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In 1191, King Richard I (George Sanders) is in the Holy Land intent on retaking Jerusalem from the Saracens. There is, however, much infighting and treachery in the European encampment. Two nobles in particular, Sir Giles Amaury (Robert Douglas) and Conrad of Montferrat (Michael Pate), want to eliminate the English king and attempt to have him assassinated. Severely wounded and on his death bed, Richard is brought back to health by a Saracen doctor, Emir Hderim Sultan Saladin (Rex Harrison), recruited by one of his loyal knights, Sir Kenneth of Huntington (Laurence Harvey). The king recovers from his wounds, but when he hears that Sir Kenneth wishes to marry Lady Edith Plantagenet (Virginia Mayo), the knight is banished only to be taken in by the doctor who treated the king and who has an altogether different identity.