A medieval love triangle erupts between King Mark of Cornwall (Richard Burton), Isolt (Kate Mulgrew; “Orange Is The New Black”), and his rival, Tristan (Nicholas Clay). In a jealous rage, the King casts out Tristan.
Isolt secretly pines for Tristan. When she hears he’s been mortally wounded, she begs King Mark to allow him to return. Expecting Tristan will die before their ship docks, he allows it.
They wait for Tristan’s ship to come into view. If it is flying black sails, then he has perished. If their sails are white, then he has survived.
Isolt knows not what she will do if her lover has died. And Tristan prays that his life will be spared so he may run off with his love.