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

[[0]] 12 Angry Men (1957) [imdb]

This movie passed 0 of 3 tests. It was entered by Bryan on 2009-03-24 15:18:12.



Bryan said:
The original adaptation of Reginald Rose's play stars Henry Fonda as Juror #8 and has an all male cast.
Message posted on 2009-03-24 15:18:12
Sofia said:
This is a filmed play that takes place in a jury room with 12 jurors who are deliberating a murder case. I guess that when it was written in the 1950s, women were not allowed to serve on juries. A female witness to the crime is discussed, no less sympathetically than a male witness. A very good film and surprisingly involving and suspenseful, with excellent acting by leading stage actors of the day.
Message posted on 2013-08-29 03:37:17
George said:
None of the characters in this film have a name. So it fails both the Bechdel test and the reverse Bechdel test.

It is however, a very good movie.
Message posted on 2013-11-08 15:10:42
Feitelberg said:
Actually, at the very end of the movie, (spoilers) Juror 8 and Juror 10 tell each other their names.
Message posted on 2014-02-16 03:58:42
Riksy said:
One of those movies whose failure to satisfy the test does not necessarily reflect on its attitudes towards women but is due to the specific circumstances of the story. Other such movies which come to mind are prisoner of war movies like The Bridge on the River Kwai. Sofia - women were allowed to serve on juries even earlier than the 1950s and many movies of that period with courtroom scenes include women jurors.
Message posted on 2014-12-10 22:48:20
ShawmK said:
My girlfriend and I like to play a game with this magnificent film. We try to imagine alternative "fantasy" casts, and think about other actors (male, female, black, white etc) who could play the various jurors.

As such, I have given the possible gender make-up of the film a great deal of thought. Juror #3 (the father) really needs to be male, because his rather old-fashioned ideas of father-son dynamics are crucial to the story. Juror #4 (the broker) should also really be male; Juror #3 regularly defers to him in a way that his character probably wouldn't if she were a woman.

Juror #8 (Henry Fonda's character in this version) could very easily be a woman, and that would make for a very interesting dynamic if she were played as someone not accustomed to taking charge of a roomful of people (the character in the play is very much written that way). Juror #9 (the old man) could also be female, although that would (slightly) change the scene in which he (she) identifies with the elderly (male) eyewitness.

Several other characters (Jurors 5, 11 and 12 for example) would work equally well as either male or female. Juror #7 is a mad baseball fan who can't think of anything beyond the game he's about to miss. Making such a character female would be a little unusual, but it could certainly work. Juror #2 is a Bank teller who could very easily be a woman (if the play is set in the 1950s as written).

Sadly, "12 Angry People" doesn't quite have the same ring to it, which is why stagings are almost always exclusively male.
Message posted on 2018-01-08 12:28:06
nuclearwaste said:
While it doesn't change the rating, it is to be noted that towards the end of his career, in his book Making Movies, director Sidney Lumet noted that this film being called 12 Angry *Men* was showing for the sexism at play in the film industry in the 50's and onwards and expressed his hope that the future of film would be one of gender equality.
Message posted on 2021-03-14 14:02:32

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