Something tells me that when it is all said and done, and people are trying to come up with that definitive "greatest actor of all-time" winner, it will be Robert Duval. I know that this is a bold statement. The Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman and Henry Fonda fans (among others) will scream and protest. Sure, it is subjective, but then again, maybe it is not. Sometimes there is supporting evidence out there, maybe because of one particular role. I think Robert Duval's performance in "Tender Mercies" is the greatest performance by an actor in the history of film. It is a subdued performance, but underneath, so powerful. Duval plays a washed up Country music singer and song writer named Mac Sledge. His better days are in the past. Now, he finds his only comfort in a whiskey bottle. His ex-wife has gone on to use his songs to become a huge star. She detests him because of the way he had become in his later years with her (alcohol). She even denies him the right to see their daughter. Mac has closed himself off to the world, he does not want to become emotionally attached to anybody or anything. The only time Mac was ever happy, bad things ended up as a result. However, Mac will soon come into contact with a widow and her young son and he gets a second chance to join the living. In this film you see a Duval character different from any other he has ever played. You see the rebirth of a spirit, long suffering. The supporting roles are incredible as well. I still find this one of the most emotionally satisfying movies ever made, every time I watch it.