1985 television film

Shadowlands is a 1993 film about the middle-aged British bachelor writer and professor C.S Lewis and the American poet Joy Gresham and her son Douglas.

Directed by Richard Attenborough. Written by William Nicholson based on a script by Brian Sibley and Norman Stone.
Based on a true story taglines
He thought that magic only existed in books, and then he met her. taglines

C.S Lewis (Jack)

  • The most intense joy lies not in the having but in the desiring. The delight that never fades, the bliss that is eternal is only yours when what you most desire is just out of reach.
  • Fight me, I can take it. Even I cannot fight on both sides at once you know. At least I can but I’m liable to win.
  • He comes; he sleeps; he goes. So the plot thickens.
  • Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
  • I suggest to you that it is because God loves us that he makes us the gift of suffering. Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world. You see we are like blocks of stone out of which the sculptor carves the forms of men. The blows of his chisel which hurt us so much are what make us perfect.
  • Isn’t God supposed to be good? Isn’t God supposed to love us? And does God want us to suffer? What if the answer to that question is yes? ’Cause I’m not sure that God particularly wants us to be happy. I think he wants us to be able to love and be loved. He wants us to grow up. I suggest to you that it is because God loves us that he makes us the gift of suffering.
  • 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.
  • I love you, Joy. I love you so much. You made me so happy. I didn't know I could be so happy.
  • 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.

Joy Gresham

  • Are you trying to be offensive, or merely stupid?



C.S. Lewis was called Jack by his friends.

Christopher: Jack, what a surprise!
Jack: What do you mean, surprise?
Christopher: Not out plying your trade?
Jack: What trade is that Christopher?
Christopher: I see you as a species of medieval pedlar selling relics of the saints of dubious authenticity.
Harry: Fair play, Christopher. Jack’s no Roman. I can vouch for that.
Christopher: I speak metaphorically, Harry. Jack’s trade is the manufacture and supply of easy answers to difficult questions.

Warnie: Why is the beer in this pub always cold? Cold beer. Chills the stomach. Has no taste.
Eddie: I have a complaint about the wardrobe.
Rupert: Complaint ? Our children love it.
Christopher: I will not have another blasted conversation about Jack’s blasted nursery.
Eddie: No. No, listen. Listen. In the book you describe the house as belonging to an old professor who has no wife and yet… You say when the little girl enters the magic wardrobe she finds it full of fur coats.
Christopher: Very good, Eddie. Not bad.
Jack: It’s simple. Simple. It belongs to the professor's old mother. Simple.
John: So to reach the magic world the child must push through the mother’s fur?
Jack: No, John, it’s not like that hand-me down Freudianism.
Harry: But the imagery is Christian surely.
Jack: No, Harry it’s what it is. It’s just itself. It’s…. It’s just magic: Magic. Look. Let me show you. The child steps into the wardrobe. The coats are thick and heavy.
John: What about the fur?
Jack: Fur’s not important, John. The child must push through. They’re pressing close, almost suffocating and suddenly there’s white light. Crisp cold air. Trees. Snow. Total contrast you see. It’s a gateway to a magical world.

Jack: Another letter form Mrs. Gresham.
Warnie: I can’t remember any of it.
Jack: Jewish Communist Christian American.
Warnie: You may ask me how I know it was strange if I’ve forgotten it. Can’t answer that one.
Jack: I like her letters she can be quite sharp sometimes. Listen to this, Warnie. She says :”I can’t decide whether you’d rather be the child caught in the spell or the magician casting it.” Her letters are rather unusual. She writes as if she knows me somehow. And, I suppose there is something of me in my books, isn’t there?
Warnie: I expect it’s just the American style. Americans don’t understand about inhibitions.
Jack: Oh she is coming to England. And she’s coming to Oxford. She wants to meet us.
Warnie: Well she can’t come here.
Jack: No of course not, but she does suggest tea in a hotel.
Warnie: Tea is safe. A hotel is safe. Though she might be mad.
Jack: No I don’t think so. She does write poems.
Warnie: Poems ??? She‘ll be barking.

Warnie: You won’t be too agreeable, will you Jack?
Jack: Don’t worry, Warnie. I won’t.
Warnie: She’ll turn out to be writing a dissertation on wardrobes. She’ll ask you whether she can come and watch you ”create”. She’ll say ”I’ll sit in the corner. You’ll never know I’m there.”
Jack: It’s only tea, Warnie. An hour or so with polite conversation and then we go home and everything goes on just as it always has.

Douglas : [Reading Jack's inscription from his Narnia book.] The magic never ends.
Joy : Well, if it does, sue him.

Joy: Jack don’t you sometimes just burst to share the joke?
Jack: What joke ?
Joy: Well here's your friends thinking we're unmarried and up to all sorts of wickedness, when all along we're married and up to nothing at all.
Jack: Which friends?
Joy: God, you can be so hard work sometimes. So what do you do here? Think great thoughts?
Jack: Teach mainly.
Joy: What do they do? Sit at your feet and gaze up at you in awe?
Jack: No, not at all.
Joy: I bet they do.
Joy: We have some fine old battles in here, I can tell you that.
Joy: Which you win. Must be quite a boost for you, being older and wiser than all of them. Not to mention your readers.
Jack: What?
Joy: Your readers and that gang of friends of yours. All very well trained not to play out of bounds.
Jack: What are you talking about?
Joy: Of course there’s Warnie. Not much competition there.
Jack: That’s nonsense. And what about Christopher Riley. He never let’s me get away with anything, you know that.
Joy: Except doubt and fear and pain and terror.
Jack: Where did all that come from?
Joy: I’ve only now just seen it how you’ve arranged a life for yourself where no one can touch you. Everyone that’s close to you is either younger than you, or weaker than you, or under your control.
Jack: Why…why are you getting at me? I thought..I thought we were friends?
Joy: I don’t know that we are friends not the way you have friends anyway. Sorry, Jack.
Jack: I don’t understand.
Joy: No, I think you do. You just don’t like it, nor do I.

Jack: I wonder what it is that everybody wants from me?
Peter: You know that is the first question I have ever heard you ask that sounds like you don’t know the answer.
Jack: Oh, is that good? Is that what you want? Ignorance? Confusion?
Peter: Look, I just don’t think I see my way ahead as clearly as you do.
Jack: Shadows.
Peter: What?
Jack: It’s one of my stories. We live in the Shadowlands. The sun is always shining somewhere else. Round a bend in the road. Over the bough of a hill.

Jack: I want to marry you Joy, I want to marry you before God and the world.
Joy: Make an honest woman out of me?
Jack: No not you. It’s me that hasn’t been honest. Look what it takes me to see sense.
Joy: You think I have overdone it?
Jack: Please don’t leave me, Joy.
Joy: You know Jack, back where I come from there's this quaint old custom. When a guy makes up his mind to marry a girl, he asks her. It's called proposing.
Jack: It’s the same here.
Joy: Did I miss it?
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?
Joy: Just this once.

Harry: Well, she is your friend of course. But, well she's
Jack: She’s not my wife.
Harry: No of course not.
Jack: Of course not. It’s impossible. It’s unthinkable. How could Joy be my wife? I'd have to love her, wouldn't I? I'd have to care more about her than anyone else in this world. I'd have to be suffering the torments of the damned. The prospect of losing her...
Harry: I'm so sorry, Jack. I didn't know.
Jack: Nor did I, Harry.

Joy: We almost made it.
Jack: Now I don’t want to be somewhere else anymore. Not waiting for anything new to happen. Not looking around the next corner, not the next hill. Here now. That’s enough.
Joy: That’s your kind of happy, isn’t it?
Jack: Yes. Yes it is.
Joy: It is not going to last, Jack.
Jack: We shouldn’t think about that now. Lets’ not spoil the time we have together.
Joy: It doesn’t spoil it. I makes it real. Let me just say it before this rain stops, and we go back.
Jack: What’s there to say?
Joy: That I’m going to die and I want to go with you then, too. The only way I can do that is if I’m able to talk to you about it now.
Jack: I’ll manage somehow. Don’t worry about me.
Joy: No, I think it can be better than just managing. What I am trying to say is that the pain then is part of the happiness now. That’s the deal.

Jack: What’s happening to me, Warnie? I can’t see her anymore. I can’t remember her face.
Warnie: I expect it's shock.
Jack: I’m so afraid of never seeing her again--thinking that suffering is just suffering after all. No cause, no purpose, no pattern.
Warnie: I…I don’t know what to tell you, Jack.
Jack: Nothing, there is nothing to say. I know that now. I’ve just come up against experience, Warnie. Experience is a brutal teacher…but you learn. My God you learn.



See also

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