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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.

Director:

Ian Sharp

Writers:

Thomas Hardy (novel), Ted Whitehead
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Justine Waddell ... Tess Durbeyfield
Jason Flemyng ... Alec D'Urberville
Oliver Milburn ... Angel Clare
John McEnery ... Jack Durbeyfield
Lesley Dunlop ... Joan Durbeyfield
Rosalind Knight Rosalind Knight ... Mrs. D'Urberville
Anthony O'Donnell ... Crick
Christine Moore Christine Moore ... Mrs. Crick
Bryan Pringle ... Kail
Debbie Chazen ... Marian
Candida Rundle Candida Rundle ... Izzy
Amanda Brewster Amanda Brewster ... Retty
Linda Armstrong Linda Armstrong ... Car Darch
Hannah Waterman Hannah Waterman ... Nancy
Charlotte Bellamy 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Egy tiszta nő See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

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 (1913) See more »

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User Reviews

The visualization of Hardy's imagination

If I may be so bold, I would say that this particular adaptation of Tess of the d'Urbervilles is just what Hardy had in mind when he wrote his masterpiece. However, it's difficult to put into words just why one production works so well. For me, one crucial ingredient was the music. The music in this production is emotive, a bit lively, innocently hedonistic, playful and lilting, but with a definite, bittersweet note illustrating the transient glory and ups and downs of Tess' too brief, and unfortunately, mostly tragic life. The beautiful Justine Waddell plays the role of Tess with great talent and simple dignity. In particular, I liked the scene in which she says there's no point learning about history only to discover that there have been countless other people like her in the past living through the same kind of drudgery. Oliver Milburn, who played Angel Clare, brings a new kind of skeptical optimism to the role not as apparent in Peter Firth's portrayal back in 1979. Milburn seems more angelic and innocent and innocuous in manner, posture, appearance, and in facial expression. He is open and appealing, very easily seducing the heart of Tess in spite of her reservations. His treatment of her when he has discovered her secret seems all the more callous and tragic for his previous admiration and light-hearted demeanor. But kudos must go to the directors and cinematographers of this production. From the opening scene of the maidens dancing in the field, the visual shots in this film are rich in beauty and light, at least when all is well. Even the drear scenes to come are depicted with absolute visual integrity and adhere faithfully to Hardy's vision and eloquent natural language. In particular, I like the fact that in this film, the last scene at Stonehenge has been more accurately portrayed from the book than in the previous version, 1979's "Tess". (Ie. the atheistic comments have not been censored out when Tess mourns with despair that Angel and she will never meet again.) All in all, this film is worth every moment watching. Not only are the dialogues delightful and the themes intriguing, but many will be captivated simply by the glorious scenery and by the beauty and demeure grace of Tess herself. My rating: 10/10


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