Though characters such as Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and Hannibal Lecter (to name but a few) have filtered into the public consciousness through film or television, they were originally literary inventions. Over the years, classic and contemporary fiction alike has been adapted for the silver screen, with directors hoping to capture the magic that made the books so well-loved. Here, we explore ten films that have used their source material and transformed it into something unforgettable.
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
One of the most successful BBC adaptations ever, Pride and Prejudice (1999) is certainly a beloved favourite for many viewers. Managing the not-inconsiderable feat of adhering faithfully to its source material whilst reinterpreting it through small original touches (such as the infamous lake scene), this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is skilfully crafted and beautifully realised by Andrew Davies. Paying special attention to detail in costume, set, and even dance choreography, it is a delightful glimpse into the glittering world of Georgian society, as well as a wonderful tribute to the wit and perception of Jane Austen herself.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Jaws – Peter Benchley
Adapted from the frightening and thought-provoking classic, Jaws (1975) is a must-watch masterpiece. Based on the premise that a deadly great white shark is unexpectedly haunting a New York seaside town and terrorising its inhabitants, Stephen Spielberg uses a blend of humour, suspense, and truly cutting-edge special effects to create one of the most frightening and thrilling cinematic experiences in film history. With both its promotional poster and score having become an integral part of popular culture, Jaws is a classic that has shaped the productions of future ‘monster’ films for generations to come.
Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
Revolutionary and ambitious, Jurassic Park (1993) never fails to capture the imagination of its audiences. Based on Crichton’s cautionary sci-fi, it describes the disastrous fall-out of technology gone too far when a group of scientists cannot control the dinosaurs they have reconstructed. A visual masterpiece in its fantastic, life-like recreations of dinosaurs, this film is also filled with genuinely frightening scenes as the dinosaurs wreak havoc, from a T-Rex car chase to a harrowing kitchen escape from Velociraptors. Jurassic Park is a marvelous homage to the original, blending action and science skillfully, without being didactic or judgmental.
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
Arguably one of Hitchcock’s most famous productions, Rebecca (1940) is sure to amaze in all its black-and-white glory. Narrated by an unnamed female, the plot follows her marriage to Maxim de Winter, and depicts her subsequent unhappiness as she fails to live up to the standards set by his beautiful and sophisticated first wife, the eponymous Rebecca. Masterful in its portrayal of the narrator’s doubts and vulnerabilities, skillful in its manipulation of camera angles and colour in order to create a truly gothic atmosphere, Rebecca is successful in encapsulating all the suspense, mystery, and surprise of Du Maurier’s novel.
American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
A brilliant adaptation of Ellis’ controversial bestseller, American Psycho (2000) depicts the yuppie culture Ellis so despised in all its ugly glory. It relates the life-events of Patrick Bateman, a narcissistic and egotistical banker with a penchant for keeping up appearances and murder. Mary Harron takes all of the novel’s duality and hypocrisy and transforms it into an equally dark tragedy about a man who is both a victim of his vacuous existence, and an agent of his mental degeneration. The adaptation was a critical and commercial success, with many praising Christian Bale’s masterful portrayal of the protagonist.
Casino Royale – Ian Fleming
The first of Daniel Craig’s widely praised performances as 007, Casino Royale (2006) proved to be just what the dying franchise needed. Adapted from the first of the Bond novels, the plot traces Bond’s unconventional attempts to ruin his antagonist Le Chiffre, by bankrupting him at the casino, whilst he tries to seduce the aloof Vesper Lynd, his financial assistant. Infused with the dry humour typical of a Bond film, Casino Royale is also unique in its clever combination of action and speech, thus offering the audience action-packed yet humorous entertainment that is both believable and thrilling.
Marnie – Winston Graham
One of many collaborations between Hitchcock and his muse Tippi Hedren, Marnie (1964) is another fantastic cinematic offering from the master of filmmaking. Adapted from the book of the same name by Graham (of Poldark fame), it recounts the exploits of the serial kleptomaniac Marnie, a beautiful but emotionally distant young woman, who, once caught and blackmailed into marriage by the forceful Mark Rutland, is forced to face the psychological demons that have shaped her into becoming the adult she is. Characterised by all the hallmarks of Hitchcock’s masterful direction, Marnie is a thrilling and unnerving psychological drama.
Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
Adapted from the Greene classic, Brighton Rock (2010) is a gritty insight into gang warfare. Though adapted many times before, this adaptation is particularly notable in two ways: first, as it was set in the ’60s (not the ’30s), the stark visuals used to depict Brighton during the height of the Mods and Rockers era is both dazzling and exciting. Second, Sam Riley, a controversial choice due to his age, adds an air of pure menace to his portrayal of Pinkie, making the performance truly compelling. Visually stunning and beautifully acted, Brighton Rock is, despite its flaws, a truly memorable experience.
10 Things I Hate About You – William Shakespeare
Though based on the rather distasteful The Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) is a funny and surprisingly thoughtful contemporary high school adaptation of the original Shakespearean comedy. Telling the story a blossoming relationship between Patrick and Kat, the former unaware that her counterpart has been paid to woo her so that her sister Bianca can also date, the film explores the complex issues of social pressures, identity, and sibling relationships with a light and humorous touch. Filled with scenes of comedy gold and memorable characters, 10 Things is an excellent introduction into Shakespeare.
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Though there have been many interpretations of literature’s most infamous bloodsucking demon, none have been quite as interesting as Coppola’s. Drawing from Dracula itself and reincarnation myths, in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Coppola offers a romantic reinterpretation, presenting the titular Dracula (played by Gary Oldman) as a wronged anti-hero condemned to centuries of vampirism after losing his soulmate in tragic circumstances. Sensuous and visually stunning, not only does Dracula have wonderful cinematography, costumes, and music, but it also serves as a vital pivot in the change of posterity’s perception of the ‘Vampyr,’ from the irredeemable villain to the misunderstood tragic hero.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.