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]


Olivia Dunne (Keri Russell) is a young woman who becomes pregnant by a man who is sent off to fight in the war. Her father is Rev. Dunne (Daryl Shuttleworth) who is embarressed by his daughter's out of wedlock pregnancy. He decides to resolve the dilemma by sending her off to a rural town in southeastern Colorado, there to be married to a widower in need of a wife. The groom is Ray Singleton (Skeet Ulrich), who farms a remote section of land on a farm with few modern conveniences. Ray and Livvy have very different backgrounds. Livvy has the benefit of a good education and holds a graduate degree in archeology, but cannot cook, cannot farm and is not a particularly religious person. Ray's focus is on his family, his land and his faith in God.[4]

Ray's farm utilizes the help of Japanese Americans from Amache, a nearby Japanese American internment camp. Livvy befriends two of these women, Florence "Flory" (Tania Gunadi) and Rose Umahara (Gwendoline Yeo). They are both well-educated, and Livvy finds familiarity and comfort in their friendship. Toward her husband and his sister Martha (Mare Winningham) Livvy is polite and civil, but withdraws when Ray reaches out to her, as she still harbors feelings for Edward, the father of her baby. Ray is a caring husband, both patient and supportive. In spite of their differences, over time the two come to understand and love each other.[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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