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Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1998)

A free-spirited yet naive country girl is caught between her wealthy, manipulative "cousin" Alec and the handsome, educated farmer Angel Clare in this Victorian tragedy from novelist Thomas Hardy.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rosalind Knight ...
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Christine Moore ...
Bryan Pringle ...
Debbie Chazen ...
Candida Rundle ...
Amanda Brewster ...
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Car Darch
Hannah Waterman ...
Nancy
Charlotte Bellamy ...
Cissie
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Storyline

Young country girl Tess Durbyfield goes to work for her aristocratic relatives, the D'Urbervilles, in an attempt at helping her family to raise some money. Her cousin Alec falls in love with her and seduces/rapes her. Written by Anonymous

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13 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Egy tiszta nő  »

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Goofs

When Alec picks the strawberry to give to Tess, he removes it from the plant leaving behind the stalk and leaves. When he places it to her lips, the stalk and leaves have reappeared. See more »

Connections

Version of Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1924) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unforgettable
27 April 2008 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

I first saw this as a 3 parter on UK ITV in 1998 and was bowled over by it - imho it's the best ever screen adaptation of any Thomas Hardy novel full stop. Over the years I've seen many films and TV plays adapted from his books many of them very good, but all of them way behind this outstanding LWT (RIP)/ A&E co-production.

Poor, pure and simple country girl gets buffeted by Fate between 2 wealthy men, one essentially bad and the other essentially good, and she nobly suffers all the emotional troubles they bring her. All of the phases of her life as delineated by Hardy are brought out in the screenplay by Ted Whitehead, who did an excellent job in condensing down a long complex novel into a mere 3 hours but still not losing anything of importance. The rosy photography is lovingly and befittingly Constable/Turneresque with so many gorgeous hues and colours of simple rustic scenes and is never rushed - Hardy would surely have approved! The anguished music reflects the emotions at all stages and complements the visual sumptuousness of it all. One very minor niggle was the sometimes sloppy sound dubbing - they presumably had to work to get the accents correct later in the studio. Jason Flemyng as Alec was suitably caddish and young Oliver Milburn was realistically idealistic. But excellent as this was in all departments Justine Waddell was still the best thing about this production: she fitted my idea of tragic Tess perfectly - was she Fated to play her? If you don't crack into a million pieces when she repeatedly whispers "It's too late" to Angel you're made of sterner stuff than me!

If you like Hardy's novels you shouldn't miss this, it's a beautiful, heartbreaking, haunting and vividly memorable version of the tragedy.


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