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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.


(screenplay), (play)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 11 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 | book | author | See All (69) »


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:





Release Date:

14 January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tierra de sombras  »

Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)


$25,842,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Denison had been at Magdalen College during C.S. Lewis's time. He had met him but had never been taught by him, and had graduated by the time the events of the story. See more »


As C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham climb to the turret of the college in order to admire the Oxford skyline, a 1960s-style towerblock is briefly visible in the distance. See more »


Jack: I love you, Joy. I love you so much. You made me so happy. I didn't know I could be so happy.
See more »


Featured in Up Late with Alec Baldwin: Episode #1.2 (2013) 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

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User Reviews

Spellbinding ride through the Shadowlands
26 June 1999 | by (In shame (2005 update)) – See all my reviews

Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger are perfectly cast in this beautiful film that contains what maybe the best and most haunting scenes in the history of motion pictures.

I didn't realize that there was almost no music until the third time I watched it. Hopkins delivers a career-best performance and Joseph Mazzello (as Winger's son) is terribly underbilled (his performance is superb), and I have no idea why Shadowlands didn't even land a Best Picture Academy Award nomination, it's certainly worth the price of the rental.

+ (GOOD THINGS) 1.) Death scene 2.) Chemistry between Hopkins and Winger 3.) Richard Attenborough's direction 4.) Hopkin's performance 5.) William Nicholson's script 6.) Winger's performance 7.) Joseph Mazzello's performance

  • (BAD THINGS) 1.) Winger's accent

Total: 9.5/10

21 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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