A style guide for the world of Cinema.
Researched by @dialmformovies.
Covering the history of film from the 1880s – Present.
Hopefully enough entries will be covered to one day make it into a handbook/in-depth online publication
(If you are publisher who sees potential in this, or if you are just a reader with suggestions on new entries, please contact me on rhettrospective[at]gmail[dot]com, or post a comment below.
12 O’Clock High
see Twelve O’Clock High
not Seventh Heaven. (see that entry for the 1937 James Stewart film)
1927 film starring Janet Gaynor
40 Year Old Virgin, The
Not hyphenated as it appears on screen in the film.
Though film posters had The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and the improper The 40 Year-Old Virgin.
Ace in the Hole
the initial title of the film upon its release in 1951. Changed not long after to The Big Carnival.
A Cry In The Dark
In Australia and New Zealand, the title is Evil Angels. The source material is John Bryson’s 1985 publication called Evil Angels.
exclamation mark at the end.
In other countries, like Australia, it was renamed Flying High! (with exclamation mark at the end.)
not Ackerman, or Ackermann
Belgian film director noted for Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
made in 1979, the sequel being Aliens in 1986
All Quiet on the Western Front
Sound film often abbreviated to AQotWF. It won the major Academy Award in 1930 of ‘Outstanding Production’.
A silent version was also made, containing intertitles, synchronised music and effects track.
NB: in the famous butterfly ending scene, the soldier’s hand changes from left to right.
Almodóvar , Pedro
Anderson, Dame Judith
received ‘Dame’ title in 1960.
At time of her Oscar nomination in Rebecca she was only Judith Anderson.
Correct title is National Lampoon’s Animal House, as per the title card in the film.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science
not Ann-Margaret. Appeared in Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, Carnal Knowledge.
Arbuckle , Fatty
Around the World in Eighty Days
NB: In the original book, there was no reference of balloon travel. The journey was conducted via rail and steamer.
The 1956 version had the word ‘Eighty’ , whereas the 2004 version has the word ’80’.
August: Osage County
has a colon in the title
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
Full title on all versions, (except 1907, 2003 animated, 2016 versions).
Always hyphenated, unless you are referencing the 1907 silent version directed by Sidney Olcott, or the 2003 animated version, in which case you type Ben Hur.
Multiple versions were made:
1907 film version
1925 film version starring Ramon Novarro
1959 film version starring Charlton Heston
2003 animated version with voice of Charlton Heston
TV Miniseries aired in 2010
2016 film version
The title given to the highest award bestowed by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science. The phrase ‘Best Picture’ has only been bestowed from the 1962 ceremony onwards.
Prior naming was:
1st – 2nd ceremony: Outstanding Picture
3rd – 13th ceremony: Outstanding Production
14th – 16th ceremony: Outstanding Motion Picture
17th- 34th ceremony: Best Motion Picture
35th ceremony onwards: Best Picture
not The Bicycle Thief.
The Italian title is Ladri di biciclette,which translate into Bicycle Thieves. The original novel is called that as well.
Big Carnival, The
see Ace in the Hole
winner of 2015 Best Picture Oscar
Full title is Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Black Hawk Down
A 2001 war film directed by Ridley Scott
two words; the phrase used to describe police special operatives with the powers to capture replicants.
two words, no hyphen.
1981 film directed by Brian De Palma, that was based on the 1966 film Blowup
no hyphen in the title of the film as it appears in the opening credit.
However the film’s poster is hyphenated (Blow-Up), so too the trailer, and a subsequent 2017 Criterion dvd release.
The film is directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Bride of Frankenstein
no ‘The’ in the film title card, though there is a ‘The’ on the film’s posters.
the BU is capitalised as it denotes an old telephone exchange name
not Nicholas. His father is the brother of Francis Ford Coppola.
Chaney Jnr, Lon
Feb 10 1906- July 12 1973
It was Chaney Jnr who played ‘The Wolf Man’ on screen
Father of Lon Chaney Jnr.
He appeared in ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.
He never appeared on screen with his son.
Famous for ‘The Kid’ , ‘The Gold Rush’. Died on Christmas Day 1977
Chaplin Jnr, Charles
son of Charles.
son of Charles
son of Charles. Appeared with him in ‘Limelight’ and ‘A Countess from Hong Kong’.
winner of 2015 Best Documentary Feature Oscar about Edward Snowden.
One word, not two.
not Coleman. Best Actor Oscar winner for ‘A Double Life’
starred opposite Charles Chaplin in ‘The Kid’.
not to be confused with,
the youngest Best Actor Oscar nominee of all time (for Skippy 1931). He was also Perry White in Superman (1978)
not Cotton. Appeared in several Orson Welles films – ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘The Magnificent Ambersons.’
English actor noted for The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and 45 Years (2015)
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Two commas, as per the title card in the film.
2011 comedy starring Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone.
Dallas Buyers Club
has no apostrophe
A 2016 comedy starring Ryan Reynolds
Dead Pool, The
A 1988 action film directed by Clint Eastwood , and the final film of the Dirty Harry series
Films in order of production:
East of Eden
Rebel without a Cause
DeMille, Cecil Blout
Director of The Ten Commandments (1923 + 1956 versions), Cleopatra (1934), Samson and Delilah (1949). He used DeMille in his professional life, however when signing his name he used a lower case ‘d’ (deMille). (ie: His handprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre has his handwritten signature with a small ‘d’)
DeMille, William Churchill
Brother of Cecil B deMille.
Hosted the second Academy Awards solo. Was screenwriter and Broadway playwright.
Divorce American Style (1967)
no comma. The same applies to
Divorce Italian Style (1961)
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
not Dr. Zhivago
Dont Look Back (1967)
there’s no apostrophe in Dont.
1967 documentary by D. A. Pennebaker about Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of London.
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Full title is Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
from ‘The Shining’. No relation to Robert Duvall.
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
hyphens between the words Man in the Moon
is hyphenated (as displayed in the title card of the film). The source novel (first edition) has no hyphen (though subsequent reprints do) However, it is worth noting in the film’s trailer there is no hyphen, and neither in some film posters of the time.
Fail Safe (2000)
The live televised play, is not hyphenated
Farewell, My Concubine (1993)
has a comma after Farewell. This is visible in the English trailer for the film.
lead actor in ‘Shame’.
Although the surname sounds similar, he is no relation to:
Fassbinder, Rainer Werner
the German director of Berlin Alexanderplatz
Fast and The Furious, The
(in order of release)
The Fast and The Furious (2001)
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Fast & Furious (2009)
Fast Five (2011)
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Furious 7 (2015)
The Fate and The Furious (2017)
Her Oscar speech for her second win, for ‘Places in the Heart’, included the lines ”I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”
She never said ‘You like me, you really like me’.
Fist of Fury
(also known as The Chinese Connection, and The Iron Hand) is a 1972 film starring Bruce Lee.
Not to be confused with;
Fists of Fury
(also known as The Big Boss), was released in 1971 (1 year earlier than ‘Fist of Fury’) and starred Bruce Lee (his first major role)
exclamation mark at the end.
In US and many other countries it is titled Airplane! (with exclamation mark at the end)
not Erroll. Born in Hobart, Tasmania.
older sister of Dorothy Gish. Lillian died in 1993. Dorothy died in 1968.
It was Lillian who was directed by Cecil B. DeMille in ‘Birth of a Nation’.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)
comma after Good.
Star of La La Land (2016), and The Notebook (2004)
Often confused with Ryan Reynolds.
Film noir star of Nightmare Alley, The Killing, Kansas City Confidential.
full title is Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
no question mark.
don’t forget the comma and the exclamation mark
A comma after Hello and an exclamation point after Dolly. Hello Dolly is incorrect.
not Katherine, nor Catherine.
Four time Oscar winner for ‘Morning Glory’ , ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ , ‘The Lion in Winter’ , ‘On Golden Pond’.
has an exclamation mark at the end.
Hot Shots! Part Deux
also has an exclamation mark.
Hot Tub Time Machine
no hyphens in the title.
2010 comedy starring John Cusack
Hundred-Foot Journey, The
Informant! , The
2009 film starring Matt Damon. Title has exclamation mark at the end.
Don’t confuse the title with,
which is the 1935 film that gave Victor McLaglen the Best Actor Oscar, and which has no exclamation mark at the end.
2009 film directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Not to be confused with,
The Inglorious Bastards
a 1978 war film directed by Enzo Castellari
In order of production
Jaws: The Revenge
Australian Oscar winning actress (The Hours), who was actually born in Hawaii.
King of Kings
Nicholas Ray’s 1961 biblical epic. Not ‘The’ in title, unlike
King of Kings, The
Cecil DeMille’s 1927 biblical epic.
Kong: Skull Island
not King Kong: Skull Island
La Grande Illusion
as per the title card.
More recent film posters, dvd covers simply call it ‘Grand Illusion’ however the ‘The’ should not be dropped.
Founder of Universal Pictures
Producer of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) , The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
not to be confused with
Laemmle Jnr, Carl
son of Carl Laemmle (who founded Universal Pictures)
Laemmle Jnr produced Dracula, All Quiet on the Western Front, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man.
niece of Carl Laemmle
She spoke the first words ever in a horror film. The opening lines of Dracula (1931).
Law Abiding Citizen
no hyphen in the title (although it should have one)
2009 film starring Jamie Foxx.
Le Samouraï (1967)
has an umlaut over the i.
Screenwriter of North by Northwest, Sound of Music, West Side Story
Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, The
Full title on screen for Alfred Hitchcock’s silent classic. Often abbreviated to just The Lodger, but that’s not its on-screen title.
real name Mark Anthony Luhrmann
Despite his films receiving several Academy Award nominations, Luhrmann himself has never won. His wife, costumer/production designer Catherine Martin, however has won 4 Oscars (all for Luhrmann films)
Title character of William Shakespeare’s novel.
Director of The Thin Red Line, Badlands, Days of Heaven
don’t forget the exclamation mark.
Full title on film poster is Mamma Mia! The Movie, though actual film title in opening credit is just Mamma Mia!
The 2008 musical starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan
not Frederic or Frederick
Costume/Production designer, married to Baz Luhrmann. She has won 4 Oscars (all for Luhrmann films). No Australian has won more Oscars.
Motto: “Ars Gratia Artis” – Arts for Art’s Sake
Director of movie musicals An American In Paris, and Meet Me in St Louis.
star of ‘A Night to Remember’ (1958).
All lower case with an exclamation mark.
Darren Aronofsky’s 2017 horror film.
exclamation mark at the end, only when citing the 2001 version.
The 1928, 1934, and 1952 versions of the film are simply Moulin Rouge.
not Mulholland Drive as sometime it appears on film posters.
National Lampoon’s Animal House
full title of film as per the title card.
Won Oscar for The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
O.J.: Made In America
An ESPN documentary for their 30 for 30 series
There’s no space between the second full stop and the colon.
exclamation mark at the end.
hyphenated name. His full name is Orry George Kelly (no hyphen)
Australian costumer designer who won 3 Oscars (An American In Paris, Cole Porter’s Les Girls, Some Like It Hot). He held the record for most Oscar wins by an Australian until Catherine Martin won her 4th Oscar.
Founded in 1912 as Famous Players Film Company.
Co-founders were W.W Hodkinson, Adolph Zukor, Jesse L. Lasky
(Lasky’s daughter Betty later wrote a history of… RKO Studios)
Best known for The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), Apollo 13 (1995), Titanic (1997), and Twister (1996). Occasionally confused for Bill Pullman.
“Perfect Friday” (1970)
quotation marks around the title, as it appears in the film’s opening credit.
A heist film starring Ursula Andress
Pirates of the Caribbean
Films in order of production
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
In order of production
Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach
Police Academy 6: City Under Siege
Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow
Best known for Independence Day (1996), Lost Highway (1997). Occasionally confused for Bill Paxton.
Pursuit of Happyness
hyphenated. 1932 film starring Jean Harlow
Star of Deadpool (2016)
Often confused with Ryan Gosling.
1989 action film.
Title is two words.
not Robocop , or Robo cop, or Robo Cop.
In order of production
not 7th Heaven. (refer to that entry for the 1927 Janet Gaynor film)
1937 film starring James Stewart and Simone Simon.
Singin’ in the Rain
not Singing in the Rain
upon its release in 1977 it was just called Star Wars.
A re-release in 1981 added ‘Episode IV, A New Hope’
Star Wars Franchise
(in order of story)
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
(in order of release year)
Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
not Sunset Boulevard
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
the original film, directed by Tobe Hooper, has Chain Saw as two words.
don’t forget the upside down exclamation mark at the beginning, and an exclamation mark at the end.
Also, there is no ‘The’ before the title.
Cinematographer of Citizen Kane.
Exclamation mark at the end
Twelve O’Clock High
not 12 O’Cock High
1949 film starring Gregory Peck.
Two Weeks Notice
no apostrophe (although there should be).
2002 comedy starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock
has a full stop at the end.
1952 drama by Vittorio De Sica
Outstanding film by Rainer Fassbinder, starring Rosel Zech as title character
is actually spelt with an interpunct, not a hyphen. An interpunct is a center dot. (Option+Shift+9 on a MAC) (Alt+0183 on a Windows)
What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962)
director of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Directed , produced, wrote and acted in Citizen Kane.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
There is no question mark at the end.
Wolf Man, The
1941 film starring Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi
2010 film starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins
film producer who won 3 Best Pic Oscars, and received 3 Irving Thalberg Awards from the AMPAS.
Died at age 77.
the same age at which his son, Richard, died.
Zanuck, Richard D.
the D stood for Darryl.
Won Oscar for producing Driving Miss Daisy. Also received the Thalberg Award like his father.