January 14th, 1994



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Still of Richard Attenborough in Shadowlands

C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets spirited poet Joy Gresham.

Release Year: 1993

Rating: 7.3/10 (8,724 voted)

Director: Richard Attenborough

Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, Julian Fellowes

CS Lewis is the author of the Narnia books - The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Known as Jack, he teaches at an Oxford College, during the 1930's. 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 unwell and their lives become complicated.

Writers: William Nicholson, William Nicholson

Julian Fellowes - Desmond Arding
Roddy Maude-Roxby - Arnold Dopliss
Michael Denison - Harry Harrington
Andrew Seear - Bob Chafer
Tim McMullan - Nick Farrell
John Wood - Christopher Riley
Andrew Hawkins - Rupert Parrish
Peter Howell - College President
Anthony Hopkins - Jack Lewis
Edward Hardwicke - Warnie Lewis
Robert Flemyng - Claude Bird
James Frain - Peter Whistler
Toby Whithouse - Frith
Daniel Goode - Lieven
Scott Handy - Standish

Taglines: Based on a true story.

Release Date: 14 January 1994

Filming Locations: Christ Church Meadow, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK

Gross: $25,842,000 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Canada: (Ontario)

Did You Know?

Michael Denison replaced Peter Barkworth.

Factual errors: Joy actually broke her leg at Jack's home, The Kilns.

Harry: Christopher can scoff, Jack, but I know how hard you've been praying; and now God is answering your prayers.
C. S. Lewis: That's not why I pray, Harry. I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God, it changes me.

User Review

A Beautiful Film


This film, based on the love story of C.S. Lewis, noted author, scholar and religious apologist, and Joy Gresham, American poet, is so very haunting and beautiful. Those familiar with Lewis will know the tragic outcome of this love story for the ages and will appreciate the realistic adaptation to the screen. Sir Richard Attenborough could have been tempted to cast glamorous actors in the leads but instead he chose Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger whose characterizations more closely resembled the true life couple. Hopkins, who should have been nominated for the Academy Award for this role, plays Lewis to a T.....rumpled, vague and totally naive in the ways of the world and certainly where love is concerned. Winger, looking frumpy, is appropriately brash and out of place in the world of Oxford academia. She approaches Hopkins' character with a refreshing honesty that is sometimes hurtful but always straight to the heart of the matter. In the end, it helps him to cope. She captures his soul and therein begins the short but wonderful love story that forever changes their lives. The intensity of their relationship and the inevitable ending will make you weep and a box of Kleenex is recommended. Heavy breathing and graphic loves scenes are not what this is's about love that transcends the physical and it will steal your heart away. You will weep and rejoice at this film....see it!


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