1 (British film) a film that you see at the cinema:
Would you like to see a movie?
2 the movies (plural) (British the cinema) (no plural) the place where you go to watch a film:
We went to the movies last night.
mov‧ie S2 W2 /ˈmuːvi/ BrE AmE noun [countable] especially American English
1. a film made to be shown at the cinema or on television:
It was like one of those old John Wayne movies.
in a movie
She once played the innocent victim in a horror movie.
a movie about two gay teenagers who fall in love
2. the movies
a) the cinema:
We took the kids to the movies.
In those days, we went to the movies every week.
at the movies
Why were you at the movies all by yourself?
b) films in general, and the events in them
in (the) movies
He couldn’t believe his luck. It was the sort of thing that only happened in the movies.
c) the business of producing films:
a career in the movies
• • •
▪ watch/see a movie We watched the movie and ate popcorn.
▪ go to a movie How about going to a movie?
▪ take in a movie American English (=go to see a movie) Maybe we could go out to dinner and take in a movie.
▪ appear in/be in a movie She’s also appeared in ten movies.
▪ star in a movie (=play one of the main characters) Depp will star in director Tim Burton’s next movie.
▪ a movie stars/features somebody a movie starring Will Smith
▪ make/shoot a movie The children have made their own movies for the contest.
▪ direct a movie He wrote and directed the movie.
▪ show/screen a movie What movies are they showing this weekend?
▪ a movie is released (=becomes available for the public to see) The movie has already been released in the US.
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + movie
▪ an old movie She was watching an old movie on television.
▪ a classic movie (=an old movie that is very good) a scene from the classic movie ‘Casablanca’
▪ a hit movie (=a successful movie) He has directed a string of hit movies.
▪ a cult movie (=one that a small group of people like very much and watch often) a showing of the cult movie ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’
▪ a big-budget/low-budget movie (=one that cost a lot of money to make, or very little money to make) He won a role in a big-budget movie.
■ movie + NOUN
▪ the movie industry How did you get started in the movie industry?
▪ a movie star She looked like a movie star.
▪ a movie director He and his wife are both movie directors.
▪ a movie producer He started out as an actor, then became a movie producer.
▪ a movie premiere (=the first showing of a movie) She wore the dress to a movie premiere.
▪ a movie camera Do you know how to operate a movie camera?
▪ a movie screen It was strange to see herself up there on the movie screen.
• • •
▪ film especially British English, movie especially American English a series of images that tell a story and are shown in a cinema or on television: What’s your favourite movie? | It won the award for best foreign film. | a made-for-TV movie
▪ motion picture formal (also picture) a film – used especially by people who make films or by critics: a major Hollywood motion picture | Tell us about your latest picture.
▪ blockbuster informal a very successful film: Steven Spielberg’s latest Hollywood blockbuster
▪ flick informal a film – a very informal use: an action flick
▪ documentary a film that gives detailed information and facts about a particular subject: a documentary on the rain forest
▪ feature film a film made to be shown in cinemas: The book was later made into a full-length feature film starring Sean Penn.
▪ comedy a film intended to make people laugh: Monroe appeared in a number of comedies.
▪ romantic comedy (also romcom British English informal) a film about two people who are in love, which is intended to make the people who watch it feel happy: ‘Notting Hill’ is a romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
▪ thriller an exciting film, especially about murder or serious crimes: ‘The Birds’ is a classic Hitchcock thriller.
▪ film noir a film that shows strong feelings of fear or evil and whose characters are often immoral, or these films in general: ‘The Big Sleep’ is a classic Hollywood film noir.
▪ action film/movie a film that has lots of fighting, explosions etc: Stallone’s latest action movie
▪ horror film/movie a frightening film about ghosts, murders etc: She loves watching old horror movies.
▪ western a film with cowboys in it: John Wayne is famous for making westerns.
▪ science fiction film/movie (also sci-fi film/movie informal) a film about imaginary events in the future or in outer space: ‘2001’ is probably the most famous sci-fi movie ever made.
▪ gangster film/movie a film about violent criminals
▪ silent film/movie an old film without any sound: The 1920s were the golden age of silent movies.
▪ an independent film/movie a film made by a small film company
▪ animated film/movie/cartoon a film with characters that are drawn or made using a computer: One of his first animated films was ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.
▪ anime /ˈænɪmeɪ, -mə/ a type of Japanese animated film, which often has a science fiction story: Miyazaki’s anime film ‘Spirited Away’ became an international success. | an anime character
▪ CGI the use of computers to create characters and images in a film: The film uses CGI. | Disney’s latest CGI movie
▪ short a short film, usually shown before a longer movie in the cinema: an animated short
▪ trailer a series of short scenes from a film or programme, shown in order to advertise it in a cinema, on television etc: We had to sit through all the trailers.
■ the people who make film
▪ actor a man or woman who acts in a film: a previously unknown actor | Brando was one of Hollywood’s greatest actors.
▪ actress a woman who acts in a film. Women who appear in films or plays usually prefer to be called actors: She was the actress who played Scarlet O'Hara in ‘Gone with the Wind’.
▪ star a famous actor or actress: He looked liked a movie star. | a hotel which was used by the stars
▪ director the person who tells the actors and actresses in a film what to do: The director of the film is Quentin Tarantino.
▪ producer the person who makes the arrangements for a film to be made and controls the ↑budget
▪ film/movie crew the people operating the camera, lights etc who help the director make a film
ˌmotion ˈpicture BrE AmE noun [countable] especially American English formal
a film made for the cinema SYN movie:
the motion picture industry
movie [movie movies] [ˈmuːvi] [ˈmuːvi] noun (especially NAmE)
1. countable a series of moving pictures recorded with sound that tells a story, shown at the cinema/movie theater
• to make a horror movie
• Have you seen the latest Miyazaki movie?
• a famous movie director/star
2. the movies plural = cinema (2)
• Let's go to the movies.
3. the movies plural = cinema (3)
• I've always wanted to work in the movies.
Hollywood, more than any other place in the world, represents the excitement and glamour of the film industry. The world’s major film companies have studios in Hollywood and many famous film/movie stars live in its fashionable and expensive Beverly Hills district. But Hollywood is also Tinseltown, where money can buy an expensive lifestyle but the pressure to succeed can ruin lives, as in the case of Marilyn Monroe and River Phoenix. Both the British and Americans have mixed feelings about Hollywood: they are fascinated by the excitement of the film world and by the lives of the stars, but also see Hollywood as a symbol of trashy, commercial culture.
Hollywood is now surrounded by Los Angeles. In 1908, when film companies began moving west from New York, it was a small, unknown community. The companies were attracted to California by its fine weather, which allowed them to film outside for most of the year, but they also wanted to avoid having to pay money to a group of studios led by Thomas Edison which were trying to establish a monopoly. Most of the companies were run by people from Jewish families who had come to America from Europe. By the 1920s, companies such as Universal and United Artists had set up studios around Hollywood. During this period Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks1, and John Barrymore became famous in silent films (= films without sound). Mack Sennett, a Canadian, began making comedy films, including those featuring the Keystone Kops, in which Charlie Chaplin and ‚Fatty’ Arbuckle became stars. D W Griffith directed expensive ‚epic’ films like Birth of a Nation, and William S Hart made westerns popular. Hollywood also created its first sex symbol, Theda Bara (1890–1955).
The 1920s saw big changes. The first film in Technicolor was produced in 1922. Warner Brothers was formed in 1923 and four years later produced Hollywood’s first talkie (= film with spoken words), Jazz Singer. Huge numbers of Americans were now attracted to the movies. Stars like Pickford and Chaplin reached the height of their fame, and new stars were discovered, such as Rudolph Valentino, Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton.
The 1930s and 1940s were Hollywood’s ‚Golden Age’ and films became popular around the world. Hollywood even made successes out of America’s worst times: Prohibition led to the gangster films of Edward G Robinson and James Cagney, and the Great Depression to films like Grapes of Wrath. World War II featured in successful films like Casablanca. The great Hollywood studios, MGM, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures, controlled the careers of actors. Famous directors of the time included Orson Welles and John Ford and screen stars included Clark Gable, John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Errol Flynn, Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bette Davis, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum.
New words were invented to keep up with Hollywood’s development: cliffhanger, tear jerker, spine-chiller and western describe types of film. Villains became baddies or bad guys. As equipment became more sophisticated more people were needed to manage it. New jobs, still seen on lists of film credits today, included gaffer (= chief electrician) and best boy, his chief assistant.
In the 1950s large numbers of people abandoned the movies in order to watch television. The film industry needed something new to attract them back. This led to the development of Cinerama and 3-D films, which gave the audience the feeling of being part of the action. These proved too expensive but the wide screen of CinemaScope soon became standard throughout the world. The stars of the 1950s, including Marilyn Monroe, Rock Hudson, James Dean and Steve McQueen, also kept the film industry alive.
In the 1960s many companies began making films in other countries where costs were lower, and people said Hollywood would never again be the centre of the film industry. But the skills, equipment and money were still there, and Hollywood became important again in the 1980s. The old studios were bought by new media companies: 20th Century Fox was bought by Rupert Murdoch, and Columbia by the Sony Corporation. New energy came from independent directors and producers like Steven Spielberg, Robert Redford and Martin Scorsese. Rising stars included Meryl Streep, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Costner and Tom Hanks.
Now, more than ever, Hollywood leads the world’s film industry, producing the most expensive and successful films ever made, such as Jurassic Park (1993), Forrest Gump, Independence Day (1996), Titanic, Gladiator (2000) and Troy (2004). Companies like MGM own their own movie theaters in the US and elsewhere. Studios make extra profits from selling films to television companies and from selling videos and DVDs. The Oscars, presented by Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, are the most valued prizes in the industry.
1. C (especially AmE)
• Have you seen that new Chinese movie?
video • • DVD • |especially BrE film •
in a movie/video/film
make/produce/direct a movie/video/film
see/watch a movie/video/DVD/film
Movie or film? Movie is used especially in American English; film is used especially in British English. Movie can suggest that a film is just entertainment without any artistic value. In American English film can suggest that a film has artistic value:
• an art film
¤ an art movie
2. movies pl. (especially AmE)
• I've always wanted to work in movies.
film • |especially BrE cinema •
work in movies/film/cinema
the movie/film/cinema industry
go to/take sb to (see) a film/movie
go to/sit in (BrE) the cinema/(NAmE) the (movie) theater
rent a film/movie/DVD
download a film/movie/video
burn/copy/rip a DVD
see/watch a film/movie/DVD/video/preview/trailer
show/screen a film/movie
promote/distribute/review a film/movie
(BrE) be on at the cinema
be released on/come out on/be out on DVD
captivate/delight/grip/thrill the audience
do well/badly at the box office
get a lot of/live up to the hype
write/co-write a film/movie/script/screenplay
direct/produce/make/shoot/edit a film/movie/sequel/video
make a romantic comedy/a thriller/an action movie
do/work on a sequel/remake
film/shoot the opening scene/an action sequence/footage (of sth)
compose/create/do/write the soundtrack
cut/edit (out) a scene/sequence
have/get/do an audition
get/have/play a leading/starring/supporting role
play a character/James Bond/the bad guy
act in/appear in/star in a film/movie/remake
do/perform/attempt a stunt
work in/make it big in Hollywood
forge/carve/make/pursue a career in Hollywood
the camera pulls back/pans over sth/zooms in (on sth)
the camera focuses on sth/lingers on sth
shoot sb/show sb in extreme close-up
use odd/unusual camera angles
be filmed/shot on location/in a studio
be set/take place in London/in the '60s
have a happy ending/plot twist
• Her father played all the old home movies.
• I'd never go to a movie alone.
• Johnson really steals this movie as Cassius.
• Liz paused the movie and walked over to the phone.
• The former footballer is now mixing with movie people in Hollywood.
• The movie contains a lengthy car chase through the streets of Paris.
• The movie follows their lives on a small Arkansas farm.
• The movie is set in a New England school.
• The movie opens with a quote from the Buddha.
• We watched a home movie of my second birthday party.
• We're having a movie night with pizza and beer.
• a movie about the life of Castro
• a movie based on the novel by Betty Munn
• a movie entitled ‘Short Legs’
• an excellent actor who could easily carry the movie all on his own
• the movie rights to her autobiography
• the movie version of the well-known novel
• Have you seen the latest Tarantino movie?
• a famous movie director/star
ˌmotion ˈpicture [motion picture motion pictures] noun (especially NAmE)
a film/movie that is made for the cinema
• The American motion picture industry began with Thomas Edison in the 19th century.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
movie / ˈmuː.vi / noun
A1 [ C ] mainly US for a cinema film:
My favourite movie is 'Casablanca'.
the movies [ plural ] mainly US a cinema or group of cinemas:
What's on/showing at the movies this week?
Shall we go to the movies tonight?
© Cambridge University Press 2013
1) N-COUNT A movie is a film. [AM; also BRIT, INFORMAL]
In the first movie Tony Curtis ever made he played a grocery clerk.
...a horror movie.
2) N-PLURAL: the N You can talk about the movies when you are talking about seeing a movie in a movie theater. [mainly AM]
He took her to the movies.(in BRIT, usually use the cinema)
mov·ie /ˈmuːvi/ noun, pl -ies chiefly US
1 [count] : a recording of moving images that tells a story and that people watch on a screen or television
• He's making a movie [=film, motion picture] about growing up in a small town.
• a Hollywood movie
• We went to (see) a movie after dinner.
• Do you want to rent a movie [=rent a video or DVD] tonight?
• an action movie
• a horror movie
- often used before another noun
• a movie star/producer/director
• a movie camera/studio
• the movie business/industry
• a movie critic/review
• a movie house/theater
- see also home movie
2 the movies
a : a showing of a movie in a theater
• We are going to the movies tonight. [=we are going to see a movie tonight] also; : a movie theater
• What's (playing/showing) at the movies?
b : the business of making movies : the film industry
• He wants to work in the movies.
• a career in the movies