Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1924 film)

Tess of the d'Urbervilles is a 1924 American silent drama film starring Blanche Sweet and Conrad Nagel.[1][2] It was directed by Sweet's husband, Marshall Neilan. The film is the second motion picture adaptation of the novel by Thomas Hardy, which had been turned into a very successful 1897 play starring Mrs. Fiske.[3] In 1913, Adolph Zukor enticed Mrs. Fiske to reprise her role in a film version which is now considered lost. The 1924 version is also considered lost.[4]

Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Newspaper advertisement
Directed byMarshall Neilan
Produced byLouis B. Mayer
Written byDorothy Farnum
StarringBlanche Sweet
Conrad Nagel
Stuart Holmes
Narrated byTess of the d'Urbervilles
by Thomas Hardy
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn
Release date
  • August 11, 1924 (1924-08-11)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English intertitles


A young servant girl is seduced and raped by an older middle class man in Victorian England when employed in his household. After moving on with her path, she gets married. All is well until her husband discovers her past. This fact prompts her on a life of wandering, murder, and execution.


Differences from the novel

After the film was completed, Louis B. Mayer changed the tragic ending to a happy one, much to the annoyance of Neilan and Hardy.[5]

See also


  1. Variety film review; July 30, 1924, page 24.
  2. Harrison's Reports review; August 2, 1924; page 123.
  3. Tess of the d'Urbervilles at the Internet Broadway Database
  4. Tess of the d'Urbervilles at silentera.com
  5. Eames, John Douglas (1981). "The MGM Story", p 12
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