How to cite a movie in MLA Style
- You may need to cite a movie within the description of something or in context of some matter or you may also need to use a movie quote. In this case, you would need to cite it in the text of your paper.
- Citing a movie in the text of your research paper or essay can be done in two ways. One way is to use the title of the movie as the first element. The other way is to use the director’s name as the first element.
- Before you can cite a movie, you will need certain information about it, i.e.
- The movie name
- Director’s name
- Producer’s name
- Studio name
- Producing company name
- Performers’ names
- Date of release
- The medium the is generally a film or DVD.
- If you use the movie title as the first element, the reference entry in the works cited page should start with the movie title. But if you use the director’s name, you should mention it at the start of the reference.
While the citation for other sources of information takes the last name of the author and the page number, citing a movie is a different thing. Citing a movie in MLA in text of your paper requires the name of the director and the name of the movie itself.
Using the movie name to list an entry
If you want to use the movie name to list your entry in the works cited page, you can do it as below.
Refer to the director’s name in the discussion and mention the movie name in italic within the parentheses. These are the examples of an in-text citation of the movie Spider-man.
Example: Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-man) have presented the character of Peter Parker in a totally different way than the original Spider-man movie.
The other way of in-text citing a movie is to mention its name that your reader can locate in the works cited page.
Example: The Amazing Spider-man is a remake of Spider-man and shows the totally opposite character of Peter Parker we have seen in the original movie.
An entry in the works cited page
- Mention the movie name in the beginning in the italic font style followed by a period.
- After the movie name, add the word “Directed by” followed by his name and a comma.
- List the names of the major performers following the “Pref.” in the first name, last name format. Separate the names by commas. Don’t forget to place a period at the end of the performers’ list.
- Next mention the name of the production company or the studio or the distributor followed by a comma.
- Write the year the movie was released followed by a period.
- Finally, complete the citation with the medium of the movie which is generally “Film” or “DVD”. Add a period in the end.
The complete reference of this movie in the works cited page can be as below.
- The Amazing Spider-man. Directed by Marc Webb, Marvel Entertainment, 2012. Film.
In the example above, the movie name is the key element referring to the entry in works cited page.
But if you use the director’s name to list a movie, you should use the description about the director and cite his name. The movie name is to be mentioned in italic followed by the director’s name within the parentheses.
Marc Webb has shown a totally opposite character of Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-man
The Amazing Spider-man (Marc Webb) have presented the character of Peter Parker in a totally different way than the original Spider-man movie.
This is cited as per the steps listed below.
- Write the last name followed by a comma
- After the last name, write the first name followed by a comma
- Then write the word “Director” followed by a full stop
- Mention the movie title in italic followed by a full stop
- Mention the production house followed by a comma
- In the last, mention the year in which the movie was released
The complete reference in the works cited page for this movie will be as below.
- Webb, Marc, Director. The Amazing Spider-man. Marvel Entertainment, 2012.
How to cite a movie in APA Style
Same as MLA style, you will need certain information about the movie to cite it in APA style, i.e. the names of the director, producer, studio, distributor, producing company, city, the year when released and medium.
Steps for citing a movie
- Write the last name and first initials of the directors and producers and separate them with commas.
- Write their role in parentheses after the initial, i.e. (Producer), (Director) etc.
- If a person is both producer and director, you should write “Webb, M. (Producer/Director).”
- Use ampersand before the last name in the list if there are multiple names
- Write the year of production. It should be written in parentheses followed by a period.
- Write the movie title and the format. The title should be written in italic and the format should be written in normal style within the square brackets followed by a period.
- Complete with the country of the movie and the production company. It may be the case that the movie is produced in more than one country. In this case, you should use the origin of the movie or the country where the movie was originally released.
Example: Webb M. (Director). (2012). The Amazing Spider-man [Motion Pictures]. United States: Marvel Entertainment.
Steps for an in-text citation
Write the last names of producers and directors and separate them with commas. Don’t include the words director or producer.
If there are multiple producers and directors, list them all in the first in-text citation. In the next in-text citation, you just have to mention the first name of the first person followed by “et al”.
Write the year of production
Write the timestamp if you want the reader to see a specific scene. The timestamp should be in an hour, minutes, second format. For example, if the scene you are citing occurs at 1 hour and 25 minutes, you need to write it as 1:25:00. You should mention a zero where no value is to be mentioned, i.e. if the scene occurs at the 25 minutes, you should write as 0:25:00.
How to cite a movie in Chicago Style
- Like in the MLA and APA styles, before you start citing a movie Chicago style in textand full citations in your paper, you will need to have certain details about the movie being cited. They include;
- The names of the directors
- The year when it was released
- The city and state it was produced in
- Name of the distributor
- Format or the medium in which it was released
Steps for citing a movie in Chicago style
- First write the full title of the movie, in italic style followed by a period. This is the main element you will be using in your in-text citation. This will make it easy for the user to locate the reference in the works cited page.
- Next, write the director’s name in the first name, middle initial and last name format followed by a period. It should be following words “Directed by”, i.e. Directed by Mark Webb.
- Write the release or production year followed by a semicolon. You should start parentheses from this part. It will be closed after the distributor name.
- Write the city and the state names where the movie was originated or produced. Add a comma after the city name and a colon after the state name. I.e. “New York, NY:”.
- Finally, complete the citation with the format of the movie, i.e. film or VHS or DVD. Don’t forget to add a period in the end.
Example: The Amazing Spider-man. Directed by Marc Webb. (2012; New York, NY: Columbia Pictures, Film.
Note that whichever style you select, be it citing a movie in text MLA 8, APA or Chicago style or required a style in the instructions by your professor or the publisher, you should use the in-text citation only when it is required.
If you have already cited a movie in one place, you should avoid repetition. If you have mentioned proper details in subsequent paragraphs, you don’t need to cite the same movie again. This is because the readers will be able to identify the movie if you have given enough details.
Hopefully, the steps given in this article for in-text movie citation for all three styles will help you write the citations properly in your research paper or essay.