Tess (1979)

A poor British girl finds herself seduced and abandoned by a handsome social climber then attempts to find happiness in marriage to a modest farmer. Her past catches up with her with tragic results in this period drama based on the classic… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 1, 1979
DVD Release Date: September 28, 2004
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Critic Score: 82% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Pauline Kael
New Yorker

[Polanski's film] is textured and smooth and even, with lateral compositions subtly flowing into each other; the sequences are beautifully structured, and the craftsmanship is hypnotic. But the picture is tame.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

This is a wonderful film.

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Cole Smithey

(PODCAST) The greatest filmic literary adaptation any filmmaker has produced.

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Variety Staff

Tess is a sensitive, intelligent screen treatment of a literary masterwork.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

Without Mr. Polanski's name in the credits, this lush and scenic Tess could even be mistaken for the work of David Lean.

Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

Roman Polanski is one of those men who, despite his icky treatment of women in real life, manages to create strong and compelling female characters for the screen.

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Time Out

Tess tells one rather more about its director's much publicised preoccupations than about Hardy's themes.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

een in the context of Roman Polanski's career it becomes something rich and strange, shaded into terror by the naturalistic absurdism that is the basis of Polanski's style.

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Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis

This is Kinski's show and she flat out steals it.

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More reviews for Tess

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
A resonant and visually stunning period piece about a beautiful but unfortunate young woman born in an ungrateful time and divided between two men who are bound… More
John Ballantine
A not quite traditional take on Thomas Hardy's book, Polanski nonetheless breathes some fresh air on the material and makes it very intriguing.
jay nixon
Beautiful to look at, not just the scenery but the art direction as well but overlong and somewhat ponderous. Director Polanski's silent tribute to his… More
Cameron Johnson
Everyone talks about that certain little incident with a 13-year-old Samantha Geimer back in '77, but really, all throughout the '70s, if only at that… More
Pierluigi Puccini
The mean and downward day by day of a gorgeous peasant girl. beautifully adapted to the screen by Roman Polanski. A film dedicated to his wife Sharon Tate.
Alec Barniskis
This could easily have become a repetitive series of depressing events (which it almost does), but Polanski finds interesting themes among the misery and visual… More