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)

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


Daniel Goode


Scott Handy


Based on a true story.

Release Date: 14 January 1994

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

Gross: $25,842,000

Technical Specs



Did You Know?


Michael Denison replaced Peter Barkworth.


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


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 about…'s about love that transcends the physical and it
will steal your heart away. You will weep and rejoice at this film….see