Tess, portrayed by the entrancing Nastassja Kinski, is the daughter of a poor, drunken farmer who discovers that he is actually of noble descent. Tess is sent off to live with their proper and wealthy relatives. There, she is seduced by a suave but sinister cousin and bears him a bastard son who dies while still an infant. The backdrop is morally rigid Victorian England where Tess must carry the shame of her past even into her marriage to a minister's son, until she cleanses herself of all guilt in one ultimate act of passion.
The young Kinski is absolutely superb at breathing life into Hardy's Tess.
An innocent young lady, who through no fault of her own, suffers suffering on top of suffering. Beautiful countryside caught in panoramic shots compliment the beautiful Tess, culminating in the heart breaking ending. An emotional classic.