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]] Maleficent (2014) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by NessieNos on 2014-05-29 03:08:48.

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NessieNos said:
The fairy Maleficent and the princess Aurora (from the Disney movie <I>Sleeping Beauty</i>) spend significant time together, and talk about Aurora's future and Maleficent's past. They don't bring up men at all, ever. The three fairies who raise Aurora talk to each other about her, and about the things they want, and she talks to them about her plans to leave them. The subject of a man—Aurora's father—only comes into their interactions late in their relationship. Eventually (SPOILER) Maleficent talks to Aurora about their relationship, and how much Maleficent cares for her and regrets cursing her.

And it's worth noting that the entire film is about a woman who's wronged by a man, and takes revenge, and then finds a way out of her fury and loneliness by bonding with another woman. It isn't a very deep relationship or a very deep movie, but it goes beyond a technical I-guess-two-women-say-two-words-to-each-other pass on the test.
Message posted on 2014-05-29 03:08:48
Matthew said:
One thing that I loved about malificent was that there weren't two named male characters who talked to each other about something other than a girl. I thought that was brilliant.
Message posted on 2014-06-08 16:52:16
Dr. SpaceGoat said:
Really a reverse-Bechdel test fail is just as sexist as a Bechdel test fail. The men don't have any desires or intents that don't involve the female characters.
It isn't something to be praised. It's not a strength, it's a flaw.
Remember little girls, guys only care about women.
Also, is it just me or was the sawing off of Maleficent's wings kind of treated like rape?
And there was too much voice over.
And the writing was terrible.
And they bastardized the characters of the fairies looking after Aurora.
I didn't like this movie.
Message posted on 2014-06-10 03:11:01
Oa said:
The point of the test is not that movies that pass are better than movies that don't. The point is that improportionally many movies fail.
So, no, failing the reverse Bechdel test is not as bad. It would have been if it enforced an inbalance, but as the case is, it counteracts an inbalance.
Message posted on 2014-06-13 20:14:28
James said:
There is one reason to bring up the reverse test. That is when you've got a movie like Gravity, Before Sunrise or Closer etc that doesn't pass the test but doesn't under represent women either. Some movies fail both tests because of structure. A movie about a married couple stranded on an island would fail both tests despite equal casting off its premise alone.

Since the reason the test exists at all is because of the massive disparity in female representation in fiction you have NO CASE claiming that a reverse test fail is sexist against men. That is just plain wrong.

The fairies are incompetent in this version of the story to give Maleficent an excuse to interact with Aurora! If she doesn't then there is no story.
Message posted on 2014-06-13 21:28:46
Aa said:
"Since the reason the test exists at all is because of the massive disparity in female representation in fiction you have NO CASE claiming that a reverse test fail is sexist against men. That is just plain wrong."

Sooooo, because sexism exists against females, it's impossible for sexism to exist against males? Brilliant. Wait wait wait, since double standards are different rules for different groups, and double standards based on sex is sexist, then that post is.... sexist. Cool, huh?

But yeah, passes the test, but since every character is an idiot except Maleficent... it's not that good of a movie.

Message posted on 2014-06-19 03:02:41
Victor said:
"Really a reverse-Bechdel test fail is just as sexist as a Bechdel test fail."

Which is to say not at all. Neither is sexist. Singular instances are hardly ever sexist. Trends are sexist, and that's what's the Bechdel test is about, trends. The trend of limited female representation in films is a problem. An instance of limited male representation in a film is not a problem because it's not part of any broader trend.
Message posted on 2014-06-23 06:11:48
Nola said:
Well it always does get back to the men somehow, eh?
Message posted on 2014-07-27 05:15:20
Evans said:
Dr SpaceGoat, there is absolutely nothing sexist about observing that a movie fails the reverse Bechdel test. As another post points out, some movies are constructed to fail and lose nothing by doing so. The Shawshank Redemption springs to mind as an example of a film depicting an all male environment, where the inclusion of lots of women having conversations would be unlikely and looked forced.

However, the point of the Bechdel test is to observe and comment in the sheer number of films that fail this pitifully simple test.

If you can argue that there is a shortage of men's viewpoints being depicted in cinema, that we rarely get to see and understand men's inner worlds, that the relationships between fathers and sons, brothers, male friends are rarely explored, that men's lives are clearly considered uninteresting material for art, then of course we would require a reverse bechdel test, and expect that films should pass this.
Message posted on 2014-08-04 18:43:41
Evans said:
Dr SpaceGoat, there is absolutely nothing sexist about observing that a movie fails the reverse Bechdel test. As another post points out, some movies are constructed to fail and lose nothing by doing so. The Shawshank Redemption springs to mind as an example of a film depicting an all male environment, where the inclusion of lots of women having conversations would be unlikely and looked forced.

However, the point of the Bechdel test is to observe and comment in the sheer number of films that fail this pitifully simple test.

If you can argue that there is a shortage of men's viewpoints being depicted in cinema, that we rarely get to see and understand men's inner worlds, that the relationships between fathers and sons, brothers, male friends are rarely explored, that men's lives are clearly considered uninteresting material for art, then of course we would require a reverse bechdel test, and expect that films should pass this.
Message posted on 2014-08-04 21:38:32
Mins said:
It is not sexist that a movie doesn't pass the Bechdel or the reversed Bechdel test. There are thousand reasons why one movie could fail any of those! (a movie about a devasted world with only one survivor wouldn't passa any; a movie about a woman/man and her/his daughter/son may not need at all men/women speaking to each other; a movie seen as a men's perspective, focusing ONLY on what he sees can have it difficult to include two NAMED women talking to each other...)
The sexist thing is HOW MANY MOVIES fail the original Bechdel test COMPARED to the fact that almost every movie passes the reversed Bechdel test.
Also, lots of movies just barely pass the Bechdel (one female-to-female conversation about something that's not a man in the whole movie, REALLY?) but how easily they pass the reversed one.
Message posted on 2014-10-15 08:32:23

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