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]] Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests (although dubious). It was entered by Mike on 2011-02-04 07:11:44.



Mike said:
This is a tricky one. There are two substantial female roles, Snow White and the Queen who has no given name and later turns into a witch who refers to herself as "old Granny." Snow White and the Queen never actually speak to one another. But the Queen-as-witch and Snow White interact at length near the end of the film:

After asking if "the little men" are away and inquiring about Snow's pie-making, the witch tells her, "It's apple pies that makes menfolks' mouths water" and offers her a poisoned apple.

The forest animals attack the witch, but Snow shoos them away. "There, there," Snow comforts the witch, "I'm sorry." The witch complains of a "poor heart" and says to Snow, "Take me into the house and let me rest." Once inside, she asks for a drink of water.

Then the witch tells Snow "This is no ordinary apple. It's a magic wishing apple." "Really?" asks Snow. "Yes, girlie! Now, make a wish and take a bite."

After a cutaway to the dwarfs, the witch continues, "There must be something your little heart desires. Perhaps there's someone you love." "Well, there is someone," Snow replies. "I thought so. Old Granny knows a young girl's heart." Snow wishes her prince will come "and that he will carry me away to his castle where we will live happily ever after." Snow bites the apple and then drops dead. Triumphantly, the witch exclaims, "Now I'll be fairest in the land!"

Okay, not every detail has to do with men, but the subtext of all this is that the little men aren't here and the Prince isn't here and that the nameless Queen/Witch doesn't want Snow White around to compete with.

But I guess Snow's comforting the witch and the exchange over the "magic wishing apple" technically qualifies as "not about a man."

So I'm giving the movie the benefit of the doubt.
Message posted on 2011-02-04 07:11:44
trina B disagreed with the rating and said:
hmm... I dunno, i think it only passes 2/3. even if the dwarves aren't there, the bulk of the conversation references men, in one way or another.
Message posted on 2013-06-26 08:35:03
Jaya disagreed with the rating and said:
I don't think "the Queen" or "old Granny" should count as a named woman at all. I think it's clear that it doesn't pass any of the tests.
Message posted on 2014-03-27 21:02:49
frere jacques said:
I would still agree that it passes the test. Since the Queen/old Granny is so essential to the story I don't think the naming in the credits should matter that much.
And I don't believe it's that clear that the motive of the queen is to better compete with Snow White for men. Vanity indeed, but it's never mentioned or clearly implied that the Queen wants to be a bride, is using her looks to seduce men or wants the prince for herself (I think).

So I'd still say the Bechdeltest passes. But a feminist movie it is not...

Message posted on 2014-04-30 09:03:24
Miki said:
About "named" characters: "evil queen" is the name of the character. Its not a real name, but some characters are known by their titles and these titles become "names" in a way. Not every character needs a real name. Donkey from Shrek for example.
Message posted on 2016-11-13 01:24:11
Ragnhild disagreed with the rating and said:
The queen is not named in the movie, so it doesn't pass the first part. However, for a 1937 film, it is pretty feminist:
- Protagonist and antagonist are both females.
- Antagonist is a queen, and she definitely rules the country WITHOUT a king. She belittles the hunter and the dwarves very much despite them being males (and most likely older than her) because of her royalty. And it's very clear that she's feared.
- Protagonist goes through a lot (first she went from a princess to a scullery maid, then she found out that the queen/her stepmother wanted to kill her) yet she stays strong and positive (With A Smile And A Song, Whistle While You Work)
- Snow White was the one who suggested staying with the dwarves and helping them with housekeeping (yes, it may not be "feminist" to cook and clean, but considering it was her talent, then why not use it for the best? It ended up saving her life!)
- She was also bossy, stern and snarky towards the dwarves, traits you didn't see much in teenage girls back then. She was only 14 and still basically made the rules for 7 grown-up men IN THEIR OWN HOUSE and laughed at Grumpy when he was mean (which actually changed him into a better person)
- Even if the queen is not named, she and Snow White have a conversation about loads of things that are not only men.

Besides, a lot of major characters don't have names in Disney films. 3 of the Disney Princes are nameless, and one of them almost has an equal role to the princess (Belle), and Jasmines father in Aladdin is (if I remember correctly) just referred to as "The Sultan". Also, do any of Bambi's, Anna and Elsa's or Rapunzel's parents have names? The matchmaker in Mulan?
Message posted on 2016-11-14 10:45:00
Drew Olds disagreed with the rating and said:
While many Disney characters remain nameless, there are almost always enough named male characters to pass a reverse Bechdel test.

In this case, we have one named female character, seven named male characters- six of them speak to one another quite a lot (about things like hand washing).

In order for Snow White to pass, we need to decide that it doesn't matter that the "Evil Queen" is the only Disney villain to remain nameless.

(Of course, the film is so overtly sexist in so many ways it seems a moot point to argue the Bechdel test).
Message posted on 2018-11-29 18:27:30
Kiara disagreed with the rating and said:
The queen is only referred to by her title. Had she been named Queen Beth or Leslie or whatever I would say that this film passes, but she is not named.
Message posted on 2019-07-13 14:53:51
Ohd1122 said:
Not only is the queen named (she’s the queen. It’s her name/title and saying “the queen” identifies her and her alone in the movie) but she is the second most prominent character behind Snow White. She has at least one solo scene. I think it’s pretty clearly incorrect to dismiss this movie based on the named thing, but that doesn’t mean the movie breezes through the rest of the test.

I think if you squint at the dialogue between old granny (also a name, because she refers to herself as such) and Snow White this film still passes, but you could also argue that enough of the conversation centers around finding a prince that it fails.
Message posted on 2019-12-01 01:34:07

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