Definition of film noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fɪlm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɪlm//
    Showing films, TV shows
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    moving pictures
  1. 1  [countable] (especially British English) (usually North American English movie) a series of moving pictures recorded with sound that tells a story, shown on television or at the cinema/movie theater Let's go to the cinema—there's a good film on this week. Let's stay in and watch a film. a horror/documentary/feature film a silent film (= one recorded without sound) an international film festival The film was shot on location in France. a film crew/critic/director/producer the film version of the novel to make/shoot a film CollocationsCinema/​the moviesWatching go to/​take somebody to (see) a film/​movie go to/​sit in (British English) the cinema/(North American English) the (movie) theater rent a film/​movie/​DVD download/​stream a film/​movie burn/​copy/​rip a DVD see/​watch a film/​movie/​DVD/​preview/​trailerShowing show/​screen a film/​movie promote/​distribute/​review a film/​movie (British English) 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 hypeFilm-making write/​co-write a film/​movie/​script/​screenplay direct/​produce/​make/​shoot/​edit a film/​movie/​sequel 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 something) compose/​create/​do/​write the soundtrack cut/​edit (out) a scene/​sequenceActing 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 HollywoodDescribing films the camera pulls back/​pans over something/​zooms in (on something) the camera focuses on something/​lingers on something shoot somebody/​show somebody 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 Wordfinderactor, cameraman, cinema, dialogue, director, dub, film, location, scenario, sound effect See related entries: Showing films, TV shows
  2. 2  [uncountable] (especially British English) (usually North American English the movies [plural]) (British English also the cinema) the art or business of making films/movies to study film and photography the minister responsible for film and the theatre the film industry compare cinema CultureHollywoodHollywood, 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 attracted 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 (= the exclusive right to make films). 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 Pictures and United Artists had set up studios around Hollywood. During this period Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, 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' 'Fatty' Arbuckle became stars. D W Griffith directed expensive 'epic' films like The 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), The 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 The 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 or her 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, 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. 3-D has become popular again in the 21st century. 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, having produced the most expensive and successful films ever made, such as Jurassic Park (1993), Independence Day (1996) and Titanic (1997). 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.
  3. 3  [uncountable] moving pictures of real events, shown for example on television synonym footage television news film of the riots The accident was captured/caught on film.
  4. in cameras
  5. 4  [uncountable, countable] thin plastic that is sensitive to light, used for taking photographs and making films/movies; a roll of this plastic, used in cameras a roll of film a 35mm film She put a new film in her camera. to have a film developed
  6. thin layer
  7. 5[countable, usually singular] film (of something) a thin layer of something, usually on the surface of something else synonym coat, coating, layer Everything was covered in a film of dust.
  8. see also cling film
    Word OriginOld English filmen ‘membrane’, of West Germanic origin.Extra examples Fast film is best for action shots. Fast film would be best for such action shots. He spliced the two lengths of film together. He was killed when a film stunt went wrong. His film credits as director include ‘Mood Music’ and ‘Lies’. His film credits= the films he has made as director include ‘Mood Music’ and ‘Lies’. I get my film developed locally. I get my films developed at a local shop. In the darkroom they found that only half the film had been exposed. She makes children’s films. She thought the film far too violent to show to children. The books were covered in a thin film of dust. The film came out last week. The film contains explicit scenes of violence. The film depicts immense courage amid the horrors of war. The film has plenty of what film people call ‘bankability’. The film manages to capture the mood of the times. The film opens with a bird’s-eye shot of London. The film stars Nicole Kidman as a nightclub singer. The film was finally released after weeks of protest by religious groups. The film was heavily edited for screening on television. The film was shot on location in Kenya. The news always contains several film reports. The scramble for the film rights to her next novel has already begun. There is a great car chase in the film. There was a fine film of sweat on her forehead. There’s an interesting film on at the local cinema. They built a massive film set of an airport. They captured the incident on film. They’ve just started shooting a film of the novel. This film tells the remarkable story of a disabled actor. Tyrannical Hollywood film moguls ruled their stars’ lives. We stayed for the film credits to see who the music was by. We went to an awful film last night. a film about Nelson Mandela a film about Queen Victoria a film based on the novel by Charles Potter a film dealing with old age a film entitled ‘Bitter Moon’ a film from Spanish director Luis Eduardo Aute a film recording the first powered flight a film with an all-star cast a roll of 35 millimetre film film taken by security cameras the ‘Star Wars’ film series the film classic ‘Fantasia’ the film version of the best-selling novel He directed his first feature film in 1994. Let’s go to the cinema—there’s a good film on this week. Let’s stay in and watch a film. She wants to study film and photography. The film of water left by the tide shimmered in the sun. The leaves were still covered with a film of dew. There was a film of soot everywhere. a film crew/​critic/​director/​producer a horror/​documentary film a silent film an international film festival
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: film