Tess (1979)

She was a poor man's daughter, an aristocrat's mistress and a gentleman's wife. She was Tess, a victim of her own provocative beauty.

Blu-ray, 2h 50min
Rating: 7.3
Votes: 14287
Languages: English
Country: UK, France
Director: Roman Polanski

Plot outline

A strong-willed young peasant girl attracts the affection of two men.

Personal notes

825

Plots

A strong-willed young peasant girl attracts the affection of two men. - zachtrokanski

Wessex County, England during the Victorian era. Christian values dominate what are social mores. These mores and her interactions with two men play a large part in what happens in the young life of peasant girl, the shy, innocent, proper yet proud Tess Durbeyfield. The first of these men is Alec d'Urberville. After learning from a local historian that they are really descendants of the aristocratic d'Urberville family which has died out due to lack of male heirs, Tess' parents send her to a nearby mansion where they know some d'Urbervilles actually reside. This move is in order for the family to gain some benefit from their heritage. Upon her arrival at the mansion, Tess quickly learns that the family of Tess' "cousin" Alec are not true d'Urbervilles, but rather an opportunistic lot who bought the family name in order to improve their own standing in life. Tess is pulled between what she was sent to accomplish for her family against her general disdain for Alec, who will give her anything she wants in return for sexual favors. The second of these men is Angel Clare, the son of a parson and an apprentice farmer. Angel and Tess fall in love with each other. Tess has to decide if she will divulge to Angel her past relationship with Alec, which if she does may jeopardize their own relationship. But if she doesn't, Tess also has to figure out if the secret will haunt her and thus jeopardize their relationship in other ways. - Huggo

In Roman Polanski's take on "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," impressionable young Tessis sent by her alcoholic father to visit her rich relatives and apply for a job. She's taken in and immediately seduced by her cousin, Alec, who leaves her pregnant. She keeps it to herself and, after the child dies, begins a relationship with a respectable farmer, Angel. They marry, but when Angel learns of her speckled past, he's not sure he can live with it. - Roman Polanski

In the Victorian period, a rural clergyman tells John Durbeyfield, a simple farmer, that he is descended from the illustrious d'Urberville family -- now extinct. Or maybe not. Durbeyfield sends his daughter Tess to check on a family named d'Uberville living in a manor house less than a day's carriage ride away. Alec d'Urberville is delighted to meet his beautiful "cousin" and seduces her with strawberries and roses. Actually, Alec has gotten his illustrious name and coat of arms by purchasing them. Tess also takes up the game of illusion when she finds, loses and finds again her true love Angel Claire. - Dale O'Connor