Blu-ray, DVD Release: Tess

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 25, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD $39.95
Studio: Criterion


Tess movie scene

Nastassja Kinski is Tess

This multiple-Oscar-winning 1979 period film drama Tess by the great Roman Polanski (Carnage, The Ghost Writer) is an exquisite, richly layered adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

A strong-willed peasant girl (Cat People’s Nastassja Kinski, in a star-making breakthrough performance) 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 and vivid storytelling.

Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of the film includes the following 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
• A booklet featuring an essay by critic Colin MacCabe

Buy or Rent Tess (1979)
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.