Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies

5.0 5
Director: Bruce Beresford

Cast: Bruce Beresford, Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Allan Hubbard

     
 

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Mac Sledge (Robert Duvall), a once-famous country western singer, wakes up broke, alone and hung over in a tiny Texas motel run by widowed Rosa Lee (Tess Harper). Having nowhere else to go, Sledge takes a job at the motel, and through the kindness and faith of Rosa he changes his self-destructive ways. He marries Rosa (after he's baptized at her urging) and becomes a… See more details below

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Overview

Mac Sledge (Robert Duvall), a once-famous country western singer, wakes up broke, alone and hung over in a tiny Texas motel run by widowed Rosa Lee (Tess Harper). Having nowhere else to go, Sledge takes a job at the motel, and through the kindness and faith of Rosa he changes his self-destructive ways. He marries Rosa (after he's baptized at her urging) and becomes a father/pal to her son (Allan Hubbard). Given an opportunity to make a comeback, Sledge considers leaving his new family behind, but after a reunion with his own unhappy daughter (Ellen Barkin), he vows never again to ruin anyone else's life. A simple story simply told, Tender Mercies is a warm, persuasive tale of redemption, with Robert Duvall giving one of his finest performances. Also appearing is Betty Buckley as Duvall's ex-wife, a Dolly Parton-type country star, and Wilford Brimley as Duvall's former manager.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
The unconventional, reserved actor Robert Duvall chooses similarly challenging material to produce and direct himself, whether it be 1997's The Apostle or his 1980s pet projects, Angelo, My Love and Tender Mercies. The latter film gave him one of his most delicate, nuanced roles, as well as his first Academy Award. Far from a vanity project, Mercies doesn't revel in Duvall's gruff, stoic persona so much as critique it. His washed-up country singer is a recovering alcoholic, hesitant and guarded with those who try to get close to him, whether fans (Lenny von Dohlen) or potential lovers (Tess Harper). As scripted by Horton Foote, the film has the lazy, unforced rhythms of real life. It's very much a piece with Foote's The Trip to Bountiful (1985): both stories are swan songs for long-neglected people who find redemption by revisiting the places and moments that have haunted them all their lives. In his first American feature, Australian director Bruce Beresford shows a real affinity for the barren Texas locales, never condescending to his characters or their simple, humble desires. Duvall wrote and performed a number of the songs.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/02/2009
UPC:
0012236103738
Original Release:
1983
Rating:
PG
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
6,368

Special Features

Closed Caption; "Miracles & Mercies" featurette - Featuring interviews with stars Robert Duvall, Tes Harper and Allan Hubbard, director Bruce Beresford, and writer/co-producer Horton Foote; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Duvall Mac Sledge
Tess Harper Rosa Lee
Allan Hubbard Sonny
Betty Buckley Dixie
Ellen Barkin Sue Anne
Wilford Brimley Harry
Michael Crabtree Lewis Menefee
Lenny Von Dohlen Robert Dennis
James Aaron Henry
Ricky Murray Jake
Ray LePere Man in Bar
Robert E. Blackburn Boy at Dance
Berkley H. Garrett Men at Dixie's House
Paul Gleason Reporter
Norman Bennett Rev. Hotchkiss
Andrew Scott Hollon LaRue
Glen Fleming Steve
Jerry Biggs Man at Bar
Eli Cummins Doorman
Tony Frank Man at Motel
Helena Humann Woman with Groceries
Barbara Jones Country Woman
Jerry Jones Country Man
Harlan Jordan Walter
Robert Stewart Concessionaire

Technical Credits
Bruce Beresford Director
William M. Anderson Editor
Russell Boyd Cinematographer
George Dreyfus Score Composer
Robert Duvall Co-producer
Horton Foote Co-producer,Screenwriter
Bobby Hart Score Composer
Philip Hobel Producer
Mary-Ann Hobel Associate Producer
Daniel May Set Decoration/Design
Elizabeth McBride Costumes/Costume Designer
Jeannine Oppewall Production Designer
Shari Rhodes Casting
Austin Roberts Songwriter
Richard Luke Rothschild Asst. Director

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Tender Mercies
1. Program Start / Down and Out [1:11]
2. Main Titles [3:11]
3. Working Off a Debt [4:41]
4. Jesus Saves [4:08]
5. Sonny [2:16]
6. A Rich Man [4:58]
7. "Sing It the Way Ya Feel It" [3:52]
8. Dixie [6:00]
9. Tender Mercies [6:17]
10. Out of Control [3:12]
11. Questions [3:39]
12. Songs From the Heart [5:24]
13. "Were You Really Mac Sledge?" [3:38]
14. Sue Anne [5:30]
15. Wings of a Dove [4:09]
16. Baptism [4:17]
17. Taking the Stage [5:03]
18. A Visit From Sue Anne [3:52]
19. Family Tragedy [4:40]
20. No Answers [4:10]
21. Father and Son [4:41]
22. End Credits [2:53]

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