Working with the IMDb API

The IMDb (Internet Movie Database) API is an online repository of films, movies, web and television series, and many more. The API allows one to search for and get information related to movies and TV shows. It comes with an extensive set of API endpoints that allows one to query anything about movies. The API is integrated with Rakuten to make it possible for one to log in to their account and use their universal subscription key. In this article, we are going to talk about the basics of working with the IMDb API.

Getting Started

What comes to your mind when you hear about a new television series or a movie? Possibly, you think about the crew, the cast, the cinematographer, or maybe the writer. Although there are various movie APIs available, the IMDb API is one of the best APIs that will get you all this information. It is organized into several endpoints that will get you all the information that you need. But how do you get started?

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To get started, you will need to;

  1. Sign up for a Rakuten RapidAPI account.
  2. Access the API pricing page and select a subscription plan. You can choose the free plan that gives you up to 1,000 requests per day.
  3. Access the documentation and endpoints page. Here, go ahead and select an endpoint of your choice together with your preferred programming language. The API is compatible with Python, PHP, Node.js, Objective-C, Ruby, C#, Java, and cURL. You can learn more about these and other programming languages here.
  4. You can then build a request by providing the required parameters and then click on the button labeled Test Endpoint.

Searching for a Movie Name

To search for a movie by its name or title, we use the GET title/find endpoint. This endpoint accepts a string as the name of the TV show or movie that you are searching for. Once it is provided with all the required parameters, it will return a list of all shows and movies that match the provided string, even when it is a partial match.

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Searching for a Movie Cast

We have searched for a movie name above. After that, the next thing to look for is the movie cast. The GET title/find endpoint above gives us the names of the leading actors. However, it does not provide a full list of the movie cast. The Get title/get-top-cast endpoint is used to get the list of the complete cast. The endpoint takes the movie id (the movie id is obtained when using the GET title/find endpoint above) as a parameter and then returns a list of the cast members. 

The API response gives you a list of the cast members ids. Just like the movie id returned by the GET title/find endpoint, each of the cast members has an id that starts with nm followed by a number. For you to get the name as well as all other details of a cast member, you use the GET title/get-charname-list endpoint. This endpoint will take in the cast id and the movie id as the parameters and return all the information about that particular cast member.

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This article covers the basics of using the IMDb API. You can search for more information about movies such as reviews, awards, images, shooting locations, and more. The IMDb API will get all the work done for you without any issues.