head used to be) made out of energy, that wasn't there before. [/quote]

Now that I watched one of the trailers more closely, I see this appeared in it, so I could be wrong on this point...


UNLESS of course, this special effect was unfinished in the US cut and tweaked in the international versions (since trailers aren't always identical to the theatrical release of a film).

I'd have to go back and check my US non-DC Vhs tape over the summer...


Please do, I just checked the French cut as the effects on the last beheading on that were different to that of the international/US DC but checking the Fasil quickening that was the same as all other cuts.
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HBO still owns the rights to the US Theatrical Version of “Highlander”. It’s currently on-demand over at Cinemax. I’m still trying to find someone who can burn me a DVD in 720p or 1080i. Ask around.

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Last I checked (2015) the version on Netflix Canada was the US cut.

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I have quite a few versions of this film on DVD and Blu Ray but I sold my old copy and got the immortal edition.

I got a DVD version off e-bay of the old version it was £1.00 and was free with the Sun Newspaper. It much better than the Immortal edition with weird colors.

It looks fantastic! I think it looks really nice. I think it might be the old Studio Canal version. It looks like the VHS anyway but in good quality.

I also got the extended Soundtrack and was planning to do an edit on this restoring some music cues and deleted scenes from the Kurgan fight.

I also really want to replace the background of when the Kurgan kills Ramirez and put real sky behind him when he is up the tower. One Day perhaps…

I have some pieces of the pie but not all of them.

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Yeah that is fine. I have never seen the scene with detective Bedsoe in his Car from American Theatrical…

And I’d like to hear “I want to go home” at the end after Connor has the quickening to see how that works?

Damn shame about the lost footage and soundtrack all being lost in a fire.

Although I have all the soundtrack from what was left presumeably from demo tapes put to CD it’s not the best quality for the unused music. There is still some very good stuff there.

I am sure if Russell Mulachy could have done he would have extended the European cut with the Kurgun fight in the office building. Don’t know why he did’nt use some of the deleted material he did have though.

Don’t like the new whooshing sounds added when an immortal is near in the new versions.

Oh yeah another thing “Princes of the Universe” intro song always sounds so thin is it like this in the American version?

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Ronster said:

Yeah that is fine. I have never seen the scene with detective Bedsoe in his Car from American Theatrical…

And I’d like to hear “I want to go home” at the end after Connor has the quickening to see how that works?

Damn shame about the lost footage and soundtrack all being lost in a fire.

Although I have all the soundtrack from what was left presumeably from demo tapes put to CD it’s not the best quality for the unused music. There is still some very good stuff there.

I am sure if Russell Mulachy could have done he would have extended the European cut with the Kurgun fight in the office building. Don’t know why he did’nt use some of the deleted material he did have though.

Don’t like the new whooshing sounds added when an immortal is near in the new versions.

Oh yeah another thing “Princes of the Universe” intro song always sounds so thin is it like this in the American version?

Are you watching it in the 5.1 mix or OG 2.0 mix? I always watch it in the OG 2.0.
I have these two:

http://dvdcompare.net/comparisons/film.php?fid=15069#1
http://dvdcompare.net/comparisons/film.php?fid=15069#10

Keeping the latter since it has more subtitles and dub tracks.

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The original old DVD I have has that line when they jump off the cliff Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert and Ramirez shouts “this is the quickening!”

This is missing in the new versions…

But in all versions if you compare princes of the universe intro song the actual song they released sounds better than the home video version. It’s like missing bass or something or too tinny.

I think it would be worth a fix. Just saying.

I have never heard the American Sound mix with “I want to go home” and anything else it has in it that differs from the European cut. I have only ever seen the European version.

One of the other differences is “New York New York” Song something to do with the Radio and Kurgan playing the song or something that is a difference between the American Version and the European version I think I read. Have not heard the American version though…

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Ronster said:

The original old DVD I have has that line when they jump off the cliff Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert and Ramirez shouts “this is the quickening!”

This is missing in the new versions…

But in all versions if you compare princes of the universe intro song the actual song they released sounds better than the home video version. It’s like missing bass or something or too tinny.

I think it would be worth a fix. Just saying.

I have never heard the American Sound mix with “I want to go home” and anything else it has in it that differs from the European cut. I have only ever seen the European version.

One of the other differences is “New York New York” Song something to do with the Radio and Kurgan playing the song or something that is a difference between the American Version and the European version I think I read. Have not heard the American version though…

Are you watching it in the 5.1 remix or OG 2.0 mix? I gotta recheck all three releases I own for this.

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old DVD would be OG 2.0.

Immortal Edition is 5.1 in the UK we don’t get the OG 2.0 mix on that disc.

Blu Ray is missing “This is the quickening!” Jumping off the cliff as it is still the 5.1 mix that missed a few bits of audio. Not sure about the 4k remaster Blu ray?


American audio differences “I want to go home” and New york new york song I have never heard them only ever read about them. There could be more?


The 5.1 mix adds the whooshing sounds when immortals are near one another this was a revision that came with the immortal edition.

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