Tess 1979

In 19th-century England a peasant named John Durbeyfield discovers he descends from a noble family, the d'Urbervilles. He sends his eldest daughter Tess to live with Alec d'Urberville, a rich cousin. It soon emerges that the illustrious name was purchased by …
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In 19th-century England a peasant named John Durbeyfield discovers he descends from a noble family, the d'Urbervilles. He sends his eldest daughter Tess to live with Alec d'Urberville, a rich cousin. It soon emerges that the illustrious name was purchased by Alec's father. Tess is seduced by Alec and gives birth to a child that dies in infancy. Whilst attempting to escape from her destiny, she meets a pastor's son named Angel Clare. He falls in love with her and they get married. On their wedding night, Tess reveals her past to him. He cannot forgive her and deserting her, goes off to Brazil. A year later Angel discovers that Tess has become Alec's mistress. Driven to despair, Tess kills her lover and leaves to be with the only man she has ever been passionately in love with her husband.

Member Reviews

  • Beautifully made and heart-breakingly sad.

  • A classic story, very long, but wonderfully portrayed and beautifully filmed. The images evoke rural England, despite being filmed in France. Yet the film's major and unrelentingly distracting flaw is that Tess speaks with a European accent. Not unusual today, but for a born and bred English country girl in the 19th century it's ridiculous. While Nastassia Kinski is stunningly beautiful in the role, surely a genuine English girl could have been cast.

  • Faithful re-telling of the tragic story of Thomas Hardy's beautiful Tess Durbeyfield. Strong females being his theme. Would love to have seen this at the cinema.

  • Looks like I'm the only one criticising here... I haven't read the novel, I only can compare this movie to another movies about Tess (there are plenty of them) and describe my perception in general. I'm not a fault-finding person, and I like this sort of stories...but...honestly, Kinski's Tess seems a silly girl (bearly talks, never smiles and always has a blank look) whose unlogical actions evoke no feeling of pity towards her (why kill if she could have simply left him?). The story of a dull girl taking unjustified actions - this is the only "aftertaste" the movie have left in my mind.

  • I was surprised how good this is. It is long but it is consistently engaging and thoughtful.

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