Shadowlands (1993)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  14 January 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 12,934 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 22 critic

C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets a spirited poet from the U.S.


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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Desmond Arding
Roddy Maude-Roxby ...
Arnold Dopliss
Michael Denison ...
Harry Harrington
Andrew Seear ...
Bob Chafer
Tim McMullan ...
Nick Farrell
Christopher Riley
Andrew Hawkins ...
Rupert Parrish
Peter Howell ...
College President
Robert Flemyng ...
Claude Bird
Peter Whistler


C.S. Lewis is the author of the "Chronicles of Narnia" books. Known as Jack, he teaches at Oxford during the 1950s. An American fan, Joy Gresham, arrives to meet him for tea in Oxford. It is the beginning of a love affair. Tragically, Joy becomes terminally ill and their lives become complicated. Written by Matthew Stanfield <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

oxford | england | friend | love | book | See All (71) »


He thought that magic only existed in books, and then he met her. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tierra de sombras  »

Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)


£3,033,231 (UK) (15 April 1994)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scenes of the traditional Mayday celebrations in Oxford were filmed on the actual night/morning of April 30/ May 1 1993. On Magdalen Tower were the actual choristers of the College chapel but with restricted space due to the minimal crew and camera. Medium shots had been taken of dress-extras in punts on the river and the intention had been to take long-shots of the real-life crowd below. However an unusual thick low mist made much footage unusable, so the dress-extras were recalled a week later, with others to cover Magdalen Bridge. See more »


Both the picture of the Golden Valley hanging in Jack's study, and the actual vista Jack and Joy find on their honeymoon are in fact the view of the Wye Valley from Symonds Yat - as the woman in the hotel says, the Golden Valley is that of the River Dore. See more »


Douglas Gresham: [Reading Jack's inscription from his Narnia book] The magic never ends.
Joy: Well, if it does, sue him.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Deadly Bees (1998) See more »


Sumer is Icumen In
Authorship unknown, sometimes attributed to W. de Wycombe
Sung by the choir on May Day morning
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Extremely Touching Film
20 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

C. S. Lewis is making a bit of a comeback with the "Chronicles Of Narnia" movie of late, but here's a film portrait of him made in 1993 starring the great British actor Anthony Hopkins.

To Christians, Lewis has always been a familiar name: one of the greatest and most well-known Christian apologists theologians ("Merre Christianity," "The Screwtape Letters,"etc.) and fiction (the Narnia series) writers of all time. But this film - no surprise - doesn't really deal with that: it's mainly a love story, the love he had toward his American wife, played by Debra Winger.

Being a Brit, the film takes place in England and features some wonderful landscapes of that great country. Hopkins exudes warmth in the role of Lewis and Winger is okay, New York City accent and all, as the American. I would have chosen someone else for the role, but Winger gets by.

Not to be forgotten is the fine job Edward Hardwicke did as "Warnie," Lewis' brother. Joseph Mazzello, one of the top child actors of the early '90s, is the Lewis' young boy. When father and son cry together at the end, it is one of the most touching scenes I've ever viewed on film.

It's a touching story, period, and if it doesn't get your eyes moistened at least once, check your pulse. The dialog in here is excellent, too. I particularly enjoyed the by-play of dry wit between the professors and Winger's various comments to her husband.

Nice films like this are unusual and should be treasured, as Lewis and his works are by so many people, Christian or non-Christian.

50 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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