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

[[3]] Lincoln (2012) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by Lenore Tenenbaum on 2012-11-07 01:30:59.

Reviews

Comments

Lenore Tenenbaum said:
This is another movie with mostly men speaking with other men, but it passes the test thanks to at least one scene. Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field) discusses [things other than men] with Elizabeth Keckley (Gloria Reuben).
Message posted on 2012-11-07 01:31:00
Judy Shoaf disagreed with the rating and said:
I just discovered the rating system and noticed the positive rating for Lincoln before I went to see it. However, the only actual conversation I saw depicted between Mary and Mrs. Keckley was a brief comment on Rep. Stevens's speech in the House. Mrs. Lincoln says she never thought to see Stevens compromise, and Mrs. Keckley, who is upset by the compromise, excuses herself and leaves. Certainly many conversations between the two women are implied, but this is the only one we get to hear, and the only real comment is about a man. So I would give it 2 out of 3. That said, this is very much a movie about dead white males, and most of the characters, including the women, are shown interacting with Lincoln rather than with each other.
Message posted on 2012-12-10 11:48:09
Kathleen Thompson disagreed with the rating and said:
The moment you refer to is not a conversation. And a conversation between these two women would have been a genuine contribution to the film. Elizabeth Keckley, in addition to being a successful dress designer, was also a Union army recruiter and a fundraiser for aid to black soldiers and former slaves. As Mary Todd Lincoln's closest confidant, She was possibly the only significant black presence in the White House at the time. And even a one-minute conversation with Mary Todd about the sons they had both lost would have improved the movie. But the passing comments cited above do not pass the test.
Message posted on 2012-12-18 00:47:36
Dejan disagreed with the rating and said:
I still don't see that as a proper "conversation". I'd pin it down to an "exchange" - and a quick one at that. The film is deeply rooted in patriarchal ideologies. I'd give it 2/3.
Message posted on 2013-01-21 11:12:08
Sammy disagreed with the rating and said:
Yeah, the script is available at IMSDb. The only conversation I found was this:

MARY (whispering to Mrs.KECKLEY: Who'd ever've guessed that old nightmare capable of such control? He might make a politician someday -
ELIZABETH KECKLEY(STANDING ABRUPTLY:) I need to go.

2/3, but it shouldn't be a surprising that a movie about politics in the 1860's wouldn't pass.
Message posted on 2013-05-26 02:37:52
Maurice said:
look at the rules at the top of the screen plz. at no point does it say "conversation" it says do they talk to each other. very important difference
Message posted on 2013-05-26 03:11:59
Vigilarus said:
It's notable that the film accurately depicts Abraham Lincoln consulting with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln about political strategy, that she is influential, and that she steps out of traditional gender roles to directly and substantively confront opponents to the social reform that her husband is seeking.

As a work which makes a valid attempt at depicting a historical moment of tremendously important liberation for African American- emancipation from slavery- it is disconcerting to see it casually dismissed by some of the above comments. The dilemmas of modern progressive politics- accomodation vs. resistance, messy political compromise vs. ideological purity, strategy and tactics of achieving change- are all informed by the history elucidated in this film. It is unwise to ignore policy-level history, particularly of eras of social reformation, even though the past was not perfect. It is precisely because of those imperfections that we profit from learning from the past.
Message posted on 2013-07-03 02:18:52
DAR said:
It's notable that the film accurately depicts Abraham Lincoln consulting with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln about political strategy, that she is influential, and that she steps out of traditional gender roles to directly and substantively confront opponents to the social reform that her husband is seeking.

As a work which makes a valid attempt at depicting a historical moment of tremendously important liberation for African American- emancipation from slavery- it is disconcerting to see it casually dismissed by some of the above comments. The dilemmas of modern progressive politics- accomodation vs. resistance, messy political compromise vs. ideological purity, strategy and tactics of achieving change- are all informed by the history elucidated in this film. It is unwise to ignore policy-level history, particularly of eras of social reformation, even though the past was not perfect. It is precisely because of those imperfections that we profit from learning from the past.
Message posted on 2013-07-03 02:19:40
Mitchell Hundred disagreed with the rating and said:
If the transcript posted above is accurate (I have seen the movie twice and cannot hear what Mrs. Lincoln says), then it fails. The rules state that there have to be two (named) female characters talking to each other about something other than a man/men. Since Mrs. Lincoln's line is about Rep. Stevens, only half of this exchange fits that criterion. Ergo the talking about other subjects is not mutual, and it fails.

And yes, it's true that she is a very well-rounded and fascinating character herself. I believe the point being made here is that her gender is underrepresented in the story, not that she personally is uninteresting.
Message posted on 2013-07-05 00:04:54

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