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The Best Hallmark Movies Ever

Brenda loves a good movie, especially one with a happy ending.

The Best Hallmark Movies Ever

The Best Hallmark Movies Ever

Are you wondering what the BEST Hallmark movies are? Best of lists are pretty difficult to put together because they depend on so many factors, the least of which is personal taste. This list then is designed to share SOME of the best Hallmark movies ever with you. It is not going to be complete nor is it going to be perfect. However, it is definitely a compilation of some of the best choices.

These are the best HALLMARK HALL OF FAME movies, ones that you may or may not have seen, including movies that have won awards and the movie that drew the most viewers ever.

See you at the movies!

(The set shown above, the Hallmark Event Films Collection, includes Noah's Ark, Merlin, Alice in Wonderland, Cleopatra and Gulliver's Travels. Find it by following the link in this paragraph.)

Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie Awards

Hallmark Hall of Fame is the most honored television program in the history of television and as a result, draws big name actors that usually appear in movies for the big screen. There is no question that some Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are award winners. The list of awards which these movies have received includes:

  • 80 Emmys (two times more than any other TV series)
  • 25 Christopher Awards
  • 11 Peabody Awards
  • 9 Golden Globes
  • 4 Humanitas Prizes

Promise (1986)

Starring James Garner and James Woods

The Hallmark Hall of Fame program which won the most awards ever was Promise (1986) starring James Garner and James Woods. It won more awards than any other single program in television history including five Emmys, a Christopher Award, a Peabody Award, two Golden Globes and a Humanitas Prize.

The story? That of love and loyalty and brothers. The older brother (played by Garner) returns home upon his mother's death to fulfill his promise to look after his younger brother, who has schizophrenia. An "excellent movie with outstanding performances from James Garner and James Woods. A truly moving and heart wrenching experience."

The success of Promise set the bar high for future Hallmark Hall of Fame movies, but Hallmark was up to the challenge.

What The Deaf Man Heard (1997)

Starring Matthew Modine and James Earl Jones.

The Hallmark movie with the most viewers ever was What the Deaf Man Heard (1997), starring Matthew Modine and James Earl Jones, which drew nearly 23 million viewers.

What The Deaf Man Heard is "a poignantly funny story." It tells the tale of a boy abandoned by his mother on a bus with the warning that he should NOT talk to ANYONE. He travels to the end of the line, talking to no one as instructed, and continues to live in silence with the bus station manager who becomes a surrogate father. This movie has funny parts, too, and eventually the man who everyone believes is deaf reveals that he can hear. As one writer says, "You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll want to see it again and again."

I enjoyed What The Deaf Man Heard and couldn't have said it any better than Ms. Merrill did.

Love is Never Silent (1985)

A two Emmy award winning movie.

Love is Never Silent was one of the Hall family's favorite movies, perhaps because it signified the renewal of the Hallmark Hall of Fame production department after a period of time which saw the creation of a number of films that were considered somewhat mediocre.

This movie was controversial because it cast two deaf actors in the roles of deaf characters and the television network CBS did not want to air it because of that fact. Hallmark made the film anyway, with deaf actors Phyllis Frelich and Ed Waterstreet, and it went on to win two Emmy's, one for outstanding drama and one for best director and it re-established Hallmark's reputation in the movie industry.

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Reviewer Senor Nenguno called it an excellent film because it gives a view of deaf people and the way they lived during the Great Depression. He also said that Phyllis Frelich and Edmund Waterstreet provided great acting and shared a look at the issues deaf individuals had at work and at home during those difficult years.

The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (2009)

A True Story Set in Warsaw, Poland, with an Unlikely Hero.

The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler is a movie that I recently watched and that I have chosen to add to this short list of the best Hallmark movies because I believe it is an excellent production which shares a very important historical story.

Irena Sendler organized a small group of friends and coworkers and rescued some 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland during World War II. The film is considered to be reasonably accurate historically although as a made-for-television movie it may be a bit gentler, of course, than what was really experienced by those unfortunate families trapped in the ghetto at that time. You can read my complete review of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.

The Odyssey (1997)

The Odyssey is a popular Hallmark Entertainment movie, that was long sought after on DVD because it had not been released on that format. Now it has. However, due to scarcity and demand, it is now a somewhat hard-to-find DVD. You can read my complete review of the Odyssey.

The Christmas Box (1995)

The Christmas Box has only been released on DVD as a double feature with the prequel, Timepiece. Like The Odyssey, it appears that this two-movie set has been discontinued. However, it is available if you are willing to pay the price. And, once again, a more affordable method would be to purchase the VHS videotapes of these movies. You can read my review of The Christmas Box.

Sarah Plain and Tall Collection (1992)

Starring Glenn Close and Christopher Walken

I have often seen Sarah Plain and Tall noted as a favorite Hallmark movie and the quality of this movie is made obvious by the number of five-star customer reviews.

One viewer says, "Sarah Plain and Tall movies focus on the importance of family, forgiveness, healing, love....I could not praise these productions enough and, if I could give more then 5 stars, I would. If you are looking for clean, wonderfully made productions that the whole family can enjoy to add to your collection, this collection of movies would fit the bill."

I love the collection. Sarah Plain and Tall should be on your watch list.

More Award-Winning Movies

The list of award-winning movies is endless and I cannot hope to showcase them all here on this page. The following are a few movies from 2000 to the present day that have won awards.

  • Plainsong
  • My Sister's Keeper
  • Candles on Bay Street
  • A Painted House
  • The Water is Wide

Do you enjoy Hallmark Hall of Fame movies?

Hallmark: A Century of Caring

The book Hallmark: A Century of Caring is a beautiful book packed with history about the Hallmark company that includes a chapter about the movies. It also includes a free DVD of the movie The Magic of Ordinary Days, making it a great gift idea for any Hallmark fan. Read my complete Hallmark: A Century of Caring book review.

More Hallmark Movies

  • Romantic Movies By Hallmark for Valentine's Day
    Looking for a romantic movie for Valentine's Day or any other day? I think you'll find what you are looking for amongst this collection of romantic movies by Hallmark.
  • Hallmark's To Dance With The White Dog Movie Review
    To Dance With the White Dog is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie that stars Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.
  • Hallmark's Durango Movie Review
    Travel back to the 1940s Ireland, as farmer Mark Doran struggles to find a fair price for his cattle. Determined to do better than what the local agent is willing to pay, he determines to drive the cattle to take it to market himself rather than...
  • The Lost Valentine Movie Review
    On January 30, 2011, just in time for Valentine's Day, Hallmark Hall of Fame released the movie The Lost Valentine starring Betty White and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Yes, another role for the prolific 88-year old White, this time in the form of a...

© 2010 Treasures By Brenda

YOUR TURN: What Hallmark Hall of Fame movie(s) do you think is or are the best ever?

Roberta castor on September 28, 2017:

My favorite movie is a result of my my mom teaching me to love poetry and giving me her copy of treasury of the familiar and telling me to read mary white. I fell in love, I laughed and finally of

Anonymous on May 14, 2016:

I love the Hallmark Channel ,and starting to like the Hallmark Mysteries too

Treasures By Brenda (author) from Canada on May 21, 2014:

@AnneLeeMusings: Thanks for sharing!

ellen-nesselrode-jasa on May 20, 2014:

Brenda -- Hallmark Hall of Fame responding to your great post here. We wanted your readers to know that they can also order the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies at A few of these titles are not on that list, however, because they were produced by Hallmark Entertainment but most of them are. We also have a Facebook page where questions can be answered. Many thanks for all the wonderful comments. We have a couple new movies being filmed now for next season on ABC. -- Ellen

amandascloset0 on May 10, 2014:

From about a week before Thanksgiving right through New Years I basically keep our T.V. on the Hallmark channel. Love those Christmas and Holiday movies.

Charito Maranan-Montecillo from Manila, Philippines on March 18, 2014:

I've seen "Plainsong" and I liked it. But I also like "Our House" which stars Doris Roberts.

AnneLeeMusings on February 03, 2014:

My favorite hands down is to Dance with the White Dog

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on November 19, 2013:

It would be very difficult for me to choose just one. I love pretty much every Hallmark Hall of Fame movie I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing some movies I haven't seen yet. Looking forward to seeing several of these recommendations.

David Stone from New York City on November 19, 2013:

Breathing Lessons, James Garner & Joanne Woodward, a faithful adaptation of Anne Tyler's novel.

Treasures By Brenda (author) from Canada on June 05, 2013:

@anonymous: I also enjoyed The Magic of Ordinary Days. I haven't seen Loving Leah. Thanks for the recommendations.

Treasures By Brenda (author) from Canada on June 05, 2013:

@anonymous: I enjoyed November Christmas, too!

Treasures By Brenda (author) from Canada on June 05, 2013:

@anonymous: Thanks for your recommendations, Rosa!

Treasures By Brenda (author) from Canada on June 05, 2013:

@anonymous: How to Fall in Love sounds lovely. Thanks for the recommendation!

Treasures By Brenda (author) from Canada on June 05, 2013:

@anonymous: You aren't the only one that wishes for more quality movies like these. Thanks for taking the time to share your favorites.

anonymous on June 03, 2013:

I have been a fan of Hallmark Entertainment event movies for years. My favorite is Arabian Nights. The stories are beautiful. The 10th Kingdom is also a favorite. The Odyssey, Gulliver's Travels, Jack and the Beanstalk, the true story, are modern day equivalents of the novels that read and enjoyed as chichildren. Anybody wanting their family or themselves elevated to new levels of apprecaitation for popular literature should watch these films. I wish they would make more like them.

anonymous on February 26, 2013:

I just rented (and subsequently bought) my first Hallmark movie, "How to Fall in Love." I was so surprised by how good it was. I'm a hopeless romantic, but I don't like cheesy acting. But the two main actors did such a great job! Plus I'm a single woman so I took to heart the dating advice as well. Like the first lesson - Confidence: You start dating way before you say a word. Your presentation and display of confidence communicates a lot about you nonverbally to potential dates. I never really thought of it that way. I'm also attracted to quiet, shy bookish types like Eric Mabius in the movie. The girl Brooke D'Orsay was really good too - reminded me of Julia Roberts, very sweet and bubbly in an endearing way. I sooooo appreciated that it was wholesome, old-fashioned and romantic. I guess that describes me so that's why I loved the movie so much. I think the ending could have been better and some minor details (like better evidence of the girl's party planning skills), but overall it was so heartwarming that I watched it twice in a row and bought it on amazon :)

anonymous on February 02, 2013:

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, and The Christmas Card. We watched both of these movies over and over during the holidays. Can't forget Borrowed Hearts, Its such an adorable movie. Also really enjoyed some of the newer ones like "Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade and Matchmaker Santa. Just recently saw The Lost Valentine with Betty White and Jennifer Love Hewitt, "Loved it" Thanks Hallmark for giving us great movies. (Too much violence on other channels) A Loyal Fan.

anonymous on January 05, 2013:

November Christmas

anonymous on December 08, 2012:

The Magic of Ordinary Days and Loving Leah

TransplantedSoul on October 31, 2012:

I usually think that Hallmark is cheesy - but they really have made some good movies.

Takkhis on October 20, 2012:

I watched them all, liked them.

Treasures By Brenda (author) from Canada on August 29, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi, Shahnawaz - I'm sorry that I cannot answer your question. Hopefully, someone else might be able to. I'm also going to post it on my Facebook page, Music and Movie Treasures By Brenda. Maybe someone there will recognize it.

anonymous on August 25, 2012:

When i was about 7 or 8 i saw a movie it was about a girl who started living with her stepmother and found a dog and raised the dog and so on.I cannot remember the name of hat movie can anybody here help me.I really want to watch that movie?????????

Little Linda Pinda from Florida on August 23, 2012:

Hallmark makes wonderful family films that I have enjoyed for many years. Thank you for sharing movies that I am not familiar with.

Fay Favored from USA on August 22, 2012:

I haven't seen too many Hallmark movies, but they are usually very entertaining.

anonymous on July 12, 2012:

Hallmark movies never disappoint but are rich in entertainment, the struggles of being human and life lessons. I can't think of a single one that I didn't like, they are great entertainment for the whole family!

Kay on April 12, 2012:

Oops, I marked that I had never seen one but I have seen Sarah Plain and Tall. We enjoyed that one very much.

Godsgraciousgift on December 03, 2011:

Because of this lens I am interested in seeing The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. I have always liked to see true life stories.

anonymous on November 14, 2011:

Go toward the light

EpicFarms on September 28, 2011:

"Love is Never Silent" is one of our very favorite daughter is deaf and we have watched it over and over again. "Sweet Nothing in my Ear" is another good one by Hallmark; it's about the huge [ongoing] debate over cochlear implants. Great topic and another nice lens!

jolou on March 12, 2011:

To Dance with the White Dog, and also The Locket with Vanessa Redgrave. I also loved A Dog Named Christmas. There are so many!

Dianne Loomos on December 17, 2010:

Me too! What the Deaf Man Heard sounds interesting!

tandemonimom lm on December 17, 2010:

Now I want to see What the Deaf Man Heard!

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