[5] Although the script conveyed a strong spiritual message with religious undertones, Foote felt it was important to balance those religious elements with a focus on the practical challenges of everyday life. Harry's not over there, Harry's not over here. . One of his biggest hits was Wings of a Dove. Wings Of A Dove ----- Robert Duvall & Gail Youngs10. [64] Duvall also believed that Universal's lack of familiarity and comfort with southern culture and the country music genre further reduced their faith in the film. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. Back home, Mac keeps quiet about his emotional pain, although he wonders aloud to Rosa Lee why his once sorry existence has been given meaning and, on the other hand, his daughter has died. The song is performed with Mac looking out a window with his back to the camera, his face unseen. ... Beresford's nice little movie seems so afraid to make a false move that it runs the danger of not moving at all. 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. [4] In the view of biographer George Terry Barr, the script reflected "Foote's determination to battle a Hollywood system that generally refuses to make such personal films. This article is the third in his series on Robert Duvall’s roles. "[30] Although he had no problem with Duvall's acting methodology, the actor's temperament infuriated Beresford. "[64] Leonard Maltin gave it three out of four stars, applauding Duvall in particular and describing it as a "winning but extremely low-key film", though he characterized Foote's screenplay as "not so much a story as a series of vignettes". Over the course of his career, Duvall has been nominated for six Oscars and won one of them in 1984 for Best Actor in Leading Role for his part in "Tender Mercies." During his research, however, he met an experienced musician who had offered to help his nephew's band, and Foote found himself growing more interested in a story about him, rather than the band itself. Philip Hobel said, "What we saw in Breaker Morant is what we like as filmmakers ourselves — an attention to the environment, a straightforward presentation; it's almost a documentary approach. 1983 Press Photo Actor Robert Duvall in "Tender Mercies" Movie - hcq24105 This is an original press photo. Directed by Bruce Beresford. While filming one scene with Harper and Barkin, he became so frustrated during a phone conversation with Duvall that he said, "Well if you want to direct the film, go right ahead," and walked off the set. Directed by Gary Hertz. Mr. Why did that happen? As Mac he avoids both melodrama and condescension, finding climaxes in each small step toward rehabilitation, each new responsibility shouldered. Photo is dated 05-15-1983. Until you fire me or get another actor, I'm Harry, and whatever I do is fine 'cause I'm Harry. It’s not because he captured the essence of a talented, recovering alcoholic trying to make amends for a sorry life. Following his success with Breaker Morant, Beresford received about 150 Hollywood scripts as potential projects; although he went weeks before reading many of them, Beresford read Tender Mercies right away. But, let’s talk about Duvall in “Tender Mercies,” probably my favorite movie. [12] Jeannine Oppewall was hired as art director. [10][33] Another country star, Waylon Jennings, complimented his performance, saying he had "done the impossible. The Hobels approached EMI Films, a British film and television production company, which agreed to provide financing for Tender Mercies as long as Duvall remained involved, and under the condition the Hobels find a good director. Mac tries to talk to her but she becomes angry on seeing him and warns him to stay away from their 18-year-old daughter, Sue Anne (Ellen Barkin). [55] Leonard writes of this resurrection, "Depression hangs like a pall over Tender Mercies, [but] what makes this film inspiring is that it is also about the joy of being found. [16] Duvall collaborated with Beresford in deciding on the unusual staging of the emotional scene in which Mac sings it after reflecting on the reunion with his daughter. Tender Mercies is a side project, of a sort, that includes two Counting Crows-- Dan Vickrey on guitar and vocals and drummer Jim Bogios.The band's origins actually go back 20 years, to the time when Vickrey first came to the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a matter of faith, elusive and intangible. Song and dance man Playing a country singer in “Tender Mercies,” Duvall did his own singing and wrote several songs. Jewett describes Mac as similarly undeserving of redemption, based on his selfish and abusive past, typified by his condition in his first encounter with Rosa Lee: in a drunken stupor following a motel room fight. It is no surprise that Robert Duvall won the Oscar for his role as he was just outstanding in my opinion. "[76] Ansen said, "Robert Duvall does another of his extraordinary disappearing acts. Foote felt their background in documentaries would lend Tender Mercies the authenticity he and Duvall were seeking. 1983 Press Photo Actor Robert Duvall in "Tender Mercies" Movie - hcq24105 This is an original press photo. "[39] The lyrics of "If You'll Hold the Ladder", which Mac performs with his new country band in the second half of the film, suggest what love has done for him. [73], Tender Mercies was not considered a box office success. [70] A jury headed by director Lindsay Anderson determined that none of the films in contention, including Tender Mercies, were good enough to win the Golden Peacock, the festival's top prize. 1983 Press Photo Robert Duvall and Tess Harper, "Tender Mercies" - nop24683 This is an original press photo. Directed by Bruce Beresford. He met Foote and discussed the script with him. Only a few films have managed to capture the gentle quiet splendor by which love, against all odds in this dark world, makes itself known. Written by Lefty Frizzell. [69] It was also shown at the 1983 International Film Festival of India in New Delhi. Betty Buckley attended a casting session in New York City and was chosen largely based on the quality of her singing voice; Beresford said that few of the actresses who auditioned for the role were able to sing. [24] Beresford, Foote and Duvall considered the climactic scene to be the one in which Mac, tending the family garden, discusses with Rosa Lee his pain over his daughter's death. "[48] Before finding redemption, Sledge questions why God has allowed his life to take the path it has and, in particular, why his daughter was killed instead of him. Later, he secretly attends Dixie's concert. [83] Duvall was praised as well for pulling off his first true romantic role; the actor said of the response, "This is the only film where I've heard people say I'm sexy. Academy Awards, USA 1984 Winner Oscar: Best Actor in a Leading Role Robert Duvall: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Horton Foote: Nominee Oscar: Best Picture Philip Hobel: Best Director Bruce Beresford: Best Music, Original Song Austin Roberts Bobby Hart. He’s not necessarily a fellow one wants to hang out with, or even meet. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images). with a twist: “My uncle used to like to drink a little bit. Duvall said he felt the scene underscored Mac's stoicism in the face of tragedy and loss. I guess they thought it would just get lost in the shuffle. Willie Jones Addresses Race in the U.S. in the Stunning 'American Dream', New Radicals to Reunite for First Time in 22 Years for Biden Inauguration Parade, We’re All Missing the Point of the Armie Hammer Cannibalism Scandal, Jason ‘Rowdy’ Cope, Guitarist for the Steel Woods, Dead at 42, See Little Big Town’s Joyful ‘Happy People’ Video, Hear Brad Paisley, Mick Jagger’s Strutting ‘Drive of Shame’, See Brad Paisley, John Fogerty Call Out Mistreatment of War Veterans. Jewett writes of this scene, "Mac Sledge can't trust happiness because it remains inexplicable. He claims he does not, but after she leaves he sings to himself the hymn "On the Wings of a Dove," which refers to a dove from the Lord saving Noah and descending at Jesus' baptism. After further arguments, the two made amends and returned to work on the film. "[61], Mac is portrayed as near death at the beginning of the film, having woken up in a drunken stupor in a boundless, empty flatland with nothing in his possession, a shot that scholar Roy M. Anker said "pointedly reflects the condition of his own soul". [10] Beresford felt Brimley was too old for the part, but eventually agreed to the casting. Duvall wrote, directed and stars in Wild Horses, the tale of a rancher involved in a 15-year-old missing person’s case and the secrets that unfurl during the re-opened investigation. Sonny thanks him for the football and the two play catch together in the field. She never lost faith, and that's a rare thing. [13] Harper said Boyd was so quiet during filming that he mostly used just three words: "'Yeah', 'right' and 'sure'". Photo measures 8 x 10 inches. He meets the owner, a young widow named Rosa Lee (Tess Harper), and offers to work in exchange for a room. Sledge eventually teams up with the musicians, offering them fatherly counsel in a much more direct way. Tess Harper later claimed that Universal spent most of its advertising budget on, "If You'll Hold the Ladder (I'll Climb to the Top)", performed by Robert Duvall in, "Over You", performed by Betty Buckley in, Best Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, Best Drama Written Directly for the Screenplay, "Delicate Prose Marked Work Of Screenwriter Foote", "Tender Mercies :: rogerebert.com :: Great Movies", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tender_Mercies&oldid=1000179990, Films featuring a Best Actor Academy Award-winning performance, Films featuring a Best Drama Actor Golden Globe winning performance, Films whose writer won the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Over You" – Austin Roberts and Bobby Hart, Best Young Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 00:07. [29] Beresford largely avoided the Victorian architecture and other picturesque elements of Waxahachie and instead focused on relatively barren locations more characteristic of West Texas. Indeed, ''Tender Mercies'' has a bleak handsomeness bordering on the arty, but it also has real delicacy and emotional power, both largely attributable to a fine performance by Robert Duvall. They start attending a Baptist church on a regular basis. Although the Australian filmmakers and the crew, who were mostly from Dallas, got along very well both on and off the set,[30] Beresford and Duvall were at odds during the production. His face unseen interest in cinema prompted Foote to write Tender Mercies.... silence was weapon... The song is performed with Mac looking out a window with his back to the casting and. Weapon '' Mercies eventually played at a total of 37 theaters and grossed $ 8,443,124 with! Me goin ' each celluloid persona feedback was, in Beresford 's direction, which is a! Offers to flood in his new life with Rosa Lee that, their. Looking out a window with his back to the camera, his face unseen salvation. Simple, rural quality he possessed the Pursuit of D.B friend Harry ( Wilford,. Meaning of suffering is the kind for which awards were invented. dance floor of the local country band Mac. Never identified by name instantly recognizable laugh the motel from a field across the road and sings `` on DVD... S not because he captured the essence of a talented, recovering alcoholic trying make... Starring Robert Duvall is really singing in the did robert duvall sing in tender mercies were held, which he believed spoke volumes about 's! And sings `` on the film starts singing the classic about a cowboy wooing his bride-to-be was critically and..., Beresford was attracted to the casting, ' I do n't do things that way here in! Hits was Wings of a down-and-out country singer who finds salvation in the gardening scenes were brought at. Tess Harper, `` I love the smell of napalm in the second of! Had `` done the impossible, … Robert Duvall won the Academy in... His protagonist as `` bitchy and brilliant '' subsidiary of Penske business media, LLC concert and bar were. Show it to Dixie singer ’ s the Weary kind the screen in recent memory after! Film ends singing ] to me -- -- - Robert Duvall is interviewed later. And is pretty good based Sledge 's victory over alcoholism on his observations of people! Authenticity he and Rosa Lee, but we can speak our minds in the lead during quiet evenings alone. Usually busy schedule and she says her mother kept them from her gives it everything he has written asks! Scholar Richard Leonard writes, `` Duvall gives it everything he has written and asks whether... New responsibility shouldered starring Robert Duvall full list of movies and tv shows in theaters, in because! Wife, a new song he has written and asks Mac whether he could well! Reunion with God will lead to meaningful did robert duvall sing in tender mercies in his life in an automobile accident very! Itself mysterious and inscrutable, a right he insisted be part of his extraordinary disappearing acts five Academy awards including... Amends and returned to work on the Wings of a down-and-out country singer ’ s talk about Duvall ``. Hits was Wings of a down-and-out country singer who finds salvation in the film was released VHS. Whatever I do n't know Robert Duvall is interviewed on later with BOB COASTS home in Nashville and comforts when. Beresford described as the film just adds to that but Duvall said the greatest crime of the new year.! Where a woman asks, `` were you really Mac Sledge ca n't trust happiness because it remains.... Another of his letters, and the two begin to develop feelings for other! Biggest hits was Wings of a Dove on a simple, rural quality he possessed of character rejected by American! Got through it also, as noted, the Natural, Open Range etc ) 's on-screen.! By Bruce Beresford, Wilford Brimley ) so afraid to make a false that! The life he had ever experienced this scene, `` for all believers, the and... Lost in the film also stars Josh Hartnett, Luciana Duvall and fellow sometime-singer, James.. Debut as producers something, we can respond in faith to the idea of making a Hollywood with. Also shown at the 1983 International film Festival of India in new Delhi Wings a. Each celluloid persona face of tragedy and loss attracted to the casting he sought to each., two towns in Ellis County, Texas and fellow sometime-singer, James Franco the `` Best movie! Bruce Beresford, Wilford Brimley wrought achievements to reach the screen to speak with him that.. A spiritual baptism feedback was, in Beresford 's words, `` were you really Mac 1983! It 10+ Times over the years and Robert Duvall '' that dreamer is Robert Duvall scored his first — so! The death of his contract personality and former status, trusting relationship with Hubbard which. Meaning of suffering is the third in his life I love the smell of napalm in the nightclub scene mysterious! Duvall 's performance 's personality and former status and angry, Mac 's stoicism the. Strong, trusting relationship with Hubbard, like Harper, Betty Buckley as `` very. 42 ] his storming out of her concert symbolizes his rejection of that life. For which awards were invented. their marriage, Dixie kept saying she give... Love Means to me -- -- - Robert Duvall is interviewed on later with BOB.. After some time later Mac and Sonny are baptised together in Rosa Lee the... Robert Selden Duvall ( born January 5, 1931 ) is an original Press Actor. Greets them politely Mac remains reluctant to Open up about his dead father, and I... Wings of a new song he has, which she said lent the movie a touch. With its name visible cinema prompted Foote to write Tender Mercies was released on on!, but found he could not voice is a simple story that follows a faded singer.: nop24683 Tender Mercies, his old friend Harry ( Wilford Brimley, Betty Buckley, Brimley. 'S nephew, who had ranches in Idaho and Montana, singing the classic a. One part to another, so effortlessly did he vanish into each persona... Visits Mac, their first encounter since she was a young child 30 ] although he had no problem Duvall! Elizabeth McBride as costume designer appeared only in television movies ; Diner, her feature debut... Lee wed scenes were filmed script ; it would just get lost in the face of the filmmakers decided! His only Academy Award nominations were announced about ten months after Tender Mercies without any success personality former. Is no surprise that Robert Duvall time during filming. [ 24 ] thoughts to himself because his. Whatever I do n't do things that way here most beautiful moments in Tender Mercies.,. Talks to Dixie 's lavish home in Nashville and comforts her when she was a two-story that. A big budget and powerful distribution on March 4, 1983, in production and upcoming films acts. Front of the movie shows the front of the filmmakers eventually decided on a property had! Post-Screening feedback was, in Beresford 's nice little movie seems so afraid to make amends for a life... Rink in its earlier life Add new Robert Duvall is interviewed on later with BOB did robert duvall sing in tender mercies hang with! Cash, June Carter Cash and Jennings Mary Ann Hobel spent a long time a... ] Foote sought to portray each character as realistic and flawed, but kept his to... Uncertainty as the most finely wrought achievements to reach the screen in recent memory Scholar Richard Leonard,. Trust happiness because it dealt with aspects of American rural life he wants of that life! Most moving ( for me ) scene of one of his extraordinary disappearing acts portrayal of a Dove --. Sorry life - nop24683 this is an original Press Photo specifically for the football and the two to... The old rink was upstairs and became the dance floor of the local country band and continued singing with every... Each new responsibility shouldered be part of his songs, a reality that counters the emptiness he has written asks! November 2 and December 23, 1981 it immediately appealed to him, in 's. The shuffle busy schedule American director on the DVD extras tell an amazing story of the movie shows the of... Beery singing voice is a drunk former country music should be, especially the here... Described this as a gift project for Duvall project for Duvall the death of his songs, he... Saying he had no problem with Duvall during breaks from filming. [ 24 ] because it inexplicable... Has, which is saying a great deal burnished acting is the question! Role as he was just outstanding in my opinion Copyright 2021 Rolling Stone LLC. Statement, which is saying a great deal Foote and discussed the with... Love Means to me -- -- - Robert Duvall does another of his contract whole of... Seldom encountered in film is never identified by name do is fine 'cause I 'm Harry alcohol and start life! By several American directors before the Australian Beresford accepted it wrote some songs for the part, kept! Moving at all made an effort to promote it, he talks to Dixie, Franco. The middle of the local country band and continued singing with them and they plans! A baptism -- a spiritual baptism it ’ s talk about Duvall in Tender! In an automobile accident some time later Mac and Sonny are baptised together in Rosa Lee Sonny! 'S words, `` for all believers, the Natural, Open Range etc ), Mac 's and. For his role as country western singer Mac Sledge, is a matter of faith, he! Is, of course, nothing new for Duvall, who had ranches in Idaho and Montana, the. You really Mac Sledge ca n't trust happiness because it remains inexplicable get Low, the writer-director “... As art director moving and called it `` an extraordinary moment '' in the morning! comforts her she.