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C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia (2005)

C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia Readers and fans worldwide know the land of Narnia and the magical beings who dwell there. But few know the genius who created this beloved fantasy. Now meet C.S. ... See full summary »


Norman Stone


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anton Rodgers ... C.S. Lewis
Diane Venora ... Joy Gresham
John Franklyn-Robbins ... The Great Knock
Peter Banks Peter Banks ... Warnie
Adam Davy Adam Davy ... Young Man Lewis
Robert Hickson Robert Hickson ... J.R.R. Tolkien
Ben Lambert ... Younger Tolkien
Fred Drinkwater Fred Drinkwater ... Hardie
Andrew Harrison Andrew Harrison ... Albert Lewis - Father
Catherine Lemmon Catherine Lemmon ... Mrs. Lewis - Mother
Leo Potter Leo Potter ... Child Lewis
Antony De Liseo Antony De Liseo ... Child Warnie
Pax Baldwin Pax Baldwin ... Douglas Gresham
River Hawkins River Hawkins ... David Gresham
Matthew Henderson Matthew Henderson ... Speaking Evacuee Boy


C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia Readers and fans worldwide know the land of Narnia and the magical beings who dwell there. But few know the genius who created this beloved fantasy. Now meet C.S. Lewis, an extraordinary creative force, in this engaging true life story, filmed in Oxford, England where he lived, worked and imagined The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the other tales that make up the beloved The Chronicles of Narnia.

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Release Date:

9 December 2005 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

A bit rushed and not totally engaging but does a good job of condensing Lewis into an hour
2 April 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

From the comfort of his rocking chair in front of a good fire while a cold snap settles in outside, CS Lewis recalls his own story – a story equally as interesting as anything he has written. Starting out with his childhood in Belfast and his love affair with stories and books, Lewis weaves in his relationship with God and the loss of his mother early on. His story jumps through his education to his adult life, the creation of Narnia and his love of an American called Joy.

Starting with Lewis as a boy and ending with him close to the time of his death, 60 minutes was always going to be a push to do a job on his story. Although the time and the approach has built in weaknesses to the telling, generally it works pretty well. The narration is an obvious tool to use to condense a narrative without losing the links between scenes (even if they often jump years) but it works and provides a thread to follow for the duration. It naturally does prevent depth in the scripting but the strength of Rodgers' performance covers it up by supplying enough emotion to isolated scenes to hook me in the character. He can't stop the film feeling rushed and very squashed up on itself but he does enough to make individual scenes work well and keep the film flowing. The support cast aren't quite as good but nobody is bad and standard is mostly Rodgers' to set.

The material is occasionally weak and some parts of it don't convince. I'm not sure if it is Rodgers or the script but the film places God into two clear sections and didn't flow with either of them. Rodgers tries hard to make it work but it just doesn't sound right when he says it. Generally though the film summarises things well and provided a good background to Lewis as a person. Those with more knowledge of him will not be that taken in mainly because of the rushed sweep it has but it served me well as an introduction to the man who is currently in favour again thanks to the film version of his book.

The narration may be an obvious tool but Rodgers makes it work well and although the direction is simple, it is suitable for the TV presentation. Worth a look if your first contact with Lewis has been the recent film but just be prepared for the weaknesses that come with the positives.

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