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Tess (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) (1979)

Nastassja Kinski , Peter Firth , Roman Polanski  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nastassja Kinski, Peter Firth, Leigh Lawson, David Markham, Suzanna Hamilton
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Writers: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach, John Brownjohn, Thomas Hardy
  • Producers: Claude Berri
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2014
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GPPXP6A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,016 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

This multiple-Oscar-winning film by Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby) is an exquisite, richly layered adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. A strong-willed peasant girl (Paris, Texas’s Nastassja Kinski, in a gorgeous breakthrough) is sent by her father to the estate of some local aristocrats to capitalize on a rumor that their families are from the same line. This fateful visit commences an epic narrative of sex, class, betrayal, and revenge, which Polanski unfolds with deliberation and finesse. With its earthy visual textures, achieved by two world-class cinematographers—Geoffrey Unsworth (Cabaret) and Ghislain Cloquet (Au hasard Balthazar)—Tess is a work of great pastoral beauty as well as vivid storytelling.



DIRECTOR-APPROVED DUAL-FORMAT BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Roman Polanski, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Once Upon a Time . . . “Tess,” a 2006 documentary on the film
  • Three programs on the making of the film—From Novel to Screen, Filming “Tess,” and “Tess”: The Experience— featuring interviews with Polanski, actors Nastassja Kinski and Leigh Lawson, producer Claude Berri, costume designer Anthony Powell, composer Philippe Sarde, and others
  • Interview with Polanski from a 1979 episode of The South Bank Show
  • Forty-five-minute documentary shot on location for French television during the making of the film
  • Trailer
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Colin MacCabe

  • Editorial Reviews

    This multiple-Oscar-winning film by Roman Polanski (Rosemary's Baby) is an exquisite, richly layered adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles. A strong-willed peasant girl (Paris, Texas's Nastassja Kinski, in a gorgeous breakthrough) is sent by her father to the estate of some local aristocrats to capitalize on a rumor that their families are from the same line. This fateful visit commences an epic narrative of sex, class, betrayal, and revenge, which Polanski unfolds with deliberation and finesse. With its earthy visual textures, achieved by two world-class cinematographers: Geoffrey Unsworth (Cabaret) and Ghislain Cloquet (Au hasard Balthazar) - Tess is a work of great pastoral beauty as well as vivid storytelling. DIRECTOR-APPROVED DUAL-FORMAT BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Roman Polanski, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray Once Upon a Time . . . "Tess," a 2006 documentary on the film Three programs on the making of the film-From Novel to Screen, Filming "Tess," and "Tess": The Experience- featuring interviews with Polanski, actors Nastassja Kinski and Leigh Lawson, producer Claude Berri, costume designer Anthony Powell, composer Philippe Sarde, and others Interview with Polanski from a 1979 episode of The South Bank Show Forty-five-minute documentary shot on location for French television during the making of the film Trailer One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Colin MacCabe

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    148 of 162 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Shabby Treatment of Tess - Columbia screws up again! October 23, 2004
    Format:DVD
    Roman Polanski's film of Tess finally makes it to DVD but in such a poor transfer that it hardly seems worthwhile. This is a film of rare beauty in so many ways and long awaited so why have Columbia given it such a cheap and nasty transfer to DVD.

    The print is not new and not restored. The colours are bright and true but there are loads of artifacts, scratches, dots, jumps, speckles etc throughout the film.This is a 3 hour film and there are very good extras, 72 minutes worth, taking the running time to over 4 hours. Columbia decides to cram all this information onto a single disc and naturally the picture and sound quality suffer. If they had gone to a second disc this would be improved but the print used is still far from perfect.

    Important also; this copy is not the 'roadshow' version that played the major cities on its initial release with the intermission and musical overtures, however they have left the exit music at the end but cut off the final few chords!!!

    Even worse is the sound quality. This was one of the first major features to use 'Dolby Stereo'. On its initial release the sound was flawless with a very lively surround track and great depth that particularly showed off the luscious score by Phillipe Sarde. The print used here has not been enhanced for 5:1 and doesnt even seem to have been remastered for DVD. Throughout the film there are wierd low frequency rumblings and distortions, and more irritatingly 'hiss'. These episodes come and go but generally the sound balance is all wrong. When the surround does come to life it leaps into life but with strange sounds coming from strange places in the sound stage.
    Read more ›
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    71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
    Format:VHS Tape
    I write as someone with an English ancestry going back three centuries and a passionate love for Hardy's novels and poetry. I live within five miles of Dorset and have visited practically all the towns and villages mentioned by Hardy using his Wessex aliases. I was prepared to scoff at Tess - Polish director on the run from US police, a German girl in the title role, French locations and finance...even a mock Stonehenge. I was wrong, hopelessly wrong. Today I remain in total thrall to this movie, Roman Polanski and Nastassja Kinski. I believe it is an artistic masterpiece just as important in its own way as an Old Master painting or a Shakespearean sonnet. Tess has enriched my life, and, having it watched it at least 50 times, provides an enduring source of pleasure to me. Yes, there are moments that jar - Nastassja's occasionally-heard Teutonic accent as in "Let me see that ledder (letter)" and, in one hilarious moment, even balalaika music - but I can forgive them without the slightest hesitation. I know the area in which Hardy set Tess, and, astonishingly - as he filmed it in Normandy - Polanski has managed to recreate some Dorset settings with almost mystical skill. Marnhull, or Hardy's Marlot, for example, has a real-life church on a hill that can be seen for miles - so does the village as seen in the film. Was it accidental, or just another example of Polanski's passion for detail and authenticity for which he is justly renowned? Unfortunately, Nastassja has made some real lemons since Tess and sadly she may never turn in another performance of such outstanding brilliance. Or will she? Hardy's remaining works may give her that chance. How would she fare, for example, as Bathsheba in Far From the Madding Crowd? If you want my opinion, divinely.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful print of a great film February 28, 2014
    By Mr.Mew
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    This is a review of the Criterion Blu-ray/DVD. First,amazon would not listen to me,they insist on saying it is in a 1.77:1 aspect ratio,it is in the proper 2.35:1 aspect ratio,so don't be put off by their description.

    It is a wonderful transfer,it looks beautiful. The film itself is a tale that could not be told better. Of all the work Polanski has done,this is his finest film(though I am a big fan of Repulsion). There is a moment just over 16 minutes in where Tess is walking through trees that sent me back to seeing it in the theater-just a glorious shot. Nastassja Kinski is beautiful,and her acting is just the right tempo to fit the story. Understated,yet something is brewing underneath. All in all,a true work of art and the true art of storytelling.

    I like Blu-ray/DVD combo sets,and if you loved this film,this is the set to buy. When I watch this I just can't get it out of my head. Tess is special,and this release gives it the treatment it deserves.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars No weaknesses. February 28, 2014
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    Tess, now in its current Criterion blu-ray format, comes close to a perfect film because it has no soft spots, no weaknesses. The cast is superb. The filming is beautiful. The adaptation from novel to screenplay is true. The wardrobes amazing. The soundtrack just right. And the very tragic mood of Hardy's story has been perfectly captured by the director. This is a movie not to miss.
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    24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE August 19, 2004
    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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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars Too sad for me to enjoy
    I just didn't like the story as much as the other reviews. I watch these period movies to feel nostalgic about a different time and instead I finished the movie and felt... Read more
    Published 3 days ago by Angele
    2.0 out of 5 stars disappointment
    It was not a for star movie. It was far too slow. I love similar period films, yet this one was very disappointing.
    Published 4 days ago by Amie Jo DeGarmo
    1.0 out of 5 stars If he had just accepted and loved her, everything would have been ok
    Well done for an old movie. It's just disappointing because of the double standard between men and women. If he had just accepted and loved her, everything would have been ok. Read more
    Published 15 days ago by Eden KillsWarrior
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Tragic story line.
    Published 19 days ago by Starfish Engineering Associates, LLC
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    I love these time period pieces. Great drama!
    Published 20 days ago by Aly
    2.0 out of 5 stars Hated the endingnever quite and understood way she took ...
    Hated the ending and never quite understood way she toke the wrong path to destruction. Nastassja did a good job with the role handed her. But the movie left me feeling sad. Read more
    Published 29 days ago by gIA
    5.0 out of 5 stars This was a good movie and i rented it on Amazon instant video
    This was a good movie and i rented it on Amazon instant video ! It was so good
    Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
    3.0 out of 5 stars :-/
    was OK, saw other Tess movie and much better acting!
    Published 1 month ago by NancyL
    5.0 out of 5 stars great
    great film
    Published 2 months ago by Linda Waag
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    A classic.
    Published 2 months ago by Debra Peebles
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