Thursday, 31 January 2019

Shadowlands Revisited.

One of my favourite film of all time is Shadowlands, starring Debra Winger and Anthony Hopkins.  I (we) have seen it at least twenty twenty times and it never fails to make cough and shed a tear or ten.  They both deserve Oscars for their acting.

The film is about the writer CS Lewis and his wife Joy, a poet.  CS Lewis fought in the First world war and converted from Atheism to Christianity in midlife.  He was a member of the Inklings writers group in Oxford and a good friend of JR R Tolkien.  He also fought in WW1.  Its remarkable how they both had faith  in God after what they had experienced.

In the film they go to the Golden Valley in Herefordshire.  Jack (CS Lewis) had a picture of it on his study wall.  We have visited the film location at least five times if not more.  One year (twenty years ago) we took my mother and father with us and we pitched a tent in a field next to the pub.  The landlord only charged us four pounds for the priviledge of camping there.  My mother slept in the car with my dad and we slept in our tent with our then two year old number one son.  I can see my dad carrying a tray of drinks to us.  They must have been in their mid sixties and never 'roughed it' like this before.  I spoke to my mother in the morning:

"Did you sleep?"

"It was alright?"

Her sigh and facial expression said it all!

We visited Symonds Yat and drank coffee and ate bacon butties and it was a great time had by all.  

One of the film quotes: We live in the Shadowlands.  The sun is always shining somewhere else.  Round a bend in the road.  Over the bough of an hill.

Here's a clip from Shadowlands for you!












14 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful story and I am in awe that you have visited the actual valley, how amazing.. but it's something I would have done at one time in my life. I saw the play in London with Nigel Hawthorn as Lewis, it was wonderful and there were tears in the audience when the final curtain fell. Thank you for the clip. I need now to get the DVD!

    This with 'The Bridges of Madison County' are films to watch time and time again.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Chris. Yes its The Golden Valley. Well worth visiting. I think you can see seven counties from Symonds yat on the majestic river Wye. Hope you enjoy the film and thanks for your comment!

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  2. Anthony Hopkins. The second coming. Richard Burton being the first.

    What a wonderful story you tell, Dave. I don't think I've seen any film that many times. In fact I know I haven't.

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    1. I won't argue you about that Gwil. Sir Anthony Hopkins is one of my heroes. Do you know the Welsh Marches? We once found Wilfred Owen's house: Plas Wilmot when we visited Oswestry.

      Yes twenty times. I never get bored of it. I also find cathartic when I watch the sad scenes and think of sad times in my life.

      Thanks Gwil!

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  3. I have to confess that, although I know of it, I’ve not seen the film. The clip has whetted the appetite to do so, though.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Philip. Its my favourite film. Its on You Tube in its entirety. Thanks.

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  4. I don't recall seeing the film, yet it seems awfully familiar to me so perhaps I've just forgotten. I intend to watch it on YouTube if I can.
    I spent some of the war years in Hereford and I loved it there. Oh to see again the salmon leaping high out of the river.

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  5. Hi Valerie. I think the full film is on You Tube. Hereford is beautiful like its famous red and white cows. We have had a few holidays round there. Don't tell everybody though. Its one of rural Englands best kept secrets. Were you in the SAS? They're from Hereford? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Query SAS! Whatever it is the answer is No. I was but a child playing catch the salmon in the river.

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    2. Special Air Services. It sounds idyllic catching salmon in the river.

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  6. I don't know this film at all. I do know CS Lewis though and have read his essays and his life story. I have also read John Betjeman's biography and I know that CS Lewis made life hell for him and was instrumental in not allowing Betjeman to complete his degree. I think it was best to be on the right side of Lewis because he was not a good person to have as an enemy.

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  7. Hi Rachel. Richard Attenborough produced it in 1993. I have read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. Its probably my favourite film. Didn't know he could make life hell. Its well worth watching. Thanks!

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