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]] Into the Woods (2014) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by ow on 2014-12-24 18:26:36.

Reviews

Comments

luminum said:
The pass is NOT dubious. Of all the numerous woman characters in the show, five have true names: Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Cinderella's sisters, Lucinda and Florinda.

In the first number, "I Wish..." Cinderella tells her Stepmother and Lucinda and Florinda that she wants to go to the Festival. Her sisters laugh at her about wanting to go to the festival and criticize her nails and hair.

Later, as she bemoans her situation, Florinda orders her to tie her hair up and do it tight.

Later, when the four characters--Jack, the Baker, Cinderella, and Red--are arguing over whose fault it is, Red argues with Cinderella while Jack argues with the Baker.

At the end of the film, Red comments to Cinderella that she is confused and thinks her mother and Granny would be unhappy with her. They discuss Red's confusion about killing the Giant's Wife, arguing that she is a person and that they should show forgiveness. Through the song, "No One is Alone", Cinderella also tells her that now she has to make her own decisions about what's good and bad, and tells her that life and morality are complex.

And that is only if we hold the "name" rule to its most literal. If we don't, and accept that most important characters in the musical don't have true names (The Baker, The Baker's Wife, The Witch, Cinderella's Prince, Jack's Mother, Rapunzel's Prince, etc.) then the interactions between the Witch and Rapunzel in "Stay With Me" would count.

Likewise, the interactions between the Baker's Wife and Cinderella over her shoe and trading the bean for it would count, and her later thanking her for the shoe after she's had her baby.
Message posted on 2015-01-01 19:30:05
neil (webmaster) said:
I've removed the dubious flag.
Message posted on 2015-01-01 22:08:10
Patti said:
My worry about this film is that of the six who die, five of them are women. The only male that dies is the Giant.
Message posted on 2015-03-19 15:13:12
Rinn said:
What struck me as clearly problematic about this film was that the Baker's Wife, the central female character other than the witch, dies right after she has an "adulterous" encounter with the prince. He is not punished at all for his act, while she is removed from the story. Classic horror movie trope; if you are romantic outside of marriage your not making it to the end of the film.
Message posted on 2015-04-27 06:00:47
Roxxy said:
Those other "problems" have nothing to do with the Bechdel Test. IMO, those issues you've brought up are not problematic at all. Women can be killed off just as easily as men.
Message posted on 2015-05-10 16:02:09
Effy said:
The Baker's Wife dying kind of made sense in Sondheim's tradition of everybody dies. Considering she was a character created for the play and Cinderella's prince was not, there's not as much a gender connection. The Baker's Wife dying also set up the ending with No One is Alone being sung by The Baker and Cinderella.

I only saw the film once though, so perhaps it was changed and this isn't as clear and I don't remember this change. In that case, well. That's irritating.
Message posted on 2015-07-01 17:20:18
Emma said:
Into the Woods is my favorite musical (the movie was so-so), but even I take issue with the Baker's Wife dying right after her affair. Whether Sondheim intended it or not, the implication is that she dies because of where she is and who she was with. Also, that her death has to happen to set up No One is Alone and No More (which was unfortunately cut from the movie) is pretty problematic, too. Why did a new mother have to die to make a point that no one is alone and they have to stick together?

However, it still ends up being a very feminist play. The two Agony songs are meant to highlight how vain and wishy-washy men are when it comes to women. Their love affairs are completely about them and their feelings and as soon as the thrill of the chase is over, they move on to new conquests. I hate that they didn't have Cinderella's prince play the wolf in the movie because the point is that perfect princes are often hiding a double nature. The musical also shows Cinderella standing up for herself (and it's important to point out that she wanted to go to the ball for herself, not a prince). The Baker's Wife always stands her ground and teaches her husband that she can do anything he can. The Witch is allowed to be strong and selfish and powerful. The fact that this musical has so many parts for women should be celebrated considering so many other musicals have one or two female parts while being dominated by speaking (and singing) males. Strongly suggest anyone who liked the movie try to find the musical they taped with Bernadette Peters. It's a million times better.
Message posted on 2015-12-15 22:06:53
Alice said:
This is an interesting case in that the majority of the characters aren't named explicitly. The only named characters are Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Jack (assuming that being named in the credits doesn't count). Rapunzel and Cinderella never speak, so you could argue that this movie doesn't pass the test. However, there are many major female characters that speak often about a number of things, including the deep emotional problems that come with being alive. The majority of these characters aren't given a name besides their narrative device, but that is part of the conceit of the show. The female characters are equally developed as, if not more than, their male counterparts. That being said, the movie cut out a lot of character development, specifically on the part of The Witch, that watered down this interesting character exploration.
Message posted on 2016-01-22 19:13:50

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