Lovespell is a 1981 fantasy romantic tragedy film featuring Richard Burton as King Mark of Cornwall. It was directed by Tom Donovan. Originally filmed in 1979, this film got released for limited screenings in theaters in 1981. It is based on the classic saga of Tristan and Isolde, which was also the basis for the 2006 film Tristan and Isolde.

Directed byTom Donovan
Produced byTom Hayes
Douglas Hughes
Claire Labine
Thomas H. Ryan
Written byClaire Labine
StarringRichard Burton
Kate Mulgrew
Nicholas Clay
Cyril Cusack
Niall O'Brien
Music byPaddy Moloney
CinematographyRichard H. Kline
Edited byRussell Lloyd
Distributed byJohn Lucas Ltd
Release date
December 1981
Running time
CountryIreland, United Kingdom

Plot synopsis

Lovespell is based around a love triangle between King Mark of Cornwall (Richard Burton), Isolt (Kate Mulgrew), and Tristan (Nicholas Clay). Mark discovers Isolt's love for Tristan, and banishes Tristan. However, while being away, Tristan is mortally wounded. Isolt persuades Mark to go and take Tristan back to Cornwall. Mark says if he returns casting white sails Tristan is alive and if they are black Tristan is dead. Mark returns with Tristan barely alive with white sails, but casts black sails when Tristan reveals his plans to run away with Isolt as soon as he has recovered. This causes Isolt to kill herself by throwing herself off the White Cliffs of Dover. Mark helps Tristan swim to the shore, and as Tristan and Isolt's hands touch they both die, while Mark, knee deep in the water, looks on.


Character Name Actor Name
King Mark of Cornwall Richard Burton
Isolt Kate Mulgrew
Tristan Nicholas Clay
Gormond of Ireland Cyril Cusack
Bronwyn Geraldine Fitzgerald
Andred Niall Toibin
Alix Diana Van der Vlis
Corvenal Niall O'Brien
Yseult of the White Hand Kathryn Dowling
Father Colm John Jo Brooks
Anne Trudy Hayes
Bishop John Scanlon
William the Guard Bobby Johnson
Eoghanin John Labine
  • Lovespell on IMDb
  • Blowen, Michael (Aug 16, 1982). "Movie review: Tristan and Isolt founder in a sea of nonsense". Boston Globe. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
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