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Tess [VHS] [1979]

Nastassja Kinski , Peter Firth , Roman Polanski    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
Price: £6.50
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Product details

  • Actors: Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Leigh Lawson, John Collin, Arielle Dombasle
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Writers: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach, John Brownjohn, Thomas Hardy
  • Producers: Claude Berri, Jean-Pierre Rassam, Pierre Grunstein
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Fox
  • VHS Release Date: 24 Jun 1996
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CSBE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,915 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Roman Polanski adapted Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles and came up with this moody, haunting film starring Nastassia Kinski as the farm girl who is misused by the aristocrat for whom she works and who is then caught in a marriage where her initial happiness soon turns to grief. Fans of the novel may feel unpersuaded by Polanski's effort to marry Hardy's Dorset vision with his own fascination with psychosexual impulses toward survival, but the film is an often stunning thing to see, and Kinski's sensitive, intelligent performance lingers in the memory. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Three times Academy Award winning film based on the classic Thomas Hardy novel. Set in 19th Century England where a peasant discovers that his family are descendants from a noble family, the d'Urbervilles. He sends his daughter Tess to live with a rich cousin, Alec d'Urberville. She has a baby by him but it dies in infancy. Tess then runs away and on the way meets a pastor's son, Angel, with whom she falls in love and marries. When she tells Angel about her past he is unable to forgive and goes off to Brazil. Tess then goes back to Alec. But when Angel returns home, Tess kills her lover, Alec, in order to be with the only man she has ever loved, Angel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous, exquisite and achingly beautiful 16 July 2008
By William Cohen VINE VOICE
I first saw this film at Easter 1987, I was studying the novel for 'A' level. Over twenty years later, I can see so much more in it. First the strength and pain of Tess, and what a sublime literary heroine she is. At 18 you don't realise how tough and painful life can be, but by middle-age you can appreciate how betrayals and disappointments come about. Tess faces some terrible blows.

Nastassja Kinski is one of the most beautiful creatures you've ever seen on film, and the costumes in this film are out of this world. After watching this the first time, I proposed a debate in school, "This House believes that Nastassja Kinski should become Head of Modern Languages." As part of my case I got the video and showed the strawberry scene, which has to be one of the most erotic in cinema.

The film lasts for three hours, and I watched it over three sessions. It brought back that profoundly sad English vision of the world so particular to Thomas Hardy. Polanski adds his own creepiness in parts and he evokes village life in flux. I'm usually bored by costume-drama adaptations, but this film has utterly beguiled me this week.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally replaced my antiquated video!!!! 26 Jan 2006
I've bought it on DVD at long last! Brilliant quality etc! A real treat!
I originally watched it on video when my mum studied for her degree years ago. Then years later when I studied for mine I then bought it.
It is such an atmospheric, emotional film. I loved it, but how I've cried at the end of it! The injustice!
At university, it was always Alec D'Urberville, the villain! Quite frankly, I think that Angel Clare was worse! Mr Pious, who claimed to love her, yet is unhappy because she's "impure." Get your priorities right man! This is probably easy for me to say with a 21st century perspective rather than a nineteenth one! At least Alec seems to want to make up for his awful behaviour. Angel Clare? A waste of space!
A very heart wrenching film, and controversial like the book? Was Tess's beauty really the cause of her downfall? Alec D'Urberville? Tess's father for forcing the alliance with the rich family who turned out not to be genuine descendants of the D'Urbervilles anyway? Watch the film and make up your own mind!
This book, and film created great debates at uni and at school (A level). The seduction scene is vague, but it also is in the book? Was this coincidence or a definite ploy by Thomas Hardy? This story really gets you thinking!
The photography is beautiful in the film, with contrasting colours and moods used to depict the relevant scenes in the novel. Light, sunny scenes alongside dark scenes are very symbolic.
The acting is brilliant, and Angel Clare annoying! A highly recommended film which sticks exactly to the plot in the Thomas Hardy novel. Fantastic and flawless!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Haunting! 11 Nov 2008
By Lizzi S
When this film first came out I watched it, having been a fan of the book. It's been many years now, and I decided to buy it on DVD as I was inspired by the new BBC version.

Polanski has shot a truly beautiful version of Tess of The D'Urbervilles. Nastassia Kinski is stunning and so innocent as Tess. Angel is played by a very young Peter Firth (Harry in Spooks), and both portrayals are sensitive and believeable. The way it is shot shows Polanski's talent for cinematography and some scenes just take your breath away.

I do feel this film suffers because of it's length. The end comes too quickly and seems to be rushed. There's no doubt that this film is beautiful and haunting, but it is not emotional enough to make me cry.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous and faithful adaptation 15 Sep 2003
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Polanski's version of Hardy's novel is a cinemagraphic treat, and a deftly scripted screenplay. There are very few deviations from the plot of the book and there are frequent lines of dialogue lifted directly from the novel. Natassia Kinski plays Tess to perfection -- with a fatalistic melancholy and innocence that captures the character that Hardy invoked so decisively. She is also astoundingly beautiful without seeming to ever realise it, which is one of the causes her downfall. The filmic representation of Tess' life is wonderfully managed -- particularly good is the way the summer Tess spends working at the dairy farm and meeting Angel is portrayed in sumptuous golden light before things go pear-shaped and the scenes become mist-filled and mud-strewn as Tess lives out her unhappy life. Hardy was making a statement about the industrialisation of the countryside and the destruction of rural ways of life at the end of the nineteenth century. Polanski has managed to translate this from book to film in mesmerising fashion, mostly with the aid of visuals such as the ear-splitting, steam-driven machinery in use at the industrialised farm Tess is forced to work at after Angel leaves her. This compares to the slow-pace of rural life at Tess' home and at the dairy. The film's atmosphere and the characterisations are deep and rich, and is certainly the best film adaptation of a Hardy novel despite some stiff competition. Just one aside -- the film is dedicated to Polanski's murdered wife Sharon Tate.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE 19 Aug 2004
I went to see this movie at the Odeon Southampton , England , the week it came out . It changed my life and not only re introduced me to Thomas Hardy but also set a benchmark for production values that no movie has ever come close to .
There is true elegance in every frame and the movie has a soundtrack to die for .
You need to own this DVD . You really do .
Neville Judd
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
This has to be one of the best adaptions ever of this tragic story. Perfect casting, perfect direction, stunning cinematography and haunting music. Exquisite.
Published 1 month ago by Carla
2.0 out of 5 stars Polanski's Tess of the D'Urbevilles
Notwithstanding the fact that many reviewers have given this film five stars, I have to say that I found this much touted production disappointing. Read more
Published 2 months ago by S. H. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Tess
This was purchased for a friend at his request mainly because said friend fell for Nastassia Kinski. In his words the more the better
Published 5 months ago by apteryxaustralis
2.0 out of 5 stars Short of the book
The characters are shallow comparing with the orignal book. Looks very theatrical. Photography and music pretty.
Moreover, DVD allows no subtitles!
Published 8 months ago by P. Kruszynski
5.0 out of 5 stars Tess
Well I couldn't fault this as I love this movie. The best film version of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'urbevilles. Very true to the original novel. Beautiful photography. Read more
Published 10 months ago by badgerblog
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly gorgeous
I'm reviewing the recent 4k restoration on Blu-Ray. Wow! The restoration does complete justice to this wonderful movie. Read more
Published 12 months ago by The Doogster
5.0 out of 5 stars very beautiful adaptation of a great novel.
Very sensitive and believable portrayal of a tragic character by Nastassia Kinski. Beautiful cinematography , and overall a wonderful film.
Published 12 months ago by R. Storey
5.0 out of 5 stars Reborn
The print for this reborn blu-ray issue of Tess is very good and the film comes back to life in widescreen. Read more
Published 13 months ago by WSH
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film but the dvd was slightly damaged
It is a great movie, but the dvd is slightly damaged. It jumps and the screen dissolves into lines from time to time.
Published 13 months ago by Ms. Fiona J. Cumberpatch
5.0 out of 5 stars Tess
Bought as a present, never watched it myself but the person I bought it for loves it. If they are happy so am I.
Published 13 months ago by AB.
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