menu

How to Cite a Film in MLA Style


When writing a paper, all sources quoted and paraphrased must be cited, and this includes non-text sources such as films. The Modern Language Association (MLA) provides guidelines for properly citing movies in a paper. Although MLA in-text citation style normally employs an author-page number system, films should be cited differently. It is only necessary to provide the title of the film, either parenthetically or within the text. In addition, you must include full bibliographic information for the film in your works cited list.

Italicize and capitalize the titles of all movies mentioned in your paper, whether you mention them within the text or in parenthetical citations.

Mention the title of the movie within the text, if possible. In this case, you do not need to cite the movie's title parenthetically. For example:

One of the most classic lines in all of cinema occurs in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when Benicio del Toro says "Look what God just did to us, man."

Cite the title of the film parenthetically, if you do not mention it in the text. Parenthetical citations should be positioned directly after a quote. For example:

One of the most classic lines in all of cinema occurs when Benicio del Toro says "Look what God just did to us, man" (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas).

Include full bibliographic information for the movie on your works cited page. Arrange your citation as follows:

Title of Film (in italics). Director. Performers (if desired). Studio or Distributor, Year of Release. Medium of Publication.

For example:

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Dir. Terry Gilliam. Perf. Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro. Lionsgate Films, 1997. DVD.