IMDb > Tender Mercies (1983)
Tender Mercies
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Tender Mercies (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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Tender Mercies -- Academy Award winner Robert Duvall headlines this touching story of a down-and-out country singer named Mac and the young widow (Tess Harper) he meets in a small Texas town. But as their relationship blossoms, Mac's years of hard living resurface when his music star ex-wife (Betty Buckley) appears in a nearby town, bringing his estranged daughter (Ellen Barkin) with her.


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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Horton Foote (written by)
View company contact information for Tender Mercies on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 June 1983 (Australia) See more »
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 »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The power of simplicity. See more (68 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Duvall ... Mac Sledge

Tess Harper ... Rosa Lee

Betty Buckley ... Dixie

Wilford Brimley ... Harry

Ellen Barkin ... Sue Anne
Allan Hubbard ... Sonny

Lenny von Dohlen ... Robert (as Lenny Von Dohlen)

Paul Gleason ... Reporter
Michael Crabtree ... Lewis Menefee
Norman Bennett ... Reverend Hotchkiss
Andrew Scott Hollon ... Larue
Rick Murray ... Jake - Slater Mill Boys Member
Stephen Funchess ... Bertie - Slater Mill Boys Member
Glen Fleming ... Steve - Slater Mill Boys Member
James Aaron ... Henry - Slater Mill Boys Member
Jerry Biggs ... Man in Bar
Sheila Bird ... Concessionaire
Robert E. Blackburn III ... Boy at Dance
Eli Cummins ... Doorman
Tony Frank ... Man at Motel
Berkley Garrett ... Man at Dixie's House (as Berkley H. Garrett)
Helena Humann ... Woman with Groceries
Suzanne Jacobs ... Nurse
Barbara Jones ... Country Woman
Jerry Jones ... Country Man
Harlan Jordan ... Waiter
Robert P. Kelley ... Choirmaster
Ray LePere ... Man in Bar / Restaurant
Pat Minter ... Man at Dixie's House
Terry Schoolcraft ... Ada - Dixie's Driver
Oliver Seale ... Man at Dixie's House
Denise Simek ... Concessionaire
Robert Stewart ... Concessionaire

Susan Aston ... Woman at Dance
Vicki Neff ... Woman at Dance
Pamela Putnam ... Woman at Dance
Jerry Abbot ... Piano - Country Blues Band Member
Bobby Hibbitts ... Drums - Country Blues Band Member
Buddie Hrabal ... Steel Guitar - Country Blues Band Member
Jerry Matheny ... Guitar - Country Blues Band Member
Wayne Milligan ... Bass - Country Blues Band Member
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Don 'Tex' Clark ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
Joe Zadwick ... Front Row Concert Attendee (uncredited)

Directed by
Bruce Beresford 
Writing credits
Horton Foote (written by)

Produced by
Robert Duvall .... co-producer
Horton Foote .... co-producer
Mary-Ann Hobel .... associate producer
Philip Hobel .... producer (as Philip S. Hobel)
Original Music by
George Dreyfus (music by)
Cinematography by
Russell Boyd (director of photography)
Film Editing by
William M. Anderson  (as William Anderson)
Art Direction by
Jeannine Oppewall 
Set Decoration by
Daniel Loren May  (as Daniel L. May)
Makeup Department
Lynn Decker .... hairstylist
Paul Huntley .... wigs: Betty Buckley
Michael J. Randall .... assistant hairstylist
Carla Rulien .... assistant makeup
Jimi White .... makeup artist
Production Management
Tom Joyner .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Luke Rothschild .... first assistant director
Kelly Wimberly .... second assistant director
Art Department
E.W. Bradford .... construction coordinator (as Bill Bradford)
James R. Cox .... swing man
Glenn Dunn .... lead man
Johnny Gutierrez .... construction assistant (as Johnny L. Guiterrez)
Mike Parsons .... property master
Roy W. Wahlstrom .... painter
William Vance White .... assistant props
Sound Department
Stan Bochner .... sound editor
Angelo Corrao .... assistant sound editor
Jay Dranch .... sound editor
Bruce Kitzmeyer .... assistant sound editor
Stuart Lieberman .... assistant sound editor
Dan Lieberstein .... sound editor
Dennis Maitland II .... boom man (as Dennis L. Maitland II)
Christopher Newman .... sound mixer (as Chris Newman)
Maurice Schell .... supervising sound editor
Magdaline Volaitis .... assistant sound editor
Dick Vorisek .... rerecording supervisor
Maurice Schell .... foley artist (uncredited)
Randy Fife .... stunt double
Ben Loggins .... utility stuntman (as Ben E. Loggins)
Russell Towery .... utility stuntman
Camera and Electrical Department
Thomas Alcala .... electrician
Mike Apsey .... playback operator
Curtis Bingham .... grip (as Curt Bingham)
Don Broughton .... playback operator
Jerry G. Callaway .... camera operator
Murray K. Campbell .... gaffer
Michael P. Henning .... electrician (as Michael Henning)
John Knight .... best boy grip
Leo MacWilliam .... electrician
J. Michael McClary .... first assistant camera
Fred L. McLane .... second assistant camera (as Frederick L. McLane)
Ron Phillips .... still photographer
Tony Poston .... dolly grip
Kerry Rike .... key grip
Dave Roberts .... electrician
Johnny Smith .... grip
Darrel D. Tawney .... best boy (as Darrel Tawney)
Philip C. Pfeiffer .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Robin Boehme .... extras casting
Shari Rhodes .... casting: Texas
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jane Greenwood .... costumes: Betty Buckley
Elizabeth McBride .... costumer
Joan Thomas .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Norman Buckley .... second assistant editor
Emily Paine .... first assistant editor
Charles Simmons .... location assistant editor (as Charles A. Simmons)
Mary Sweeney .... apprentice editor
Location Management
Danette Goss Alberts .... location manager (as Danette Goss)
Music Department
Charles Feldman .... country music advisor
Tommy Oliver .... arranger: country music
Other crew
Billy Barnes .... craft service (as Billy E. Barnes)
Linda Barnes .... craft service
Diane Batson-Smith .... assistant to the producer (as Diane Smith)
Dominique Bruballa .... assistant accountant
Betty A. Buckley .... production coordinator
Kathleen Caton .... assistant to the producer
Stan Cohen .... caterer (as Stanley J. Cohen)
Dawn Easterling .... production assistant
Nick Felix .... dance instructor
Max Ferris .... security
Karen A. Hall .... production secretary
Sandra K. Jantzen .... production assistant (as Sandy Jantzen)
Charles N. Johnson .... caterer
John Kane .... unit publicist
Janet Lucas Lawler .... first aid (as Janet L. Lawler)
Kathleen McGill .... production accountant (as Kathy McGill)
Don Miller .... production accountant
Anne Rapp .... script supervisor
Erica Rogalla .... production assistant
Earlane Simpson .... tutor
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

One of a number of Hollywood movies set in the American South directed by Australian director Bruce Beresford. The films include Last Dance (1996), Rich in Love (1992), Tender Mercies (1983) Crimes of the Heart (1986) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989).See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Wings of a DoveSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
26 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
The power of simplicity., 8 November 2001
Author: jckruize from North Hemis

To all aspiring screenwriters: this is how to do it. Horton Foote eschews all of the phony and melodramatic plot devices Hollywood is so fond of, and concentrates instead on telling his tale as truly and simply as possible. In complete synch with him are his collaborators, director Bruce Beresford and star Robert Duvall. There's not a false gesture, extraneous word of dialogue, or wasted camera move. Just people who seem real, who strive to reach out to others, who want love and want to give it, but sometimes don't know how. There are quiet, subtle moments in this movie that squeeze the heart. Don't pass this one by.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (68 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Tender Mercies (1983)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
More films like this? BERSERKERpoetry
I Was an Extra in This Movie rpd5124
Why did Max not tell his daughter about the song? emheffner-1
I don't get it ... very dry ...but it did get an Oscar mloessel
- Which Movie Do You Prefer - heynineteen
Ellen Barkin plays 18 but was almost 30 when this movie came out 1989
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