The story of Tess Durbeyfield, a low-born country girl whose family find they have noble connections.
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Series cast summary:
 Tess Durbeyfield (4 episodes, 2008)
 Angel Clare (4 episodes, 2008)
 Joan Durbeyfield (4 episodes, 2008)
 Alec D'Urberville (4 episodes, 2008)
 John Durbeyfield (4 episodes, 2008)
 Groby (4 episodes, 2008)
 Liza-Lu Durbeyfield (4 episodes, 2008)
 Cuthbert Clare (4 episodes, 2008)
 Felix Clare (4 episodes, 2008)
 Izzy Huett (3 episodes, 2008)
 Mr Clare (3 episodes, 2008)
 Parson Tringham (3 episodes, 2008)
 Marion (3 episodes, 2008)
 Mrs Clare (3 episodes, 2008)
 Mercy Chant (3 episodes, 2008)
Joel Rowbottom ...
 Abraham Durbeyfield (3 episodes, 2008)
 Kate (3 episodes, 2008)
 Mary (3 episodes, 2008)
 Retty Priddle (2 episodes, 2008)
 Mr Crick (2 episodes, 2008)
Sally Bankes ...
 Mrs Crick (2 episodes, 2008)


In the late 19th century, Tess Durbeyfield is sent off to visit a rich cousin, Alec D'Urberville, when her parents learn that they are distantly related. Tess takes a disliking to the man and his attempts at seduction are rebuffed. Returning from a village party he forces himself on the innocent girl who eventually makes her way back to her parents' home. Ashamed and pregnant she seems destined to forever being marked a certain kind of woman. After the death of her child, she makes her way to a prosperous farm where, working as a milkmaid, she meets and eventually marries the handsome Angel Clare. On learning of her past however, he abandons her and with little choice and facing a life of extreme hardship, again falls into Alec's clutches and becomes a kept woman. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

4 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Egy tiszta nő  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gemma Arterton is the first English-born actress to portray Tess. All the previous actresses to play the part were born in the United States (Minnie Maddern Fiske and Blanche Sweet), Germany (Nastassja Kinski), or South Africa (Justine Waddell). See more »


There are two musical anachronisms. First, Angel plays an autoharp which was not invented until the 1880s in Germany, and would not have been an English folk instrument at the time of TESS. Secondly, the congregation is heard singing "How Great Thou Art," which was written in Swedish in 1885, but was not commonly known in English until Stuart Hine's translation (circa 1950). See more »


Version of Tess (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

23 July 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

If you--like me--saw a review for this film/miniseries calling it "terrible" and giving it one star, IGNORE IT. This film was absolutely stunning (there's a reason it was nominated for Best Lighting, Photography & Camera) and filled with much emotion and intensity by excellent actors. Gemma Arterton is superb as the lead role and all major and minor characters play their part with dedication and are a joy to watch.

Based on the Thomas Hardy Novel, Tess of the d'Urbervilles follows the life of young, beautiful, innocent Tess and the misfortune she faces. With unforgettable characters such as the young heroine, Alec and Angel, visually appealing landscapes and emotional intensity to soften even the toughest of critics, this film is a must-see and something you are unlikely to ever forget!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
It was seduction not rape. unicorn_catcher
Alec D'Urberville or Angel Clare? Queen_of_sheba
recent odd choices for male romantic leads jodiandvan-o
How does it compare to the Justine Waddell version? Zaantje
why are so many people harsh on Eddie redmayne (angel Clare)???? taperjeangirl101
The 'Independent' review gets it right… silverwhistle
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