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Tender Mercies (1983)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,952 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 30 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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Allan Hubbard ...
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Robert (as Lenny Von Dohlen)
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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
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Storyline

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 <ms@vortex.is>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singer | widow | religion | prayer | divorce | See more »

Taglines:

Robert Duvall is Mac Sledge, down and out country singer. His struggle for fame was over. His fight for respect was just beginning See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 June 1983 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Tender Mercies  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Allan Hubbard, who plays Sonny, had his 10th birthday shortly after the film wrapped, and was preparing to celebrate it with his family at his home in Paris, Texas. He was pleasantly surprised when his co-star Robert Duvall showed up at his home and gifted him with a guitar for the occasion. Hubbard - who went on to teach guitar professionally - still owns the guitar to this day. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Woman with Groceries: Hey, mister, were you really Mac Sledge?
Mac Sledge: Yes, ma'm, I guess I was.
See more »


Soundtracks

Over You
(1982)
Written by Austin Roberts & Bobby Hart
Sung by Betty Buckley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Drama With Realism, Heart & Dignity
21 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a movie with a lot of "dignity." It has such realistic people, it kept me fascinated because it seemed so different from most films I've watched.

There aren't a lot of dramatic things that happen in the story yet, as a whole, it's a wonderful tale that stays with you. It's a lot more than just seeing an Oscar-winning performance by Robert Duvall as Texan and former C&W singer and writer, "Mac Sledge." It's simply good storytelling

I can't say I am a fan of Duvall's country singing, but that is the only thing I didn't like. Well, maybe "Dixie" (Betty Buckley), who played a bitter ex-wife of Duvall's in here. She was not pleasant, but others were really nice, likable people. Yet, this is not some sappy movie just because most of the people are good folks.

As in film noirs in which the viewer has a sense of dread, knowing something bad is around the corner, I felt the same thing in this film, even though it didn't necessarily happen. I mean with the main characters: Mac, Rosa Lee and Sonny. There was underlying tension, probably because of Sledge's alcoholic and violent past, that made me fear that any minute he was going to ruin the nice setup he had with a good woman and nice stepson.

Duvall, as usual, makes his role a fascinating and unpredictable one. With many of the people he has played over the years, you never am sure what his characters are going to do next. Tess Harper, as Mac's new wife, and Alan Hubbard, as her son, are two of the most realistic characters I've ever seen on film. It helped they were from the area so their accents were real.

This is a just straight drama, with a solid screenplay by Horton Foote and direction by Bruce Beresford ("Driving Miss Daisy"). In addition, actors Buckley (who can sing, too), Wilford Brimley and Ellen Barkin all give memorable supporting performances.

It was an interesting tale of something I have rarely seen on film in the past 50 years: a good Christian woman lifting up a man to her level. She never had to do it verbally, never nagged or preached to the man, just set example of how to act and be a loving, supportive spouse. There is a lesson for people here with how well "Rosa Lee" handled situations. Nice.....very nice.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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
- Which Movie Do You Prefer - heynineteen
More films like this? BERSERKERpoetry
song at the end of the movie ralph57
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