Mac Sledge (Duvall), once a successful country music balladeer, has a severe drinking problem which has caused him to hit bottom. When there is nowhere deeper to sink, you either die or climb back up into the world. With the help of gentle widow Rosa Lee (Harper) and her young son, Mac gradually finds the strength to reclaim his life.
Why we love it
This unadorned gem — beautifully realized by Australian director Beresford from Horton Foote's brilliant, Academy Award winning script — is definitely an actor's showcase, and Duvall makes the most of it, turning in a bravura performance that won him an Oscar. (Trivia note: screenwriter Foote also had created the script for Duvall's first film twenty years earlier, "To Kill A Mockingbird," Foote won the Oscar for that film as well!)