The 5 Best Foreign Exports in Film and Television

Many popular films and television shows from non-English speaking countries have been remade for British and American audiences, and oftentimes, these remakes enjoy the same popularity as their foreign forefathers.

1. The Killing based on Forbrydelsen (Denmark)

Forbrydelsen translating as “The Crime” in English is an immensely successful Danish crime series, most notably for its main protagonist Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Lund and her assortment of jumpers. In 2011, US network AMC revealed its plans to remake the show, and cast actress Mireille Enos as detective Sarah Linden. Both versions of the show have received critical acclaim, and share many thematic similarities, as well as lots of knitwear!

 2. Ugly Betty based on Yo Soy Betty, la Fea (Colombia)

Everyone has seen at least one episode of Ugly Betty, but surprisingly many people are unaware that the show had its beginnings as a Colombian telenovela. It is hard not to fall in love with the quirky storylines and the geeky protagonist Betty Suarez – a role that catapulted actress America Ferrera into international fame. The US remake has gained a cult following, and there is even an Indian version of the show.

 

3. Let Me In based on Låt den Rätte Komma In (Sweden)

Let Me In is a refreshing take on vampire romance, and is based on the Swedish original, which is set in Stockholm. Both films chronicle the relationship between a young loner and a mysterious girl who is new to the neighbourhood. The films are extremely similar, following almost identical plot lines, and both incorporate dark and chilling undertones into an otherwise innocent tale about puppy love.

4. The Ring based on Ringu (Japan)

The image of a scary girl crawling out of a television has become entrenched in many nightmares, and this unforgettable quality is what made The Ring such a commercial success. Both the Japanese and US film versions are based on the novel of the same name, written by Koji Suzuki.

5. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo based on Män Som Hatar Kvinnor (Sweden)

There was a time when it seemed as though every commuter in London was reading Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and the Swedish- and English-language films were just as popular. The role of Lisbeth Salander brought actresses Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara high praise, with Mara receiving an Academy Award nomination for her performance.

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