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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?


Gerald Sim (Superintendent Registrar) was the brother-in-law of the director Richard Attenborough. After Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), Young Winston (1972), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Gandhi (1982), Cry Freedom (1987) and Chaplin (1992), this was his seventh and final appearance in one of Attenborough's films. 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 »


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 »


Performed by London Symphony Orchestra and The Choir of Magdalen College Oxford
Directed by Grayston Ives
Soloists Daniel Cochlin & Daren Geraghty
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Attenborough's best directorial effort.
24 June 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is Richard Attenborough's best directed film. Unlike Gandhi, it had no ambitions of being a grand scale historical epic. It actually played to Attenborough's strengths as a director, which are story and character development. Of course some fantastic performances from some great actors helped him out immensely. Debra Winger was nominated for an Oscar, and she was great, but we already saw her play the same disease in Terms of Endearment. Anthony Hopkins should have received an Oscar nomination for his incredible multi-layered turn as C. S. Lewis. His lifelong bachelor that falls in love and then questions his own theological beliefs when he grieves is the polar opposite of his most famous role, Hannibal Lechter, and yet he is just as convincing. With Hopkins in the lead, and Attenborough's attention to detail, this movie is one of the most overlooked films on every top 100 list, or in the case of this site, top 250 list. If you like movies that have stories, characters, and atmosphere, this is for you. 8 of 10.

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