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Shadowlands (1993)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  14 January 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 12,820 users  
Reviews: 85 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 10 wins & 6 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
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College President
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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) »


Based on a true story. 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?


In one of the scenes in which Douglas Gresham is reading in bed, you can see he is reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien was a good friend and colleague of C.S. Lewis. See more »


Jack and Joy actually spent their honeymoon in Greece, not that search for the "Golden Valley". Outside of his Army stint in WW1, Jack had never left England before and was unsure about traveling to Greece. He was afraid it wouldn't live up to what he had imagined. After reading Homer and Aristotle (in Greek) he had built up quite a mental image. The trip did not disappoint him. See more »


C. S. Lewis: Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
See more »


Remake of Shadowlands (1985) See more »


Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Built for Two)
Written by Harry Dacre
A snatch is sung by Jack while they look for the Golden Valley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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