Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies

Bruce Beresford (1982)

PG Certificate


Our Score
A spare, lean performance from spare, lean Robert Duvall won him his first and (so far) only Oscar. Duvall wakes up, after a drunken binge, in a Texan motel owned by religious widow Tess Harper and her young son Allan Hubbard. Having failed once in both his life and career as a country singer (Duvall sings his own songs) he hesitatingly tries again with Harper. Australian director Bruce Beresford shows a sympathetic connection to the hot dusty Texan locations for his first Hollywood film and screenwriter Horton Foote (who also won an Oscar) provides a realistic pace. As with Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, the episodic and atmospheric story is a poignant portrayal of redemption.


An alcoholic failed country singer wakes up broke and hungover in a tiny Texas motel. Taking a job at the establishment, he ultimately marries the widowed owner and becomes a father figure to her son. However, when the chance to return to his musical career beckons, he is tempted to abandon his new family. Drama, starring an Oscar-winning Robert Duvall alongside Tess Harper and Ellen Barkin.

Cast & Crew

Mac Sledge Robert Duvall
Rosa Lee Tess Harper
Sonny Allan Hubbard
Dixie Betty Buckley
Sue Anne Ellen Barkin
Harry Wilford Brimley
Lewis Menefee Michael Crabtree
Robert Dennis Lenny Von Dohlen
Director Bruce Beresford
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video and DVD