How to Write a Bibliography for Movies

The MLA, APA and Chicago manual styles all have varying formats for referencing a movie in the bibliography for your essay or research paper. Movies and other multimedia resources must be cited in your paper just as books or other printed materials---even if you are only using a single quote from a movie.

The Steps

  • Determine whether your bibliography for the movie you are citing should be in MLA, APA or Chicago reference style. Usually, the format required is specified in the assignment sheet your teacher gave you.
  • Write down the title of your movie, producer, director and year of copyright. You will find all of this information in the credits on the back of your DVD or VHS movie. You will also need to know all the leading actors if your are using the MLA style. Go to Step 3 for MLA instructions, Step 4 for APA and Step 5 for Chicago Style.
  • Begin your MLA movie citation with the title of the movie underlined and followed by a period. List the directors first and last name preceded by "Dir.". Then, add "Perf." followed by the first and last names of the actors and actresses listed in the movie. Separate each name with a comma. End the entire list with a period. Add the producer and year of copyright separated by a comma.
    • Begin an APA bibliography with the last name of the director followed by a comma and the initial of the first name. Add a period followed by "(Director)." Next add the copyright year in parenthesis, and followed by a period. Write down the title of the movie, and write "[Motion Picture]." Add the country the movie was produced in and the producer separated by a colon.
      Corrigan, B. (Director). (2009). Title of Movie [Motion Picture]. United States: Name of Producer.
    • Follow each element of the Chicago Style with a comma. Begin with the movie title in italics. Add "DVD" afterwords, and then "directed by" followed by the first and last name of the director. In parenthesis add the year of copyright followed by a semicolon. Then add the city and state where the movie was produced followed by a colon. Finally, add the producer and year of production.
      The Movie Title in Italics, DVD, directed by First and Last Name (2009; Ann Arbor, MI: Columbia Pictures, 2009).


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