How to Cite a Movie in Chicago/Turabian

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When citing a film in Chicago style, you should include the name of the director, the name of the film, the names of any relevant cast or crew members (if being emphasized in your paper), the production location and company, the year of release/publication, and the format. The citation formatting for a film is quite different from the Chicago citation for a YouTube video or other online videos, so be sure to confirm which style is right for your source. This guide will show you how to cite a film in notes-bibliography style using the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Guide Overview


Citing a Motion Picture or Film

Citation Structure:

Note: 

1. Movie Title, directed by Director First name Last name (original release year if applicable; Location of production: Studio Name, year of publication), format.

Shortened Note: 

1. Director Last Name, dir., Shortened Movie Title.

Bibliography: 

Director Last name, First name, dir. Movie Title. Original release year if applicable; Location of production: Studio Name, year of publication. Format.

Note: If you cannot locate certain bibliographic data from the film’s cover, consult IMDB.com or a similar website.

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Citation Example:

Note: 

1. Little Miss Sunshine, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Films, 2006), DVD.

Shortened Note: 

1. Dayton and Faris, dirs., Little Miss Sunshine.*

Bibliography: 

Dayton, Jonathan and Valerie Faris, dirs. Little Miss Sunshine. Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox Films, 2006. DVD.

*Note: Titles longer than four words are shortened for shortened citations. Titles less than four words can be listed in their entirety. For more information on shorted citations, review our guides on Chicago style footnotes and Chicago style notes and in-text citations


Citing a Motion Picture or Film Viewed via a Streaming Service

If you are citing a film viewed on a streaming service, you should replace the format information (e.g., DVD) with the URL for the film on that streaming service.

Citation Structure:

Note:

1. Movie Title, directed by Director First name Last name (original release year if applicable; Location of production: Studio Name, year of publication), URL.

Bibliography:

Director Last name, First name, dir. Movie Title. Original release year if applicable; Location of production: Studio Name, year of publication. URL.

Citation Example:

Note:

1. The Lost Daughter, directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal (Beverly Hills, CA: Endeavor Content, 2021), https://www.netflix.com/title/81478910?source=35.

Bibliography:

Gyllenhaal, Maggie, dir. The Lost Daughter. Beverly Hills, CA: Endeavor Content, 2021. https://www.netflix.com/title/81478910?source=35.


Citing Film Commentary

Often, special editions of films will contain commentary from the directors or actors that you may want to cite in your paper. To cite the commentary on a special edition DVD, use the format below.

Note: If the commentary is included for the first time in a special edition of the film and was not in the original version, then the original release date of the film does not need to be included in the citation. 

Citation Structure:

Note:

1. Commentator First name Last name, “Title of Commentary Segment,” Disc #, Movie Title, edition, directed by Director First name Last name (Location of production: Studio Name, year of publication), format.

Bibliography:

Commentator Last name, First name. “Title of Commentary Segment.” Disc #. Movie Title, edition. Format. Directed by Director First name Last name. Location of production: Studio Name, year of publication.

Citation Example:

Note: 

1. Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, “Commentary,” Disc 3, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, special extended ed., directed by Peter Jackson (Burbank, CA: New Line Cinema, 2002), DVD.

Bibliography:

Walsh, Fran and Philippa Boyens. “Commentary.” Disc 3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, special extended ed. DVD. Directed by Peter Jackson. Burbank, CA: New Line Cinema, 2002.


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