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Tess (1979)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  12 December 1980 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,577 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 58 critic

A strong-willed young peasant girl becomes the affection of two men.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Tess (1979)

Tess (1979) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Collin ...
Tony Church ...
...
Tess (as Nastassia Kinski)
Brigid Erin Bates ...
Girl in meadow
Jeanne Biras ...
Girl in meadow
...
John Bett ...
...
Rosemary Martin ...
Geraldine Arzul ...
Child
Stephanie Treille ...
Child
Elodie Warnod ...
Child
Ben Reeks ...
Child
Leigh Lawson ...
...
Girl in henhouse
Edit

Storyline

Wessex County, England during the Victorian era. Christian values dominate what are social mores. These mores and her interactions with two men play a large part in what happens in the young life of peasant girl, the shy, innocent, proper yet proud Tess Durbeyfield. The first of these men is Alec d'Urberville. After learning from a local historian that they are really descendants of the aristocratic d'Urberville family which has died out due to lack of male heirs, Tess' parents send her to a nearby mansion where they know some d'Urbervilles actually reside. This move is in order for the family to gain some benefit from their heritage. Upon her arrival at the mansion, Tess quickly learns that the family of Tess' "cousin" Alec are not true d'Urbervilles, but rather an opportunistic lot who bought the family name in order to improve their own standing in life. Tess is pulled between what she was sent to accomplish for her family against her general disdain for Alec, who will give her ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As timely today as the day it was written. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tess  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD) | (re-issue) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director of Photography Geoffrey Unsworth died of a heart attack during the third week of shooting at the end of October 1978. Most of the film's scenes shot by him were exteriors in the first half of the movie and can be noticed by some fog and slight diffusion. Ghislain Cloquet shot the second half and the remaining of the movie with most of his scenes in interiors with no diffusion. Rumor has that among the scenes shot by Unsworth before his death were:
  • 1) The foggy day-to-night seduction in the woods
  • 2) The tent and the strawberries when Tess is in the D'Uberville mansion.
  • 3) The large barn of cows being milked.
  • 4) The girls seeing Angel at sunrise.
  • 5) Angel carries the girls over the stream.
See more »

Goofs

At 4:21, camera shadow on Durbeyfield's back. This shadow extends entirely across the path. At 4:44, as the parson and Durbeyfield talk, the shadow is gone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John Durbeyfield: Good night, t'ee.
Parson Tringham: Good night, Sir John.
See more »

Connections

Version of Tess of the D'Urbervilles (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented
10 December 2008 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

Roman Polanski's film Tess, (1979) adaptation of Thomas Hardy famous novel of the 19th century "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" , won many prestigious awards, including three Oscars of six nominations and every award for Best Cinematography it was nominated for. If any film deserves recognition for its beautiful, lyrical, sensual yet melancholic and poetic visual presentation, "Tess" is it. The movie might be Roman Polanski's finest achievement, and this statement comes from a viewer who is in love with all Polanski's films starting with his debut "Knife in the Water". "Tess" is one of the best adaptations of the classic novel I've seen and it lives, breathes and moves freely. It never rushes to tell its long story but tells it with rare finesse, compassion, and love for the heroine, a gentle creature who had been insulted, humiliated, and ultimately destroyed.

The success of the movie starts with the choice of the actress for the title role. Tess as played by 20 years old Nasstassia Kisnki is beautiful, sensual, shy and full of life and hope for love. The life of Tess unfolds in front of us from her teenage years as an innocent country girl until the powerfully tragic final scene at the magnificent Stonehenge. The film is almost three hours long but I never was bored, on the contrary, I felt compassion for the girl and anger toward the men that used and corrupted her, ruined her hopes for love and happiness, and toward the society that mercifully discarded of her. Tess is one of the best movies I've seen. It is stunning, subtle, emotional, tragic, and unforgettable.


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