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]] The Shawshank Redemption (1994) [imdb]

This movie passed 0 of 3 tests. It was entered by neil on 2009-06-13 14:43:18.



neil said:
No named female characters at all. Though not a big surprise, considering the setting.
Message posted on 2009-06-13 14:43:18
Laura said:
It wouldn't pass anyway, of course, but I found it disappointing that Andy's murdered wife, even when he tells about her in flashback form, wasn't given a name. IIRC she was a named character in the story, which is quite a bit shorter than the film.
Message posted on 2010-06-11 04:30:11
Ian disagreed with the rating and said:
That's exactly why the Bechdel test can't be seen as relevant every time without looking at the context. A movie set in a prison, in the 40s-50s-60s... Of course there's no woman incarcerated with them... Female wardens were extremely unlikely as well... Where would you put a woman in that story? It's perfectly logical that such a movie doesn't pass the test. Actually it shouldn't. It's like complaining when a movie set in medieval Europe has no black characters. Sometimes it's not racist/sexist, it's just common sense.
Message posted on 2013-02-19 18:08:21
Rob said:
@Ian. The Bechdel test is not, in general, a relevant measure on the feminist qualities of a single movie but the state of film-making in general. Otherwise, Bechdel-test conscious filmmakers would be compelled to shoehorn female characters into their scripts without purpose.

As a measure on a single film, for example, I think it is generally more offensive when the movie passes the first two tests and only fails on the third.
Message posted on 2013-04-22 15:48:48
Rob said:
The rating is correct. @Ian, I think you misinterpret the usefulness of the test. The test is certainly not capable of determining the feminist or anti-feminist qualities of a movie by itself (Twilight passes, Fargo fails). It IS however illustrative of a disproportionate trend in Hollywood across all films. Of course nothing is anti-feminist about a movie about men in a male prison, still doesn't pass the test.
Message posted on 2013-04-23 04:29:45
shorty said:
Excellent film and somewhat unique. Its male-centric, but not sexist. Andy doesn't talk about his wife much, but you get the feeling he did care about her even though their marriage had issues. He's smart enough to hide his feelings from other inmates.
Message posted on 2022-05-25 03:58:10

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