Test Audiences Graded Ordinary Angels Higher than Jesus Revolution: ‘Unheard of,’ Producer Says

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A producer behind a new movie from the makers of Jesus Revolution says the upcoming release will illustrate the “gospel in action” and urge Christians to be good Samaritans in their own neighborhoods.

Kingdom Story Company’s Ordinary Angels, scheduled to hit theaters on Oct. 13, will tell the true story of a hairdresser who rallies a community and a church to assist a widower whose young daughter is critically ill. Set in Louisville, Ky., during the 1990s, the film stars Alan Ritchson as the widower, Ed Schmitt, and two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank as the hairdresser, Sharon Stevens.

“It’s a miracle story,” producer Andy Erwin told Christian Headlines.

The film, he said, “shows the gospel in action.”

Incredibly, the film “tested” better than any film produced by Kingdom Story Company, which also made hit films Jesus Revolution and I Can Only Imagine, Erwin said. The tests involve audiences who watch advanced screenings and then give movies a grade. Lionsgate, the distributor, conducts the tests, Erwin said.

“It scored at 98 with the audience, which is unheard of,” Erwin said. “It’s just a feel-good story.”

When the movie opens, widower Schmitt is grieving the loss of his wife while trying to save the life of his young daughter, who needs a liver transplant and has the same condition that took her mom. Meanwhile, Schmitt has hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

“[The hospital] charged him so much for his wife … that he couldn’t fight for his daughter to live,” Erwin said. “And he was at the point of not knowing what to do next. And for whatever reason, this Good Samaritan stranger … feels this cosmic calling to save this little girl’s life.”

Stevens was a “tenacious tornado that wouldn’t take no for an answer,” Erwin said.

“And she rallied the community around him,” Erwin noted. “And then ultimately, the church got involved.”

The story has plenty of lessons for the body of Christ, Erwin insisted.

“It puts kind of hands and feet to the gospel,” he said. “This is just a great case study of how to get involved to do the next right thing as far as ministry, as far as outreach, as far as compassion towards people that are hurting in your community – you never know what somebody’s going through next door. You never know what obstacles they’re facing. And sometimes we stay so busy, especially in church culture, that we never slow down enough to figure out what, what’s going on, and how can I help? I think this movie really shows a person that was willing to do that for a stranger. And then it inspired this church to make a difference.”

Ordinary Angels is rated PG for thematic content, brief bloody images and smoking.


‘Reacher’ Actor Alan Ritchson Wants the ‘Name of Christ in Movie Theaters’

Photo courtesy: ©Allen Fraser/Kingdom Story Company, used with permission.

Video courtesy: ©Lionsgate

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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