Should a film be cited by its title or the director’s name?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

Films are collaborative works, so how you cite them depends on the focus of your discussion. If you are focusing on the director’s choices, begin your works-cited-list entry with the director’s name. If you are discussing various aspects of the film—such as the story, the actor’s performances, and the director’s choices—begin your entry with the film’s title. As always, key your in-text citation to the first element of the entry.

See our previous post for examples of entries cited by director and title with corresponding in-text citations