Love Comes Softly

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Love Comes Softly
Love comes softly.jpg
Format Christian drama
Directed by Michael Landon Jr.
Produced by Kevin Bocarde
Kyle Clark
Written by Cindy Kelly
Michael Landon Jr.
Janette Oke
Starring Katherine Heigl
Dale Midkiff
Skye McCole Bartusiak
Corbin Bernsen
Theresa Russell
Music by William Ashford
Ken Thorne
Editing by Colleen Halsey
Country United States
Language English
Original channel Hallmark Channel
Release date April 13, 2003
Running time 88 min.
Preceded by Love's Everlasting Courage
Followed by Love's Enduring Promise

Love Comes Softly is a 2003 Christian drama television movie set in the 19th century, based on a series of books by Janette Oke. It originally aired on Hallmark Channel in 2003. It was directed by Michael Landon Jr., and stars Katherine Heigl as a young woman named Marty Claridge.

It is the first in a series of television movies made for Hallmark Channel based on the books and produced for Hallmark by Larry Levinson Productions. The rest of the films to follow are: Love's Enduring Promise (2004), Love's Long Journey (2005), Love's Abiding Joy (2006), Love's Unending Legacy (2007), Love's Unfolding Dream (2007), Love Takes Wing (April 4, 2009), and Love Finds a Home (April 11, 2009), as well as two prequels, Love Begins, Love's Everlasting Courage (both 2011), and Love's Christmas Journey (November 5, 2011).[1][2][3]


Marty Claridge (Katherine Heigl) has just moved out to the West with her husband Aaron Claridge (Oliver Macready), who dies in a riding accident shortly after. Marty, expecting her late husband's baby and left with nowhere to go, is in need of a place to stay through the winter. With no other options, she accepts the arrangement offered by widower Clark Davis (Dale Midkiff), who offers to give her a place to stay for the winter and provide her with the fare for the wagon train heading back East in the spring. In exchange, they agree to get married, as he wants her to provide a maternal influence for his young daughter Missie (Skye McCole Bartusiak). The two do not live together as husband and wife but keep separate quarters. Initially, it is not an ideal arrangement for any of them, and at first Marty and Missie do not get along. Marty learns more about "Clark's God" than she ever dreamed. As winter passes, they start to feel more like a family; and finally Marty and Clark come to realize they're in love and that Missie has found a new loving mother.


Actor Role
Katherine Heigl Marty Claridge
Dale Midkiff Clark Davis
Skye McCole Bartusiak Missie Davis
Corbin Bernsen Ben Graham
Theresa Russell Sarah Graham
Oliver Macready Aaron Claridge
Adam Loeffler Clint Graham
Nick Scoggin Reverend Johnson
Rutanya Alda Wanda Marshall
Tiffany Amber Knight Laura Graham
Jaimz Woolvett Wagon Train Scout

Differences from the novel[edit]

  • In the book "Love Comes Softly", Missie is a toddler, turning 2 years old soon after Marty moves in; she is 9 in the movie. Clark and Marty are also older in the film than in the book.
  • Marty's husband is named Clem in the novel, Aaron in the film.
  • The Grahams have 13 (11 living, 2 deceased) children in the novel. Ben Graham was a widower with 4 children, and Sarah Graham was a widow with 3, one that died at age 7. They then had 6 together, one of which they lost in infancy. This is mentioned in Chapter 11 of the book. In the film, they only have 4: Ben's 2 sons and Sarah's 2 daughters. In the novel, Sarah is only referred to as "Ma Graham" or Mrs. Graham. Laura is Ben's daughter in the novel and Sarah's in the film.


The following people took home a Camie Award in 2003 for their part in the film:

In 2004 Dale Midkiff won the Grace Award from MovieGuide for Most Inspirational Television Acting.


External links[edit]