The formatting and capitalization of a movie title depends on the style guide you are using for your paper. The Modern Language Association, American Psychological Association and Chicago style place movie titles in italics, while Associated Press style uses quotes for such titles. When referring to a movie in the figure of a paper, all of the major style guides use title case, which means all of the major words in the title are capitalized.
APA, MLA and Chicago style
Movie or film titles are formatted the same in APA, Chicago and MLA style. In each of these styles, the movie title is italicized in the bod of the paper. For example:
Pirates of the Caribbean broke from Disney’s tradition of releasing more mature titles under alternate studio names.
Fritz Lang’s M deals with the issues of suspicion and penalty in Weimar Germany.
In the figure of a paper, APA, Chicago and MLA all use title case capitalization for titles of movies. All major words — such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and pronouns — are capitalized. Minor words — such as prepositions, conjunctions and articles — are lower case unless it is the very first word of the title. APA also specifies that all words more than four letters should be capitalized: Gone With the Wind. APA uses sentence case capitalization for movie titles in reference lists, which means only the very first word of a title and decent nouns (names of specific people, places or things) are capitalized: For whom the bell tolls .
Associated Press Style
In AP style, movie titles are placed in quotes. Note that the normal rules for quotes within quotes still apply. Here are two examples:
“Starlet Wars” broke box office records when it was very first released.
“I am excited to work on any film as sophisticated as ‘The Prestige,'” he said.
AP style uses title case capitalization for movie titles. However, the AP stylebook specifies that any word that is four or more letters as well as the very first and last word of a title should always be capitalized.
About the Author
Jon Zamboni began writing professionally in 2010. He has previously written for The Spiritual Herald, an urban health care and religious issues newspaper based in Fresh York City, and online music magazine eBurban. Zamboni has a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Wesleyan University.
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APA style uses sentence case capitalization for movie titles in reference lists.