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?


The scenes of the traditional Mayday celebrations in Oxford were filmed on the actual night/morning of April 30/ May 1 1993. On Magdalen Tower were the actual choristers of the College chapel but with restricted space due to the minimal crew and camera. Medium shots had been taken of dress-extras in punts on the river and the intention had been to take long-shots of the real-life crowd below. However an unusual thick low mist made much footage unusable, so the dress-extras were recalled a week later, with others to cover Magdalen Bridge. See more »


The first time Jack appears in the hospital, the physician comes out of Joy's room and tells him Joy's left leg "snapped like a twig." It is her right leg which is shown collapsing and being treated throughout the film. See more »


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 »


Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) 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

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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A terrible film that bored me to tears Critic-Girl
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