How to Cite a Quote from a Movie: A Comprehensive Guide

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Are you an aspiring writer or a student working on a research paper? Have you ever found yourself wondering how to properly cite a quote from a movie? Citing sources is not only essential for giving credit to the original creators, but it also adds credibility to your work. In this article, we will guide you through the process of citing movie quotes in different citation styles, including MLA, APA, and Chicago. So, let’s dive in and unravel the secrets of proper movie quote citation!

Understanding the Basic Principles of Citation

Before we delve into the intricacies of citing movie quotes, let’s first understand the fundamental principles of citation. Citation is the practice of acknowledging the sources you have used in your work. It serves several purposes, including giving credit to the original authors, allowing readers to locate the original sources, and demonstrating the validity and credibility of your own work. Different citation styles exist, such as MLA, APA, and Chicago, each with its own set of rules and guidelines.

How to Cite a Quote from a Movie in MLA Format

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is commonly used in humanities disciplines. When citing a quote from a movie in MLA format, it is crucial to follow specific formatting guidelines. In-text citations typically include the author’s name and page number, but when it comes to movies, additional information is needed. The in-text citation should contain the movie title and the timestamp of the quoted dialogue. Additionally, a corresponding entry must be included in the Works Cited page. We will walk you through the step-by-step process of citing movie quotes in MLA format.

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How to Cite a Quote from a Movie in APA Format

APA (American Psychological Association) style is widely used in social sciences. Citing a movie quote in APA format requires adherence to specific formatting guidelines. In-text citations should include the author’s name, the year of publication, and the timestamp of the quoted dialogue. Similar to MLA, a corresponding reference list entry must be provided. We will guide you through the process of correctly citing movie quotes in APA format.

How to Cite a Quote from a Movie in Chicago Style

Chicago style, also known as Turabian style, is often used in history, arts, and humanities disciplines. When citing movie quotes in Chicago style, there are different approaches depending on whether you are using footnotes or parenthetical citations. Footnotes are commonly used in Chicago style for quoting movie dialogue. A corresponding entry should be included in the bibliography section. We will provide you with a comprehensive guide to citing movie quotes in Chicago style.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a movie quote without citation?

No, it is essential to cite movie quotes to give credit to the original creators and avoid plagiarism. Failing to cite sources can lead to serious consequences, including academic penalties and legal issues. Always remember to provide proper citations for any quotes or references you use in your work.

How do I cite a movie quote if I don’t know the author?

If the author of the movie quote is unknown, you can replace the author’s name with the movie title in your citation. Make sure to include the timestamp of the quoted dialogue to help readers locate the specific scene within the movie.

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Can I use the same citation for multiple quotes from the same movie?

Yes, if you are quoting multiple lines or scenes from the same movie, you can use the same citation for all of them. However, it’s important to be consistent in formatting and provide the necessary information, such as the movie title and timestamp, in each citation.

Do I need to include the timestamp for movie quotes?

Yes, including the timestamp for movie quotes is crucial, especially for readers who want to locate the exact scene within the movie. The timestamp helps readers navigate the movie and find the specific dialogue you have quoted.

Can I cite a movie quote in a different language?

If you are quoting a movie in a different language, you can provide an English translation of the dialogue within square brackets. Additionally, make sure to include the original language and provide a citation that follows the appropriate citation style guidelines.

What if the movie quote is a dialogue between multiple characters?

If the movie quote involves a dialogue between multiple characters, you can either mention the names of the characters in your citation or provide a general reference to the movie title and timestamp. Choose a method that best suits the context and purpose of your citation.


Citing quotes from movies is an essential practice for any writer or student aiming to produce credible and trustworthy work. By following the guidelines and examples provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently cite movie quotes in MLA, APA, or Chicago style. Remember, proper citation not only gives credit to the original creators but also adds credibility and validity to your own work. So, the next time you find yourself including a quote from a movie, refer back to this guide and ensure your citations are accurate and consistent. Happy citing!