Tess 1979 PG CC

Amazon Instant Video

(133) IMDb 7.3/10
Available in HD

This multiple-Oscar-winning film by Roman Polanski is an exquisite, richly layered adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles. A strong-willed peasant girl is sent by her father to the estate of local aristocrats to capitalize on a rumor that their families are from the same line. This fateful visit launches an epic narrative of sex, class, betrayal, and revenge.

Starring:
John Collin, Tony Church
Runtime:
2 hours, 52 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

Tess

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Roman Polanski
Starring John Collin, Tony Church
Supporting actors Nastassja Kinski, Brigid Erin Bates, Jeanne Biras, Peter Firth, John Bett, Tom Chadbon, Rosemary Martin, Geraldine Arzul, Stephanie Treille, Elodie Warnod, Ben Reeks, Jack Stephens, Leigh Lawson, Lesley Dunlop, Maryline Even, Jean-Jacques Daubin, Sylvia Coleridge, Jacob Weizbluth
Studio The Criterion Collection
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Roman Polanski's Tess is probably one of the best movie adaptations of a classic novel.
romance book worm
Very few movies truly attain the peak of perfection in all of their elements: story, acting, photography, music, costuming, set design and so forth.
Richard Masloski
If any film deserves recognition for its beautiful, lyrical, sensual yet melancholic and poetic visual presentation, "Tess" is it.
Galina

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 87 people found the following review helpful By sarum48@aol.com on January 19, 2000
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.
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158 of 175 people found the following review helpful By C. Porter on 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.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Mr.Mew on February 28, 2014
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.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Clifford J. Tims on 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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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By N. P. Judd on 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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