Love Comes Softly
|Love Comes Softly|
|Written by||Cindy Kelly
Michael Landon Jr.
|Directed by||Michael Landon Jr.|
Skye McCole Bartusiak
|Theme music composer||William Ashford
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||88 min.|
|Original network||Hallmark Channel|
|Original release||April 13, 2003|
|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 order of the films to follow are: 1. Two prequels, Love Begins, 2. Love's Everlasting Courage (both 2011), 3. "Love Comes Softly" 4. Love's Enduring Promise (2004), 5. Love's Long Journey (2005), 6. Love's Abiding Joy (2006), 7. Love's Unending Legacy (2007), 8. Love's Unfolding Dream (2007), 9. Love Takes Wing (April 4, 2009), and 10. Love Finds a Home (April 11, 2009), and Love's Christmas Journey (November 5, 2011).
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. Expecting her late husband's baby, Marty has nowhere to go and needs a place to stay through the winter. Desperate, she accepts the proposal offered by widower Clark (Dale Midkiff). Clark 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, Marty agrees to marry Clark and provide a maternal influence for his young daughter Missie (Skye McCole Bartusiak). Since the marriage is in name only, the pair keep separate quarters. Initially, it is not an ideal arrangement for any of them, and Missie resents Marty for attempting to encourage more feminine behavior from her. As winter passes, Marty learns more about "Clark's God" than she ever dreamed and an affectionate bond develops between her and Missie, allowing them all to begin to feel more like a family. Marty and Clark finally come to realize that they have both done what they thought was impossible: they have found love again. Missie has a new loving mother and Marty's baby is blessed with a wonderful new father.
|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
- In the book "Love Comes Softly", Missie is a toddler, turning two years old soon after Marty moves in; she is nine 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, two deceased) children in the novel. Ben Graham was a widower with four children, and Sarah Graham was a widow with three, 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 four: Ben's two sons and Sarah's two 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:
- Michael Landon Jr. (director/writer)
- Cindy Kelley (writer)
- Janette Oke (original story)
- Larry Levinson (executive producer)
- Robert Halmi Jr. (executive producer)
- Dale Midkiff (actor)
- Katherine Heigl (actress)
- Skye McCole Bartusiak (actress)
In 2004 Dale Midkiff won the Grace Award from MovieGuide for Most Inspirational Television Acting.