In France and the US, only shortened version of Highlander made it to the movie theaters. The cuts are similar. The only relevant difference is the WW II flashback in the French Version, which has been entirely removed for the US Version. Moreover, the wrestling match is slightly different. On the other hand, the French Version lacks a tiny scene with Bedsow which is exclusively in the US Version.
The French and US Version both started in movie theaters in March 1986 while any other country had to wait a few more months. That's possibly the reason for the different versions.
Besides the shortened French Version, a French DVD with the uncut European Version is also available on DVD.
The original French Version lacks 16 scenes with a length of 3:30 minutes.
During the wrestling tournament, a scene is missing in the french version, where Connor MacLeod closes his eyes and has a flashback. You see various battle scenes from the past, mixed with shots of MacLeod, the audience and the wrestlers.
The scene, where Fazil is doing flic-flacs, is missing.
MacLeod watches Fazil, who's still doing flic-flacs through the underground carpark.
Some scenes of MacLeod and his men going into battle are missing in the french version. MacLeod's girlfriend runs towards him and gives him flowers and wishes him luck.
When Connor is chased out of the village, he takes more punches in the uncut version.
A villager hits MacLeod three times in the head.
When the tower collapses, two shots are missing.
A longer shot of Ramirez after Kurgan grabbed him. Then, a shot of another part of the tower staircase collapsing, followed by a long shot of the events.
After the (unsuccessful) duel between MacLeod and Basset there's a shot missing of the enraged Bassett shooting his servant, who handed him the two pistols, in the back.
A shot of the guy, whom Kurgan impaled on his sword and the beginning of the next shot of Kurgan's face, are missing.
The shot of Kurgan licking the priest's hand in the church is missing in the french version.
After the bed scene with MacLeod and Brenda, a scene taking place in the zoo is missing in the french version. Brenda and Connor are standing in front of a lion's cage. MacLeod tells Brenda, that since his first wife died, he doesn't want to have another relationship, to which Brenda responds by calling him crazy. Most people are afraid to die. But he's afraid to live. She tells him to be careful and kisses him before she walks away. The most important thing of this scene, however, is that you can see Kurgan in the background watching them. When Connor turns around, he's gone.
fter Connor enters the elevator, the shot of Rachel is longer in the uncut version. She says: "Goodbye Russell Nash.". At the same time, the screen and the elevator are going down.
A part of the showdown between MacLeod and Kurgan is missing in the theatrical release. After Kurgan was able to push Connor away from himself, he disappears. Kurgan looks around and dives into the water with a turning motion. Cut to Brenda, who's hanging down from the neon sign tied up. After that, MacLeod appears from out of the water and immediately gets attacked by Kurgan, who appears behind him.
The shot of Kurgan's head folding backwards, his throat ripping open and bright light flowing from the wound is longer in the uncut version.