From Page to Screen; Adapting Literature for the Movies

Ref: C2226812

Nearly two-thirds of Best Picture Oscar winners over the past 80 years have been adapted from books, short stories, graphic novels, plays or epic poems. Many thousands more successful and popular films from the very earliest days of cinema through to the present day have been based on literary works. From popular bestsellers like Ben-Hur and The Silence of the Lambs, encompassing the period novels of Dickens and Jane Austen, great literary fiction such as Lord of the Flies and To Kill A Mockingbird through to current autobiographies and erotica, this course looks at how cinema has used the written word over more than a century as the source and inspiration for so many movies.

Course aim

To introduce students to a wide range of movies from across the decades which have been adapted from literary sources including novels, plays, biographies, etc

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify a whole range of movies across the different genres based on literary works.
  • Analyse how the differences between the mediums of film and literature affect the process of adaptation.
  • Recognise the main issues facing film makers when turning literary works into screenplays.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

From Page to Screen; Adapting Literature for the Movies

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This course is not available for online enrolment.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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