Film Style Guide

A style guide for the world of Cinema.

(constantly updated)
Researched by @dialmformovies.
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.

—–

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.

Airplane!
exclamation mark at the end.
In other countries, like Australia, it was renamed Flying High! (with exclamation mark at the end.)

Alien
made in 1979, the sequel being Aliens in 1986

Allen, Woody
not Allan


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
not Almodavar

Anderson, Dame Judith
received ‘Dame’ title in 1960.
At time of her Oscar nomination in Rebecca she was only Judith Anderson.

AMPAS
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science

Arbuckle , Fatty
not Arbuckel

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

Best Picture
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

Big Carnival, The
see Ace in the Hole

Birdman
winner of 2015 Best Picture Oscar
Full title is Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 

Black Hawk Down
three words.
A 2001 war film directed by Ridley Scott

Blade Runner
two words; the phrase used to describe police special operatives with the powers to capture replicants.

Blow Out
two words, no hyphen.
1981 film directed by Brian De Palma, that was based on the 1966 film Blowup

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

Cage, Nicolas
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

Chaney, Lon
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.

Chaplin, Charles
Famous for ‘The Kid’ , ‘The Gold Rush’.  Died on Christmas Day 1977

Chaplin Jnr, Charles
son of Charles.

Chaplin, Christopher
son of Charles

Chaplin, Sydney
son of Charles. Appeared with him in ‘Limelight’ and ‘A Countess from Hong Kong’.

Citizenfour
winner of 2015 Best Documentary Feature Oscar about Edward Snowden.
One word, not two.

Colman, Ronald

not Coleman.  Best Actor Oscar winner for ‘A Double Life’

Coogan, Jackie
starred opposite Charles Chaplin in ‘The Kid’.
not to be confused with,

Cooper, Jackie
the youngest Best Actor Oscar nominee of all time (for Skippy 1931).  He was also Perry White in Superman (1978)

Cotten, Joseph
not Cotton.  Appeared in several Orson Welles films – ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘The Magnificent Ambersons.’

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 apostroophe

Davis, Bette
not Betty

Deadpool
one word.
A 2016 comedy starring Ryan Reynolds

Dead Pool, The
two words
A 1988 action film directed by Clint Eastwood , and the final film of the Dirty Harry series

Dean, James
Films in order of production:
East of Eden
Rebel without a Cause
Giant

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)

Dont Look Back (1967)
there’s no apostrophe in Dont.
1967 documentary by D. A. Pennebaker about Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of London.

Duvall, Shelley
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

Fail-Safe (1964)
is hyphenated (as displayed in the title card of the film).  The source novel also has a hyphen.   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

Fassbender, Michael
lead actor in ‘Shame’.
Although the surname sounds similar, he is no relation to:

Fassbinder, Rainer Werner
the German director of Berlin Alexanderplatz

Field, Sally
not Fields.
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)

Flying High!
exclamation mark at the end.
In US and many other countries it is titled Airplane! (with exclamation mark at the end)

Flynn, Errol
not Erroll. Born in Hobart, Tasmania.

Gandhi
not Ghandi.

Gish, Lillian
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’.

Gosling, Ryan
Star of La La Land (2016),  and The Notebook (2004)
Often confused with Ryan Reynolds.

Gray, Coleen
not Grey.
Film noir star of Nightmare Alley, The Killing, Kansas City Confidential.


Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

no question mark.

Hello, Dolly!
A comma after Hello and an exclamation point after Dolly.
 Hello Dolly is incorrect.

Hepburn, Katharine
not Katherine, nor Catherine.
Four time Oscar winner for ‘Morning Glory’ , ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ , ‘The Lion in Winter’ , ‘On Golden Pond’.

Heston, Charlton
not Charleton

Holliday, Judy
not Holiday

Hot Shots!
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
is hyphenated.

Informant! ,  The
2009 film starring Matt Damon. Title has exclamation mark at the end.
Don’t confuse the title with,

Informer, The
which is the 1935 film that gave Victor McLaglen the Best Actor Oscar, and which has no exclamation mark at the end.

Inglourious Basterds
not Bastards.
2009 film directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Not to be confused with,

The Inglorious Bastards
a 1978 war film directed by Enzo Castellari

Jaws
In order of production
Jaws
Jaws 2
Jaws 3-D
Jaws: The Revenge

King of Kings
Nicholas Ray’s 1961 biblical epic. Not ‘The’ in title, unlike

King of Kings, The
Cecil DeMille’s 1927 biblical epic.

Laemmle, Carl
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.

Laemmle, Carla
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.

Lehman, Ernest
not Lehmann
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.

Macbeth
not MacBeth
Title character of William Shakespeare’s novel.

Mamma Mia!
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

March, Fredric
not Frederic or Frederick

MGM
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Motto: “Ars Gratia Artis” – Arts for Art’s Sake

Minnelli, Vincente
not Vincent.
Director of movie musicals An American In Paris, and Meet Me in St Louis.


More, Kenneth
director of ‘A Night to Remember’.
Not ‘Moore’.

Moulin Rouge!
exclamation mark at the end, only when citing the 2001 version.
The 1928, 1934, and 1952 versions of the film are simply Moulin Rouge.

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.

Oliver!
exclamation mark at the end.

Paramount
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)

Paxton, Bill
Best known for The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986),  Apollo 13 (1995),  Titanic (1997), and Twister (1996). Occasionally confused for Bill Pullman.

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

Police Academy
In order of production
Police Academy
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

Pullman, Bill
Best known for Independence Day (1996), Lost Highway (1997).  Occasionally confused for Bill Paxton.

Pursuit of Happyness
not Happiness

Rains, Claude
not Raines

Red-Headed Woman
hyphenated. 1932 film starring Jean Harlow

Reynolds, Ryan
Star of Deadpool (2016)
Often confused with Ryan Gosling.

RKO
Radio-Keith-Orpheum

RoboCop
not Robocop , or Robo cop, or Robo Cop.

Rocky
In order of production
Rocky
Rocky II
Rocky III
Rocky IV
Rocky V
Rocky Balboa
Creed

Scorsese, Martin
not Scorcese

Singin’ in the Rain
not Singing in the Rain

Spielberg, Steven
not Stephen

Star Wars
(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

Star Wars
(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)

Streisand, Barbra

not Barbara

Toland, Gregg 
not Greg.
Cinematographer of Citizen Kane.

Two Weeks Notice
no apostrophe (although there should be).
2002 comedy starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock

Veronika Voss
not Veronica
Outstanding film by Rainer Fassbinder, starring Rosel Zech as title character

Wall·E
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)

Warner Bros
Founders:
Jack Warner
Harry Warner
Albert Warner
Sam Warner

Weerasethakul, Apichatpong
director of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Welles, Orson
not Wells
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

Wolfman, The
2010 film starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins

Zanuck, Darryl
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.

 

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