This film list is a comprehensive source of all film adaptations of the set texts titles on the GCE AS and A-Level English Literature syllabus which are currently available to stream on Into Film+ and Into Film+ Premium. These encompass the course specifications set out by the exam boards AQA, OCR, WJEC, CCEA and Edexcel.
The set texts, and the sections they appear in on the syllabus, are as follows:
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams - AQA English Literature A: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day - AQA English Literature B: Literary genres: Aspects of tragedy - AQA English Language and Literature: Telling Stories: Dramatic Encounters - Edexcel: Component 1: Drama play Post-1900 - CCEA: Section B: The Study of Drama 1900Present - WJEC: AS unit: Drama
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - AQA English Literature A: Love through the Ages: Poetry and prose - AQA English Literature B:Literary genres: Aspects of tragedy - AQA English Language and Literature: Telling Stories: Writing about society - OCR:Component 2 American Literature 18801940 - CCEA: Possible Themes,Novels and Comparison Novels for Unit A2 3: The American Dream
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - AQA English Literature B: Texts and genres: Elements of political and social protest writing, post-2000 - AQA English Language and Literature: Telling Stories: Writing about society - Edexcel: Non-examination assessment: Conflict
The Color Purple by Alice Walker - AQA English Literature A: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day, comparative set text - Edexcel: Component 2 Prose post-1900: Childhood
Atonement by Ian McEwan - AQA English Literature A: Love through the Ages: Poetry and prose - AQA English Literature B: Texts and genres: Elements of crime writing, post-2000 - Edexcel: Component 2 Prose post-1900: Childhood - OCR: Literature post-1900 (Nonexam assessment component) suggested texts: Time
Never Let Me Go by Kazio Ishiguro - Edexcel: Component 2 Prose Post-1900: Science and Society - CCEA: Possible Themes, Novels and Comparison Novels for Unit A2 3: Dystopia
Journey's End by R. C. Sheriff - AQA English Literature A: Texts in Shared contexts - WW1 and its aftermath Drama
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens - WJEC: AS Unit Prose: fiction pre-1900
Othello by William Shakespeare - AQA English Literature A: Love through the Ages: Shakespeare and poetry - AQA English Literature B: Literary genres: Aspects of tragedy - AQA English Language and Literature: Telling Stories: Dramatic Encounters - Edexcel: Component 1 drama play Tragedy
Hamlet by William Shakespeare - AQA English Literature B: Texts and genres: Elements of crime writing, pre-1900 - Edexcel: Component 1 drama play Tragedy - OCR: Component 1 Drama and poetry pre-1900 - WJEC: A2 Unit 4 Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare - Edexcel: Component 1 drama play Comedy
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare - AQA English Literature A: Love through the Ages: Shakespeare and poetry - AQA English Literature B: Literary genres: Aspects of comedy - Edexcel: Component 1 drama play Comedy
The syllabus titles are correct as of July 2023 for the 23/24 academic year and will be updated whenever relevant. All titles listed have accompanying film guides for further discussion.
All of the films below are available to stream via Into Film+ but some of them (labelled) are only available to Into Film+ Premium users. Find out more here.
We look forward to adding more film adaptations of literary works as our catalogue grows. Is there a text that you teach that isn't currently on this list? Please fill in the Contact Us form and select Into Film+/Streaming.
A Streetcar Named Desire(1951)
Adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play about a destitute woman anxious about her fading beauty moving in with her sister and her harsh brother-in-law.
This transgressive Southern Gothic play is one of the set texts on the English Literature syllabus usually taught at AS level for most exam boards. It was adapted for the screen with much of the same cast as in the original Broadway production, including a young Marlon Brando.
An extravagant adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age story about an enigmatic businessman and his lost love.
Another popular title that appears as a set text on many exam boards for A-level English Literature, this novel has seen several film versions, with Baz Luhrmann’s lavish and raucous rendition possibly being the most cinematic. The quintessential American dream, the story is both one of love and of tragedy, with a sharp commentary of society.
This adaptation is a powerful story of friendship and betrayal set in Afghanistan.
This film, adapted from the 2003 bestseller about a young Afghani boy fleeing to the west after his country falls into conflict, gives an important insight into a world largely only seen on the news. It is one of the set texts for non-examination assessment with Edexcel and also appears on the AQA English Literature B and AQA English Language and Literature specifications.
Adaptation of Alice Walker's novel about the turbulent life of Celie, a black woman growing up in the American Deep South of the 1900s.
Featuring incredibly moving performances, this film is heralded as an exceptional adaptation of an epistolary novel. The book is one of the comparative set texts on the AQA English Literature A syllabus for the study of modern literary works, as well as an example of prose in component 2 of the Edexcel syllabus exploring the topic of childhood.
Epic tale of love, betrayal and guilt which begins in a country house in 1935 and spans several decades.
Ian McEwan’s Booker prize-nominated novel also features on Edexcel syllabus’ as an example of prose addressing childhood, as well as on several other exam board specifications. The costume drama adaptation is famed for its breathtaking depiction of World War Two Dunkirk and for its insightful approach to characters’ perspectives.
What begins as a love triangle between students at an English boarding school soon evolves into a science fiction tale of what it means to be human.
While this sophisticated text appears on some GCSE course specifications, it is also highlighted on the Edexcel and CCEA A-level English Literature syllabuses as a highly relevant text exploring representations of dystopia, science and society. With fantastic philosophical insight, this film adaptation taps into many of Ishiguro’s complex ideas in an accessible way.
A group of young soldiers, led by an increasingly unstable Officer, await their fate in the trenches of France towards the end of World War One.
Similarly, R.C. Sherriff’s World War One drama is also taught at GCSE but it also an option for study on the AQA A-level English Literature A syllabus. This film adaptation of the play conveys the context of war and its impact on individuals in a way that can strongly resonate with today’s young audiences.
Comedic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ rags-to-riches novel about an orphaned boy who tries to find his way in the world.
Dickens' classic Victorian novel, which is one of the options for the closed-book examination of pre-1900s fiction on the WJEC English Literature syllabus, is reimagined with fresh humour and modern sensibility in this period comedy. Highly accessible and heartfelt, the adaptation demonstrates how texts can be translated to the screen in immersive and creative ways.
Adaptation of Shakespeare’s play in which a prosperous general is sabotaged by his companion who grows jealous of his commander’s life.
This Shakespearian tragedy is a set text on the AQA and Edexcel A-level English Literature syllabuses. The adaptation immerses the audience into the psychological drama, offering opportunities to explore topics including toxic relationships, racism and prejudice in the context of Shakespeare’s writing.
After a Danish prince learns that his father was murdered by his scheming uncle who wanted the throne for himself, he resolves to exact revenge.
Following word-for-word the dialogue of the original play, which appears on most of the A-level exam board specifications, this film adaptation of Shakespeare’s gripping tragedy enables students to appreciate the full structure of the script, while appreciating how the story can be reimagined in a different setting, such as a lavish 19th century court.
All-star version of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy about a series of magical misunderstandings and events in the woods.
The 19th century also provides the setting to this Shakespeare reimagining, this time of a comedy listed on the Edexcel English Literature syllabus. Tuscan hills and swooping Italian operatic music bring an indulgently dreamy quality to this film adaptation of the Bard’s whimsical tale of entangled love and hapless magical beings.
Inventive 90s comedy, in which Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew is relocated to a modern American high school setting.
On the AQA and Edexcel course specifications for A-level English Literature, this adaptation of another Shakespearian comedy may take great liberties with the script through its recontexualisation of the story, but it cleverly reassesses the original play’s often problematic attitude towards gender, offering an updated perspective on the themes of pride, attraction and power.