Do I need to cite a movie if I'm explaining scenes throughout my paper?


Yes, cite any movie you are discussing in your paper. 

  • If using exact lines from the film, treat these in-text as a quotation.
  • If explaining what happened in the movie or other ideas from the film (in other words, paraphrasing), then this is an in-text paraphrase.
  • See below for examples of in-text quotations and in-text paraphrases.

Visit the APA Help guide to see an example.

  • Click on References and In-text Citation Examples
  • Select Other and see Film/TV.

Film / Motion Picture

Richter, J. (Producer), & Hausmann, J. (Director). (1985). Cezanne: The man and the mountain [Motion picture]. United States: Home Vision.

Paraphrase: (Richter & Hausmann, 1985). Quotation: (Richter & Hausmann, 1985, Timestamp)

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  • Last Updated Oct 17, 2019
  • Views 61323
  • Answered By Baker Librarians

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Comments (2)

  1. What if the purpose of the paper is to analyze the movie? If I'm explaining scenes from the movie for most of the paper, do I need to have an in-text citation on almost every sentence?
    by Kevin on Jul 31, 2019
  2. If you are paraphrasing a few different sentences in the same paragraph, but they are not all in a row or together, you would have to cite after each sentence. You may also want to take a look at the following ASK US question/answer ( It deals with whether one citation should be used at the end of a multiple sentence paragraph or after every sentence.

    If you are concerned about citing a lot from the same source, you may want to take a look at Section 6.11 One Work by One Author (p. 174) of the APA Manual, 6th edition. It provides examples where author's name appears multiple times in a single paragraph.

    The fact that there is a rule suggests that, even though it may seem like it is excessive, it is still necessary to have the in-text citations.
    by Kelly Bayee on Aug 02, 2019

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