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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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(screenplay), (play)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
...
Frith
...
Lieven
...
Standish
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Storyline

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 <mattst@cogs.susx.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

oxford | england | friend | book | author | See All (69) »

Taglines:

He distanced himself from love as he distanced himself from pain, until one woman got close enough to open his heart to the world. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tierra de sombras  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$25,842,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In her real life, Joy actually had two sons: Douglas Gresham (who was depicted in this movie) and David Gresham (who was not.) David was born in 1944; Douglas in 1945. After their mother's death, David and Douglas continued to live with their stepfather, C. S. Lewis. In contrast to his mother, stepfather, and younger brother, David was less interested in converting to Christianity, and while still a child living with Lewis, he started to return to Judaism (the religion he had been born into). According to Edwin Brown's book In Pursuit of C. S. Lewis, Lewis was very supportive of David's interest in Judaism, including finding a kosher butcher to supply his meat. See more »

Goofs

In one of the scenes in Magdalen College Chapel, a character is shown singing from a copy of the "New English Hymnal" which was not published until the 1980s. The descant to one of the hymns sung was also written later than the date at which the film is set. See more »

Quotes

Jack: Will you marry this foolish, frightened old man... who needs you more than he can bear to say... who loves you, even though he hardly knows how?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Once in Royal David's City
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Cecil F. Alexander and music by
Henry J. Gauntlett
Sung at the Christmas service
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Intelligent, Powerful, and Joyous
14 April 2000 | by (Sarah Lawrence College) – See all my reviews

I probably watch this film every two years, yet like fine wine, it grows even better after time. This picture is a beautiful, thought provoking, and highly effective meditation on how love, death, god, joy, and pain all coexist in the strange universe that is life. With subject matter as complex as this, the viewer can see where one could easily become lost in C.S. Lewis's story, but "Shadowlands" never falters. The film remains quiet, simple, and highly effective through Attenborough's understated direction, and its cast's uniformly excellent performances.

However, what sits at the very core of "Shadowlands" beauty is its ultimate truth. There are moments in this film so full of genuine, unflynching emotion that its power practically hits the audience member in the gut. Yes, the film's magnificently depicted scenes of death and grieving never fail to jerk tears from my eyes, but Lewis's closing lines regarding the choices he made as a boy and a man make me sob.

"Shadowlands" is undoubtedly representative of filmaking at its very best. I recommend this film without reservation to anyone!


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