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  Tristan + Isolde (2006)  
  Rating: (5.5/10) (11 votes)
Directors: Kevin Reynolds
Writers: Dean Georgaris
OMDB: 0344174
Genre: Drama, Romance, Action, Adventure
Country: UK, USA, Germany, Czech Republic
Language: English
Duration: 125 min
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For other uses, see Tristan and Iseult (disambiguation).
Tristan & Isolde
Directed by Kevin Reynolds
Produced by Ridley Scott
Tony Scott
Written by Dean Georgaris
Starring James Franco
Sophia Myles
Rufus Sewell
David O'Hara
Henry Cavill
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox
Release date January 13, 2006
Running time 125 min.
Language English
Budget Unknown

Tristan & Isolde is a 2006 German/British/American film based on the medieval romantic legend of Tristan and Iseult. It was produced by Ridley Scott (who had been working on an adaptation since the mid-seventies) and Tony Scott, directed by Kevin Reynolds and stars James Franco and Sophia Myles. This film is a non-operatic rendition of the plot of Richard Wagner's, Tristan und Isolde.

  • Tagline: Before Romeo and Juliet there was Tristan and Isolde.

Plot outline

Isolde (Myles) and Tristan (Franco) in a scene from the movie
Isolde (Myles) and Tristan (Franco) in a scene from the movie

"Tristan and Isolde" is set in Britain, in the Early Middle Ages, after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century. British kingdoms are in the process of uniting under Lord Marke (Rufus Sewell), to become stronger against attacks by the Irish king Donnchadh (David O'Hara).

The British knight Tristan of Aerygone (James Franco) is apparently killed in combat with Morholt, leader of Donnchadh's army and to whom Princess Isolde (Sophia Myles) has been promised in marriage. However, Tristan is not dead, only suffering from the effects of Morholt's poisoned blade; before the fight is over, Tristan does indeed kill Morholt and Donnchadh's army is decimated.

Tristan's body is put out to sea on a funeral boat which eventually washes up along the shores of Ireland, in enemy territory, with Tristan still alive. He is discovered by Isolde and her maid Bragnae, who administer an antidote that revives the knight and then secretly nurse him back to health. Tristan and Isolde fall in love; Isolde does not disclose her real name. After some time Tristan is forced to flee back to Britain.

Still plotting to defeat Britain, Donnchadh proposes a, peace treaty, with his daughter Isolde is to be married to the winner of a tournament. Tristan participates on behalf of his uncle Marke, unaware that the "prize" Isolde is the woman he fell in love with in Ireland. He wins but is shocked when he realizes the truth; she is consequently betrothed to Marke.

Although Marke is kind to Isolde, her love for Tristan is overpowering, and Tristan is tortured by their situation. Despite the marriage, Tristan and Isolde resume their affair, albeit secretly. The affair is discovered by rivals of King Marke's, weakening his position and setting off a new war with Ireland abetted by the traitorous Lord Wictred. Marke is first angry, but after Isolde explains he becomes understanding of their situation and offers Tristan and Isolde the choice to run off together. Tristan chooses to stay, however; and in a battle with Donnchadh's army, he is mortally wounded by Wictred and eventually dies in Isolde's arms.

Box office

The film opened at number eight for the weekend of January 13, 2006. It grossed 7.85 million dollars.

As of February 20, 2006, the film grossed a total of 14.63 million dollars in the domestic Box Office.


The region 1 DVD was released on April 25, 2006.

External links

See also List of films based on Arthurian legend

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