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Citing a Movie: An MLA Citation Guide

Since different citing formats are applied in various fields, people usually use MLA for movie citation in academic assignments within language arts, cultural studies, and other humanities disciplines. But why films, you might ask? Well, they are pretty reliable sources of information of somewhat different nature. You can refer to them in your research papers.

Films facilitate basic understanding of information, help to immerse oneself in the studied period's atmosphere. They confirm author's broad outlook. When using it, it is important to cite these resources in order to respect the filmmakers 'copyright. Each citation must be properly formatted. And since MLA uses standard format, it will be easy for you to apply it. This article will be your guide to better understand it all!

How to Cite a Film: MLA

Before we dive into details about using MLA for citing a movie, we should first figure out what citation is. Basically it is a way to indicate some source you used information from in your work. It also helps your reader to find that source should they need it. Remember: You cannot insert a chosen quote without specifying the source. This is called plagiarism. Your work may be considered unoriginal and rejected.

Once you've watched any documentary or research film, you should identify quotes you are going to use (e.g. block quote in MLA). It will also help if you indicate an actual reason why you decided to quote film. Be sure to include following data:

  • Film's title;
  • Contributors (director's name(s), main actor(s) name(s));
  • Film or production studio/company;
  • Release date;
  • Version, if any (e.g. extended version, director's cut);
  • Platform where you watched this movie (e.g. library database's or hosting website's title, streaming service's name).

Note: if you are citing a film from any website (e.g. citing YouTube video in MLA), mention username of a person who uploaded it, publication date, video's URL and accessed date.

Always start with movie's title. If this film is based on a literary work, besides director's name, indicate a book's author and title. Do not forget to indicate genre: documentary, feature film, TV series, performance.

Take a look at the following example:

Example of citing a film in MLA: “Blade Runner (29:45–32:37). Dir. Ridley Scott, final version, Warner Bros., 2007.”

How to Cite a Movie in-Text: MLA

Even though you'll have your sources in your bibliography page or reference list, knowing how to cite a movie in MLA in text is still important. First, create an an entry for MLA Works Cited page. You will be prompted to fill in appropriate items. Indicate title, release date, film's director's name. Then write film's title in italics.

For example:

Example of in-text citing a movie in MLA: (Earth. Biography of the planet. 13:28-15:03)

Do not use caps or bold text. After you have specified movie's title, write the timestamp.

MLA in-Text Citation: Movie Quote

When you learn some basics of an in-text movie citation, figuring out how to cite a movie quote in MLA is pretty much an easy task.

First things first: after title, director's name is indicated, and performers' names are listed. In a documentary, this can include host, an announcer, or an entire cast. Make your list of performers. In some documentaries, this step can be skipped.

Name actors if they are relevant to your research. In feature films, it is important to name leading actors. It is necessary to add several participants in TV show. If you're researching visual effects, include name of operator.

Text links are placed in brackets after quote itself. If there are many production members or performers, you can write the first name, then use abbreviation et al.

For example:

Example of in-text citing a movie quote in MLA: (Seven Worlds, One Planet. 51:20-54:01)

How to in-Text Cite a Movie Scene: MLA

Consider how to cite a movie scene MLA in text if you need to specify a certain part of performance. To do this, it is enough to indicate time stamp. If several versions of film have been released for distribution, please indicate version. It can be directorial, extended, language, or for distribution in different countries.

When quoting films broadcasted by various online streaming services, indicate the web address of the service or the name of the site, and add the link to broadcast. After the quote, include the film's title and a time stamp. The latter is indicated instead of the page number.

For example:

Example of in-text citing a movie scene ote in MLA: (The Greatest Showman. 41:16 - 45:06)

MLA Movie Citation: Bottom Line

Correctly citing a movie in MLA makes your research more meaningful. Credibility of movie you link to reinforces your conclusions. Citations tell you how much you have learned. Correct format testifies to your accuracy and ability to use sources.

When you cite a relevant movie, you amplify impact of your research. A well-formed quote shows depth of your knowledge. Check spelling of all elements in movie credits. Each study may contain at least 3-5 citations. Be respectful to filmmakers, provide all original information correctly.

If you are still uncertain about citing in MLA style, do not hesitate to contact our academic assistants! They will gladly help you with your assignment. With StudyCrumb you can count on timely completion of quality work.
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FAQ About Citing Movies in MLA

1. When citing a movie, do you italicize?

When you're dealing with MLA format for movie citation, titles are always in italics. This applies to television series, performances, television shows. Individual episode names are enclosed in quotation marks.

2. When citing a film in MLA, what is a "perf."?

When you want to cite a movie in MLA, you must include the name. "Perf." stands for "performer". This word is placed in the beginning of list of names after the title of film, name of director or producer.

3. When citing a movie, do you only include producers or line and executive producers too?

The correct movie's company citation in MLA is accompanied by an indication of the production company. If several companies have worked on production, their names should be separated by semicolons. Reference to source element must be specified.

4. When citing a movie based on a book, do we indicate the director or author of the book?

When citing a movie based on book, we indicate the director's name. Films and books are always a different piece of art. Book is revised when the script is being created. This gives filmmakers their own copyright. We write the name of a book's author only in case when the writer has participated in creation of a film based on book.

Emma Flores knows all about formatting standards. She shares with StudyCrumb readers tips on creating academic papers that will meet high-quality standards.

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