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Tess [DVD] [1981]

4.3 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Leigh Lawson, John Collin, Tony Church
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Writers: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach, John Brownjohn, Thomas Hardy
  • Producers: Claude Berri, Jean-Pierre Rassam, Pierre Grunstein
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Hindi
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Sept. 2004
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000284AMY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,891 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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