How to In-Text Cite Movies in MLA Format

Updated April 17, 2017

Works Cited Entries

According to the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, the beginning of your Works Cited entry for a film or movie depends on what is relevant to your analysis. If your paper is about a movie in general, for example, begin the entry with the title of the movie. If your paper discusses the director, begin with the director's name, followed by the abbreviation "dir." If your paper focuses on an actor or actress, begin with her name and the abbreviation "perf."

In-Text Citations

To cite a movie within the text of your paper, put the first item of the Works Cited entry in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Your parenthetical citation may list the title, the director or a performer. However, if you already named the title, director or performer in the text, you don't need a parenthetical citation -- the reader can locate the corresponding Works Cited entry from the sentence. For example, if you write, "Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, eats a pastry standing outside Tiffany & Co.," you don't need to cite Hepburn in a parenthetical citation.

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About the Author

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.