Tender Mercies

( 5 )

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...
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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.
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/17/1998
  • UPC: 017153408638
  • Original Release: 1983
  • Rating:

  • Source: Republic Pictures
  • Format: VHS

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
Norman Bennett Rev. Hotchkiss
Jerry Biggs Man at Bar
Robert E. Blackburn III Boy at Dance
Eli Cummins Doorman
Glen Fleming Steve
Tony Frank Man at Motel
Berkley H. Garrett Men at Dixie's House
Paul Gleason Reporter
Andrew Scott Hollon LaRue
Helena Humann Woman with Groceries
Barbara Jones Country Woman
Jerry Jones Country Man
Harlan Jordan Walter
Ray LePere Man in Bar
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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ┬┐Solemnity, purposeless, inert solemnity┬┐ damns poet Mary Oliver

    “Solemnity, purposeless, inert solemnity” damns poet Mary Oliver. “Tender Mercies” shows the complexity behind the stoic stare and the empty country road, shows the warmth and reassurance of a seemingly simpler life. A man has to stare down the ugly parts of his past and prove he doesn’t trust happiness at the same time he must have the courage to quietly welcome it back into his life. Surprises abound (and plenty of pleasantly bold ones in the camera angles), but sometimes the most surprising turn is the straightest road. The honest road that connects to the audience. Scriptwriters and actors take note - rarely has a movie said more with less than “Tender Mercies.”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    loved this movie

    After seeing the new movie Crazy Heart, which is basically a makeover of Tender Mercies, I went back and watched this one again and then sent it to my daughter. We both really enjoyed this one, even better than Crazy Heart. What is really interesting is Robert Duvall starred in this one, and he is also in the remake. When he tells Jeff Bridges "Been there " in the new movie, it has a double meaning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful acting and terrific sound track

    A terrific performance by Robert Duvall, good chemistry with Tess Harper, great emotional flow, and a terrific country sound track.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL

    This is a beauty of an American film. Just a simply told, wonderfully acted film largely due to the Oscar winning work of Robert Duvall and the screenplay by Horton Foote. Australian Bruce Beresford again proves that those living the other side of the pond have a keen perspective on the American way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews