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Tender Mercies (1983)

PG  |   |  Drama, Music  |  10 June 1983 (Australia)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 6,867 users  
Reviews: 65 user | 34 critic

A broken-down, middle-aged country singer gets a new wife, reaches out to his long-lost daughter, and tries to put his troubled life back together.



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Title: Tender Mercies (1983)

Tender Mercies (1983) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Allan Hubbard ...
Robert (as Lenny Von Dohlen)
Michael Crabtree ...
Norman Bennett ...
Andrew Scott Hollon ...
Rick Murray ...
Jake - Slater Mill Boys Member
Stephen Funchess ...
Glen Fleming ...
Steve - Slater Mill Boys Member
James Aaron ...
Henry - Slater Mill Boys Member


Alchoholic former country singer Mac Sledge makes friends with a young widow and her son. The friendship enables him to find inspiration to resume his career. Written by Stefan Halldorsson <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From Bruce Beresford, the acclaimed director of "Breaker Morant." Written by Horton Foote, screenwriter of "To Kill A Mockingbird." See more »


Drama | Music


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 June 1983 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

El precio de la felicidad  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's scriptwriter Horton Foote passed away in 2009 which was the year that Crazy Heart (2009) was first released, a movie that has often been compared with Tender Mercies (1983), as both are about an alcoholic country and western singer, with both winning the Best Actor Oscar. Robert Duvall appears in both films and was a co-producer on the earlier film and a producer on the latter. See more »


In the final scenes, Sonny is shown with empty farmland behind him, then after a cut to a wider shot, suddenly the gas station and motel are behind him. See more »


Mac Sledge: I don't trust happiness. I never did, I never will.
See more »


Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »


Over You
Written by Austin Roberts & Bobby Hart
Sung by Betty Buckley
See more »

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User Reviews

A Good Film Carried by Robert Duvall's Oscar-Winning Performance
2 October 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Tender Mercies" is a strong character study about a washed-up country singer (Robert Duvall, in his Oscar-winning role) who finds the will to live and makes the most of his life. After spending a drunken night at a small motel in Texas, he meets the woman (Tess Harper) who can change his life for the better. She owns the motel and after allowing Duvall to stay for a while by doing odd jobs, she marries him and he starts his transformation. Duvall still has songs to sing, but his heart is just not in it any more. His ex-wife has become a singing star, partly by using the songs that Duvall wrote himself. She has also kept their daughter away from him because she was afraid he might do something in a drunken rage. Duvall comes to terms with everything and shows that he is a changed man. He meets his now-grown daughter (Ellen Barkin) and realizes that everything that has happened has occurred for the right reason. However, tragedy will strike and Duvall will have to show how great a person he really is. "Tender Mercies" is a film that works due to quiet performances, subtle direction, and a smart screenplay. The film runs a crisp 89 minutes, but never feels rushed. Robert Duvall finally got the chance to showcase his acting ability and he does not disappoint. His performance is the greatest attribute here, but this does not mean that everything else is not impressive. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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More films like this? BERSERKERpoetry
I don't get it ... very dry ...but it did get an Oscar mloessel
I Was an Extra in This Movie rpd5124
Why did Max not tell his daughter about the song? emheffner-1
song at the end of the movie ralph57
- Which Movie Do You Prefer - heynineteen
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