Shadowlands (1986)

TV Movie   |    |  Biography, Drama, Romance

Shadowlands (1986) Poster

Noted author and scholar finds love, then must endure its loss...


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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

14 April 2008 | fortean2
| Beautiful, magical, intelligent, thought-provoking
Easily one of my favourite dramatic TV films, in many ways beautiful yet sad, heart-warming and thought-provoking, this is a superb dramatisation of a few years in the life of C.S. Lewis and his relationship with Joy Davidman. I found it to be incredibly absorbing with excellent and 'realistic' dialogue and situations. It all seemed very 'real', yet there were also 'magical' moments that almost leave you breathless with delight. Ackland and Bloom as the central characters were excellent, as were the supporting cast. It's one of those dramas that I find hard to criticise, simply because, for me, there is NOTHING to be criticised, it just works so well on so many levels.

Very highly recommended.

Did You Know?


Writer William Nicholson later adapted his TV-movie for the stage. "Shadowlands" premiered in 1989 in the West End and in 1990 on Broadway. The success of the stage play lead to it being adapted again by Nicholson for a feature film: Shadowlands (1993).


C.S. Lewis: Why am I so afraid? I never knew that love could hurt so much. Yet I love you, and all I want is to love you. Beyond every door, I hear your voice saying to me, 'This is only the land of shadows. Real life hasn't begun yet.'

Alternate Versions

92-minute television version and 73-minute "abridged" version are available on DVD. The abridged version includes on-screen titles such as "January 1950" and "Two Years Later" at various points in the film. The time difference is made of cuts at the beginning of the film. 92-minute version opens with Jack at the college with a voice-over and the camera passing through a wardrobe. Another long section of cuts start when Jack is walking and reading Joy's letter, the letter is longer and includes a poem. Jack then goes into a classroom and lectures, and later returns home for tea with Warnie. After Joy and Jack's first meeting, scenes of them walking and talking around Oxford is longer. She arrives at his house with her boys, and they play chess with Warnie. Other cut scenes include Jack at a pub with his friends, and finding Douglas reading in the attic for the first time. Jack also tells Joy about when his mother died. And Joy goes to the college for a party and meets Jack's colleagues. The Christmas they spend together also includes a scene of a toast before they leave. Another section of cuts show Jack's life at the college (montage partly included in the opening credits of the abridged version), more scenes of him speaking to students, and talking to Christopher. In a final cut scene, the gardener asks Jack to come outside and he is surprised to find Joy has returned to England. Joy moves into her new house at the 36 minute mark in the full version and at the 17 minute mark of the abridged version, no cuts noted after that.


Plot Summary


Biography | Drama | Romance


Release Date:

29 October 1986



Country of Origin


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