Tender Mercies

7.41 h 31 min1983PG
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.
Bruce Beresford
Allan HubbardBetty BuckleyEllen Barkin
DramaMusic Videos and Concerts
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Robert DuvallTess HarperWilford Brimley
Philip Hobel
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1436 global ratings

  1. 81% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

mikeReviewed in the United States on January 18, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
A story of hope
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At a difficult time in me and my wifes early life this movie was given to us for comfort and direction to our Lord. .i dont watch many or any movies anymore because they aren't real to real living and a wasted result of hollywoods interpretation.
This movie is real ..its soul searching. .it provokes people who struggle to seek an answer ..not from within but to one who is waiting on us all .. this movie is more than good entertainment it helps us all realize at our worst place in life there is an answer and has been there all along .Duval is real and this movie is real it would never be given a chance in our world now .but thankfully tender mercies is there and Hollywood cant remove it or give its interpretation .watch it and be moved to faith when your life needs tender mercies
51 people found this helpful
Hensa9Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good Ole Country Movie
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The time period in which this story takes place is obviously when life was at a much slower pace than it is now. Very laid back. A safe feeling, probably in the days when you could leave your front door unlocked. Of course, in Texas, there may still be a few of these " blink of an eye" type towns with one gas station. Robert Duvall and Tess Harper, as always, bring out their extraordinary acting talents to the screen. Oh! Robert Duvall writes songs, and can carry a nice country tune as well.
8 people found this helpful
Robert S. TrumpoltReviewed in the United States on February 22, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of My Favorite All-Time Films
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I just love this picture so much but I cannot say it is because of the story, because the story itself is not very unique. For me, what separates it from other "down and out" country singer movies is the gritty, authentic performances of all the cast members. It is no surprise that Robert Duvall won the Oscar for his role as he was just outstanding in my opinion. The fact that he sang and even wrote some songs for the film just adds to that authenticity. A very moving slice of Americana.
10 people found this helpful
Dr. Robert F. KnollReviewed in the United States on July 20, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
From New York's Little Italy to the Texas Outback
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For those of us with a long cinematic memory, Robert Duvall is forever Tom Hagen, the Corleone family consigliere in the "Godfather" saga. To see Duvall as the alcoholic falling to pieces country singer in the Texas outback in "Tender Mercies" is to see a Robert Duvall we'd never known before. Duvall even sings some of his own songs with a low key plaintiveness.
The low key register is the antithesis of Betty Buckley's divaesque performance as the Duvall character's ex-wife. The Tony Award winning singer of "Memories" from "Cats" is front and center, all emotions blazing in Buckley's rendition of her husband's music in an onstage concert which is one of the film's highlights.
The screenwriter Horton Foote won an Oscar for his adaptation of his own work, bringing authenticity and sentiment to this admirably restrained work. All of the supporting characters, including the minister and the backup band who idolize the Duvall character , exude good-heartedness. I especially enjoyed the performance of the child actor, Allan Hubbard, who becomes the Duvall character's stepson. He brings genuine curiosity and a desire to learn to a boy of a thousand questions.
Robert Duvall and Horton Foote, who also wrote "The Trip To Bountiful", give us many good reasons for feeling tender mercies for these characters and their world. They well deserved their Oscars.
2 people found this helpful
T.RomaReviewed in the United States on December 27, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful, old fashioned, unrealistic, slow, kind, great movie.
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It is wonderful movie. It is fairy a tale movie, which does not even pretend too much to be a realistic one. It shows a life, I suspect, has never existed even 40 years ago. In this life good people would always be not only moral winners but will become ultimately happy (after sufferings to be sure), and the bad ones will and are punished for their evil nature and mean behavior. It is also a very slow movie taking place mostly at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. And, yes, it is very old fashioned.
And still "Tender Mercies" is a wonderful movie. Robert Duval and Tess Harper are absolutely natural although they are playing too good for this flawed world characters, so are the actors of the second plan, the director and the cameraman are very professional and the views are beautiful.
If you are in bad a mood , if your family members, or friends irritate and upset you and the world seems to go down the pit, watch this very ordinary, very traditional and very kind movie. (if you have 2 free hours of course) and the life will seem much more bearable. It helped me.
5 people found this helpful
Me2Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Genuine Country Music Drama of Real Life
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Robert Duvall was outstanding in this story of a man who lost it all due to demon alcohol. He's as low as he could go when he ends up in the presence of a sweet unspoiled young woman in Tess Harper who was outstanding in her role too.
This movie had such a spare, and simple feel to it from the scenery, to the characters, dialogue and story. It's life that's real without pretense as traditional country music conveys. The accents were spot on.... none of the usually over played country twang.
Did I say I loved Robert Duvall in this one??? Who knew he writes and sings country songs??? Plus he was perfect as Mac the washed up once renown country/western singer who deep down still has it in him. What's country music without pathos and tragedy? That's in this story along with some of life's tough questions and lessons. But we also get to see redemption & contentment in the moment even if things aren't all sweetness & light.
I loved this one & recommend it! Someday I'll savor it again.
2 people found this helpful
High HopesReviewed in the United States on May 15, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Robert Duvall. 'Nuff said.
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I LOVE this film. It may be partly because I spent a few decades in the country music world developing and managing country celebs, so it was a bit like old home week in some ways. But even if that hadn't been the case, I love the soft, natural flow of this film. It's like a country song that tells a story loss and pain, booze and trucks and country life, and then unfolds to have layer after layer of insight and meaning that every viewer can relate to and be moved by. Pull off your boots, pop a bowl of popcorn, pull a couple of beers out of the fridge, have a seat, and enjoy.
One person found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on June 3, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
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I was really looking forward to seeing this movie. I really like Robert Duvall in any westerns I have seen him in but his acting wasn't as good as normaI in this movie. The movie seemed to drag on and I was really disappointed in how the characters that Robert Duvall and Tess Harper played, led up to deciding to get married. I just couldn't feel it. There was no romancing her in any way before he asked her to marry him. It seemed so cold. I felt like they had cut half of the story out and maybe I had missed that part but I watched the whole thing. I don't think they hardly even hugged or kissed each other throughout the whole movie. I was hoping to hear more music as well as in other movies of this nature. This was very poorly written as far as I am concerned.
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