Bechdel Test Movie List

/bech·del test/ n.
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

[[1]] Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) [imdb]

This movie passed 1 of 3 tests. It was entered by G. E. Oriens on 2011-07-23 17:53:54.

Reviews

Comments

G. E. Oriens said:
It's possible the two dates in the beginning talked to each other, but I didn't really see it.

Movie should get plus points, though, for a scene in which a female military officer punches a misogynist recruit in the face.
Message posted on 2011-07-23 17:53:54
Nimravid disagreed with the rating and said:
There was only one named female character (Carter) so unfortunately it does not even pass the first part of the test- 2 named female characters. The other woman with the largest speaking part ("America's women owe you" before jumping on Steve Rogers to make out with him) was not named. Extremely sexist overall. No extra points for Carter punching a misogynist in the face unless points are deducted for the upskirt/downshirt shots of the USO "girls."
Message posted on 2011-07-23 22:52:10
Eddie S disagreed with the rating and said:
Peggy Carter and an old female shopkeeper exchange code phrases to establish their identities before taking Steve to the experimentation room.
Message posted on 2011-07-24 03:02:21
Nimravid disagreed with the rating and said:
@Eddie S.: The criteria on this site are 2 named female characters though. It would have passed even on that one line exchange through the whole movie if only the shopkeeper had a name. But since no woman but Peggy Carter is named in the movie, it doesn't even reach the first mark: "two named female characters." There are several women with bit parts: old female shopkeeper, make-out-with-Captain-America-woman, unnamed USO girl #umpteen, and the woman who screams about her child being held hostage. But they don't get named in the movie.
Message posted on 2011-07-24 18:12:55
Victor disagreed with the rating and said:
As the others above have said, there was only one named female character in the movie. Any other female characters were in minor, nameless roles.

I love superhero comic books, and I thought that this was a great movie, but it really is a shame that Marvel's much more progressive side barely shows up in any of their recent films.
Message posted on 2011-07-25 17:50:21
Jordan disagreed with the rating and said:
Only one named female character
Message posted on 2011-08-15 13:10:08
Rachelle disagreed with the rating and said:
There is no way there are two named female characters: even if you can make up a name for another female character, it is incredibly clear that there are no significant women besides Carter.
Message posted on 2011-09-17 05:45:29
am said:
There seem to be at least two named female characters in the movie. PVt Lorraine is listed in the imdb credits and I'm not 100% but I feel like she was named in the movie.
There are also 'Connie' and 'Bonnie' but I think they might have been named for the credits.
Message posted on 2011-10-10 05:24:40
Anobium said:
Side note: The nameless woman Steve talks to at the end of the movie is, I gather, intended to be a particular character from the comics, and will have a significant role and a name in the sequel.

I mention this as a point of interest only; I don't think that she should count as a named female character for *this* movie.
Message posted on 2011-10-25 00:35:43
Mariana disagreed with the rating and said:
Okay, no it doesn't pass the test, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't portray women powerfully. Peggy is an incredibly strong character who is never shown to need saving (there is no damsel in distress in this movie, which is incredibly refreshing, especially for the time frame it's set in) and the men are shown to respect her. The one who doesn't is subsequently punched in the face by Peggy, again showing she doesn't need a man to protect her.
Message posted on 2011-11-07 14:52:25
M.B. said:
That's all great, but this isn't a list of movies that have powerful female characters. It's a list of movies that fail the Bechdel test.
Message posted on 2011-12-18 19:46:45
Poster disagreed with the rating and said:
Doesn't pass. Though it was a good movie and I don't think it should have to pass. I went back through the scenes in the movie and they were economical and economically cast. Three of the major characters were locked in by canon, Captain, Bucky, and Dr. Erskine. And most of the movie takes place in recruiting offices, army bases and battlefields in the world war 2 era where there would just not be hardly any women. As it was, they were pushing credulity with Agent Carter, a woman in charge of a male military outfit in world war 2. Howard and the Colonel could not have been replaced by women in a WW2 period piece and giving Steve a female friend and trying to keep her near him throughout much of the movie (in addition to Agent Carter) would have been implausible and redundant with Bucky in the movie. This movie would have had to be a present day reimagining to plausibly include more women than it did.
Message posted on 2012-03-22 23:48:10
Neal W. said:
Some people are debating whether two women even had names. I might be mistaken, since I cannot find her listed on IMDB, but wasn't the red head military nurse at the end Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow? That counts as a names character to me, even if the name isn't said, just because she is iconic. Was I wrong that that was black widow?
Message posted on 2012-05-14 06:06:16
Meg disagreed with the rating and said:
@Neal W.: No, that definitely wasn't Black Widow. I think she was supposed to be Sharon Carter, and will supposedly show up significantly in the CA sequel, but she doesn't count for the purposes of this movie. That said, I agree with 'Poster' that not passing the Bechdel Test means virtually nothing for this particular movie. It's amazing that they managed to get even one major female character, given the time period of the film and the fact that much of the action took place on military bases.
Message posted on 2012-05-23 10:31:28
Victor disagreed with the rating and said:
No, Neal, that wasn't Black Widow.
Message posted on 2012-05-24 01:26:33
Alexandra said:
Shouldn't the era the movie was set in be considered when setting a rating? It was the 40's after all.
Message posted on 2012-07-14 17:09:40
Def said:
I think it should be pointed out that the Bechdel test can't really be an overall rating for feminism or progressive portrayals of women in a movie - it's just a rough baseline. While the movie doesn't pass the test, that doesn't reflect on its overall attitude toward females and their abilities. It's just a product of the era it's set in. In some ways, Peggy Carter is a step backwards - though she's very, very powerful, her major reason for being in the story is to be Steve's love interest!
Message posted on 2012-09-02 22:00:13
Carl said:
Good point - human females weren't invented until 1953. ;)
Message posted on 2012-09-03 18:30:25
Mitchell Hundred said:
There are in fact films made in the same era when this one takes place which pass the Bechdel Test (like 'The Women' or 'Arsenic and Old Lace'). And just because women were marginalized at the time doesn't mean they didn't play any roles which could not be depicted here. So cutting this one some slack because it takes place during the 40s doesn't seem right to me.
Message posted on 2012-09-05 02:29:54
Def said:
I'll clarify, sorry:

I'm not saying that all movies set in the forties should be cut some slack (I'm aware that females were around before 1953!), but that the setting should be taken into account as a whole. It's set in the army, in the European Theater of World War II. To have two females in that context, both in a position to have a conversation with each other that would not be about another male soldier, would be a stretch of the imagination. That's why I feel it should be cut some slack for having Peggy there at all.

(On the other hand, all those USO girls... could we have had a short conversation where they complain about the costumes? Of course we could. Women are still heavily underrepresented in this movie, don't get me wrong.)
Message posted on 2012-09-27 02:01:50

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