The Magic of Ordinary Days

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The Magic of Ordinary Days
Genre Period romance
Created by Hallmark Hall of Fame
Directed by Brent Shields
Produced by Andrew Gottlieb
Written by Ann Howard Creel (novel)
Camille Thomasson (adaption)
Starring Keri Russell
Skeet Ulrich
Mare Winningham
Country United States
Language English
Original channel CBS
Release date January 30, 2005
Running time 120 minutes (inc. commercials)

The Magic of Ordinary Days is a Hallmark Hall of Fame production based on a novel of the same name by Ann Howard Creel and adapted as a teleplay by Camille Thomasson.[1] It was directed by Brent Shields, produced by Andrew Gottlieb and stars Keri Russell, Skeet Ulrich, and Mare Winningham.[1]

The film first aired on CBS on January 30, 2005,[2] and received an encore broadcast on the same network exactly five years later.[3]


In 1944 a young woman, Olivia (Livvy) Dunne (Keri Russell), became pregnant before marriage, and is sent to rural southeastern town in Colorado by her father, Rev. Dunne (Daryl Shuttleworth), who arranged it through another preacher. The groom is Ray Singleton (Skeet Ulrich) and lives on a remote farm with no modern conveniences other than hot and cold running water. He is very different from Livvy, and focuses on his family, his land, his faith in God, and the things at hand. Livvy is highly educated with a graduate degree in archeology, cannot cook, cannot farm and is not particularly religious.[4]

Ray's farm utilizes the help of Japanese Americans from the nearby Japanese American internment camp, Amache. Livvy befriends two of the more well-educated Japanese American women, Florence "Flory" (Tania Gunadi and Rose Umahara Gwendoline Yeo)and finds comfort and familiarity in their friendship. While polite and civil to her new husband and his sister Martha (Mare Winningham), Livy still harbors feelings for Edward, the World War II soldier and father of the baby, though she does have some minor guilt for the pregnancy. Ray, though is caring, patient, and supportive, and slowly, the two come to understand and love each other in spite of their differences.[4]


The premiere broadcast on CBS in 2005 attracted 18.7 million viewers, making it the highest-rated television film since the 2001-2 season.[2] According to the author of the original novel, "as of early 2009, the screenplay for a sequel has been written and approved. Hallmark Hall of Fame is waiting for principal actors to become available to begin production and filming."[2]

In 2005, Robert Bianco of USA Today gave the film 3.5/4 stars (3½ out of 4 stars), saying:[5]

If only TV movies this good were ordinary events....Days does sometimes stress a link between "country" and "uncomplicated" that probably never existed. But underneath the contrasts between Ray's simple ways and Livvy's more cultured upbringing is a binding, universal message about the need to accept the consequences of our acts. An ordinary lesson, perhaps, but it takes an extraordinary movie to make us listen.


  1. ^ a b Full cast and crew for The Magic of Ordinary Days. - IMDb.
  2. ^ a b c Ann Howard Creel - Hallmark Hall of Fame from Creel's official website
  3. ^ Hallmark Hall of Fame's Acclaimed The Magic of Ordinary Days Is Special Encore Presentation on CBS, a January 7, 2010 press release from the Hallmark website
  4. ^ a b Erickson, Hal. - The Magic of Ordinary Days. - All Movie Guide at Allmovie.
  5. ^ Hallmark makes magic, a January 27, 2005 review from USA Today

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