IMDbPY is a Python package useful to retrieve and manage the data of the IMDb movie database about movies, people, characters and companies.

Revamp notice

Starting on November 2017 many things were improved and simplified:

  • move the package to Python 3
  • removed dependencies: SQLObject, C compiler, BeautifulSoup
  • removed the "mobile" and "httpThin" parsers
  • introduced a testsuite (please help with it!)
  • the old, Python 2, version is available in the imdbpy-legacy branch (mostly unsupported)

Main features

  • written in Python 3
  • platform-independent
  • can retrieve data from both the IMDb's web server and a local copy of the whole database
  • a simple and complete API
  • released under the terms of the GPL 2 license
  • IMDbPY powers many other softwares and has been used in various research papers. Curious about that?


Whenever it's possible, please always use the latest version from the repository. To install it using pip:

pip3 install git+

Code example

# create and instance of the IMDb class
from imdb import IMDb
ia = IMDb()

# get a movie and print its director(s)
the_matrix = ia.get_movie('0133093')

# show all the information sets avaiable for Movie objects

# update a Movie object with more information
ia.update(the_matrix, ['technical'])
# show which keys were added by the information set
# print one of the new keys
print(the_matrix.get('cinematographic process'))

# search for a person
for person in ia.search_person('Mel Gibson'):
    print(person.personID, person['name'])

# get the first result of a company search,
# update it to get the basic information
ladd_company = ia.search_company('The Ladd Company')[0]
# show the available information and print some
print(ladd_company.get('production companies'))

# get 5 movies tagged with a keyword
dystopia = ia.get_keyword('dystopia', results=5)

# get a Character object
deckard = ia.search_character('Rick Deckard')[0]
print(deckard['full-size headshot'])

# get top250 and bottom100 movies
top250 = ia.get_top250_movies()
bottom100 = ia.get_bottom100_movies()

S3 database

IMDb distributes some data in their s3 database; using IMDbPY, you can easily import them using the bin/ script. Download the files from here, create an empty database in your favorite db server, and then run:

./bin/ /path/to/the/tsv.gz/files/ uri

where uri is the identifier used to access a SQL database amongst the ones supported by SQLAlchemy, for example postgres://user:password@localhost/imdb

You will use the same uri with the "s3" accessSystem to create an instance of the IMDb object that is able to access the database:

ia = IMDb('s3', 'uri')

For more information, see docs/README.s3.txt

Main objects and methods

ia = imdb.IMDb()

create an instance of the IMDb class, to access information from the web or a SQL database.

movie = ia.get_movie( movieID )<br> person = ia.get_person( personID )<br> company = ia.get_company( companyID )<br> character = ia.get_character( characterID )

return an instance of a Movie, Person, Company or Character classes. The objects have the basic information.

movies = ia.search_movie( title )<br> persons = ia.search_person( name )<br> companies = ia.search_company( name )<br> characters = ia.search_characters( name )

return a list of Movie, Person, Company or Character instances. These objects have only bare information, like title and movieID.

ia.update( obj, [info='infoset'] )

update a Movie, Person, Company or Character instance with basic information, or any other specified info set.


all the info set available for a movie; similar methods are available for other objects.


mapping between the fetched info sets and the keywords they provide; similar methods are available for other objects.

movie.movieID<br> person.personID<br> company.companyID<br> character.characterID

the ID of the object.

movie['title']<br> person.get('name')

get a key of an object.

keywords = ia.search_keyword( keyword )<br> movies = ia.get_keyword( keyword )

search for keywords similar to the one provided, and fetch movies matching a given keyword.

ia.get_top250_movies()<br> ia.get_bottom100_movies()

top 250 and bottom 100 movies.

person_in_cast = movie['cast'][0]<br> notes = person_in_cast.notes<br> character = person_in_cast.currentRole

character associated to a person who starred in a movie, and its notes.

person in movie<br> movie in person

return True if a person worked in a given movie


IMDbPY is released under the terms of the GNU GPL v2 (or later) license.