Tristan und Isolde (1981)

Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - Ireland, West Germany  |  
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The director Veith von Fuerstenberg has added some fictional elements to the story of Tristan and Isolde, a tale of star-crossed lovers which the film interprets without Wagner and operatic flourishes. Tristan, a knight from Cornwall, ends up wounded on the sands of an Irish beach after defeating the Irish knight Morolt in battle. After he is nursed back to health by the Irish princess Isolde, he returns home to his father's castle very much in love with her. As king of Cornwall, his father Marke decides to create a truce with Ireland by marrying their princess - Isolde. Tristan is dispatched to bring the proposal to Ireland and does not find out the identity of the unnamed princess until he meets her. Isolde returns with Tristan to go through with the marriage, for the sake of peace between the two regions. Soon the two lovers cannot stay apart and end up running off into the forest together, where Isolde bears Tristan's child. Their actions have precipitated a civil war that threatens to get worse by the minute, and so Isolde takes a sacred vow to return to the king and bring peace to the area by that action. Tristan turns to philanthropic brigandry, a la Robin Hood, and one day he is fatally wounded in a fight - lingering on for some time afterwards. Meanwhile, Isolde is faced with the fact that her return did nothing to bring peace, and during an attack on the castle by Irish forces, she escapes to go live with Tristan. A maid who had also fallen in love with Tristan delays Isolde's arrival, with tragic consequences.



love, star-crossed-lovers, tragic-love