Shadowlands (1993)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  14 January 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 12,941 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.


(screenplay), (play)
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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 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)


£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 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 »


Jack never learnt to drive, despite numerous attempts at learning. See more »


Jack: Why love, if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore: only the life I have lived. Twice in that life I've been given the choice: as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety, the man chooses suffering. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal.
See more »


Referenced in BBC Proms: Prom 2: Music from Great British Films (2007) See more »


Toccata and Fugue in D
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Heard at the Insignia ceremony
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Different and Edifying Look at Love and Death
13 June 1999 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

Two different, yet complimentary people meet and discover they have something in common: the conviction that life is a gift. C. S. Lewis, an Englishman, an Oxford don who lives the interior life, is confronted by an American writer-poet who shows him how to become a part of the world in a way that makes the imagery of his works become manifest.

Then, she dies. What does this do to his faith?

The casting is perfect.

"Shadowlands" contains the most powerful deathbed scene ever recorded on film.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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