For this picture, costume designer Anthony Powell won his third and final consecutive Academy Award in this category after previously winning the Oscar for Death on the Nile (1978) and Travels with My Aunt (1972). Since _Tess (1979), Powell was nominated for Costume Design again three more times, with the reverse happening, and losing all three times.
Many movie posters for the film featured a long text preamble that read: "She was born into a world where they called it seduction, not rape. What she did would shatter that world forever. 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. Columbia Pictures is proud to present a film by Roman Polanski, based on the classic Thomas Hardy novel. 'TESS'. As timely today as the day it was written".