Most modern film scripts tend to have very strict formatting with regards to action, characters, and dialogue. Yet I cannot find many silent film scripts which denote title cards in the screenplay.

Is there a standard syntax to indicate intertitles in silent film scripts?

1 Answer 1


In these three examples, you can find different ways of doing it.

It is denoted with "Spoken Title", "Sub-title" or just "Title" instead of the number of the shot/scene.

Here are examples from the links:

(1) The Sidewalks of New York (1923)

Scene 13--The battlers break and glare at 
Reagan. One of them, a freckled specimen with 
dangerous eyes, asks:

        Spoken Title--2 
    "What's his trade-mark?"

Scene 14--Long shot, as in Scene 12. Reagan 
bites a "chew" from a plug of tobacco and then 

(2) The New York Hat

Exterior of house - porch 

Room: Girl putting hat on 

Sub-title: Sunday morning - She attempts to explain 

Room: Man with hat in hand, walking toward door 

Exterior of house - fence - gate: Man coming out of gate 

(3) The Phantom of the Opera

11.         INT. ON BACK STAGE. . AMBER
            This is a general shot of the backstage before
            the rise of the curtain and must be most interesting
            and picturesque. THE GENERAL ATMOSPHERE IS ONE
            OF CHAOS and confusion. Sixty stage hands are 
            moving about the large pieces of scenery. They are
            putting up the set for the first scene, the
            home of Faust the aged alchemist. In evidence
            are carpenters, florists, drapers, curtain hangers,
            firemen, call-boys and property men. In the rear
            of the stage is the dressing room corridor
            leading to the numerous dressing rooms.

                OF THE OPERA HOUSE.

12.         INT. MANAGER'S OFFICE.
            FULL SHOT

            Discovered M. Debienne, M. Poligny and M. Lavelle,
            Secretary. The corpulent M. Debienne and the
            slender M. Poligny appear to be in the throes of
            a great mental stress - Debienne mops his perspiring
            forehead and exhales deep sighs of despair while
            Poligny stares into space with a gloomy expression --
            at his desk nearby sits M. Lavelle, their secretary,
            a bright dapper fellow, whose whistling at such
            a trying moment grates on the managers' nerves--
            every now and then he glances with contempt and
            annoyment at the others' discomfiture--Debienne
            glances despairingly at a large volume which lies
            before them on the table open.

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