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

[[1]] Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 1 of 3 tests. It was entered by Reicheru on 2013-05-09 22:13:53.



Reicheru said:
Two named female characters: Uhura and Dr. Marcus. They are very occassionally on screen together but do not interact in any way. No women share any dialogue or interaction at any point in the film.
Message posted on 2013-05-09 22:13:53
AJ said:
Very disappointing! They also add a very contrived, pointless and, frankly, just damn awkward getting-the-new-female-character-into-her-underwear scene.. I assume for the benefit of the trailer.
Message posted on 2013-05-10 01:12:51
rasputintx said:
Not gonna lie - I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. But *wow* does it ever fail this test! The only time you have two female characters talk to each other is when the naked twin alien women Kirk is in bed with ask each other if he's really going to leave them to answer his phone. Total fail!
Message posted on 2013-05-16 08:30:40
CF said:
I was very disappointed, especially because Star Trek is supposed to be socially conscious. Still, at least it was 1/3, rather than 0/3?
Message posted on 2013-05-16 08:34:19
Marie L. said:
The underwear scene was pretty cringe-inducing.

Another thing that's worth noting is both female characters (Uhura and Dr. Marcus) have nearly all of their conversations based on their *relationship* to men, not based on their own accomplishments or actions, or other miscellaneous topics. Specifically, most of the scenes with Uhura are centered around her romance with Spock. And likewise the scenes about Dr. Marcus are centered on the fact that she is her father's daughter.

So even if there were a scene passing part 2 of the test, it would still probably still have difficulty passing part 3. Overall it's a shame because this was a pretty enjoyable movie.
Message posted on 2013-05-18 00:38:53
Otter said:
Extremely disappointed in this film overall but it's a pretty spectacular failure of the Bechdel test. Uhura's characterization is particularly egregious... she's basically defined entirely by her relationship with Spock, her feelings toward Spock, how angry she is at any particular time with Spock. Her professional behavior is atrocious because again, it's all about Spock. Absolute destruction of one of scifi's pioneering female characters. Really a shame.
Message posted on 2013-05-18 03:03:56
Rob said:
I am fairly certain the two named female characters never speak with each other. And when they do speak, they mostly refer to their relationships with men (Uhura with Spock and Carol with her father). Uhura's problem with Spock is "logical" and should be in the film, but it seems to affect her professionalism to a degree which is unfortunate.
Message posted on 2013-05-19 14:57:00
Carrie said:
So disappointed that they reduced Uhuru from officer in her own right to a mere love interest. And a very mild interest at that since she sulked and nagged her way through the film while the boys had more admiration for each other. Any time she tried to function independently she had to be rescued.
The blonde girl (ignoring the joke about a hot female joining the crew) had a few minutes as a credible weapons officer until she was made to show her torpedoes in a random moment that wasn't even worked into the plot. Then we find out her relationship to a man and that defines her. Attempts to function independently, gets rescued.
Message posted on 2013-05-19 17:50:58
Greg disagreed with the rating and said:
There was one scene (maybe off to the side when heading to a Bones part of the story line) where Uhura was helping the Admirals daughter (I'm sure she had a name) into sickbay after her leg was injured. Uhura said something like "come on!" or "here you go"
Message posted on 2013-05-20 14:17:48
Bethany said:
What to say that hasn't been said already? Two pretty great female characters, who never speak to each other, and whose conversations with men in film center entirely around their relationship to those men. And don't even get me started on how they contrive to get Dr. Marcus in her underwear, lest the audience become to threatened by an intelligent, attractive woman.
Message posted on 2013-05-20 14:55:23
Cube said:
At least Uhura was very well done, with some great character-defining scenes (completely separate from the Spock relationship) - like speaking to a group of enemies on her own (then taking care of herself during the fight) and stealing all the glory at the end.
Message posted on 2013-05-20 15:25:45
John disagreed with the rating and said:
Yeah, I'm with Greg on this one. But only sort of. Uhuru is seen helping Dr Marcus into the infirmary and commenting as such. However, all Dr Marcus could do at the time was wince in pain becuase her leg was broken in the previous scene. But is this one sided exchange enough to meet the two other tests? I'm not so sure.
As to the ranting about Uhuru being unprofessional consider the following: After negotiating (on her own) with Klingons, shit went south really quick for reasons that had nothign to do with her directly. She was off camera for several moments as her back up emerged. Which means she survived (and was injured only a little bit) hand to hand comabt WITH KLINGONS!
Also she totally saved Spock's smug face from being murderated by the villain in the end by beaming into mortal danger and introducing the bad guy to her phaser like five times.
Oh and Dr Marcus didn't need rescuing when McCoy's arm got trapped in a torpedo and she had to disarm it in less than like ten seconds. This film may not pass the muster of the Bechdel test but at the very least we were treated to seeing women be badass heroes!
Message posted on 2013-05-21 17:50:55
Kly disagreed with the rating and said:
Agreed that Marcus & Uhura don't (really) talk to each other and there aren't any other female characters of note, though they did make an effort to make many more of the extras female/nonwhite/different body types. Uhura saves the day at the end however, and Marcus gets her moment of glory in disarming the torpedo and then uses her expertise to (offscreen) rearm the torpedos, thus saving the day. They still haven't figured out the "women ought to talk to each other" thing but at least they've figured out the "women can do more than sex" issue.
Message posted on 2013-05-22 04:14:29
Marie L. said:
Why are people disagreeing with the rating on the grounds of, "these female characters are portrayed as having strength"? What on earth does that have to do with anything?

The criteria for the Bechdel test is stated right at the top of this web page. There is NO requirement that "women must be portrayed as strong characters", or "women must be portrayed as something more than a love interest". Why is this even relevant?? More specifically, why is this grounds for a pass?

It is not.
Message posted on 2013-05-23 00:42:00
anony feline said:
The creators made a conscious effort not to portray Uhura as a damsel in distress (+1) to then characterize her as whiney and emotional until she and her emotionally reserved boyfriend have a totally misplaced heart-to-heart (-1). She is on the bridge, as an officer and in a position of power (+1), but ultimately as a secretarial telephone operator and messenger (-1). She also must be rescued from the Kingons because she was neither persuasive or attractive enough to convince(-1).

Marcus is utilized solely as eye candy with an unnecessary undressed shot (-1), as a weapons expert scientist (+1) who is not skilled enough to disarm a bomb without the Hail Mary of ripping the wires out(-1). Finally, she is used and a bargaining tool (-1) to prevent her father from destroying the ship.

Both characters would have been better served by portraying them as competent and rational in their respective fields, rather than perpetuating the use of emotional tension whine because of a man (Uhura), and the exploitation of an emotional connection with a man (Marcus with Dad).
Message posted on 2013-05-23 05:20:26
Eric Ullman said:
A fun film, but a pretty disappointing failure on the test, really. And let's face it, the Bechdel Test *is easy to pass*.

BTW, Damon Lindelof, co-writer of the screenplay, has come out as more-or-less apologetic about the bizarrely-out-of-place Alice Eve underwear scene.
Message posted on 2013-05-23 14:20:38
Solex disagreed with the rating and said:
Although I'll agree that the scene with Carol Marcus was gratuitously wrong in the context of what was about to happen a few minutes later, I think that this rating was wrong considering what the movie was about.

I also think that women now should try to light a fire under the asses of the next generation of women and get them to get into the film industry a lot more than women are involved now (e.g., stop studying for useless degrees in college & university that won't get you a job once college & university's done; study something like film direction, script writing, learning how to use a camera, etc!)That way, there'll be MORE movies with women in them than LESS.
Message posted on 2013-06-06 17:56:20
Julie said:
@Marie L. - The fact that Uhura and Marcus each has badass moments is not grounds for a pass, but we perennial optimists can see them as grounds for hope.
Message posted on 2013-06-11 19:37:14
Kitti said:
If we needed proof that Roddenberry is dead...

I really enjoyed this film for its fast pace and tension. But I left the film with a bitter tang of feminine disappointment, that neither of the named female characters did anything truly heroic.

Showing up to ineffectively blast the bad guy after your boyfriend nearly leapt to his death to defeat him? No. Uhura's one heroic act - getting in touch with Vulcan Prime - occurred off screen and was given no kudo. She SHOULD have been a step ahead of Kirk in half a dozen scenes, getting in touch with the right people before Kirk realized who he needed to talk to, successfully negotiating with the Klingons, coming up with something really profound instead of simply pointing out the difficulties of a cold relationship.

And Marcus could have been a whiz, challenging her father, actually solving problems, making Kirk wish he was in her league, but instead, she was just useless eye-candy.

*sigh* I still have a celebrity crush on Zachary Quinto...even if he is gay.
Message posted on 2013-06-17 18:38:48
Matt said:
Haha, that she failed to negotiate with the klingons isn't her fault in any way. NO HUMAN COULD NEGOTIATE. They, I am sure, were intent on killing her when they saw her on the basis that she was a human.
Message posted on 2013-06-21 07:13:37
AF said:
I agree with the rating. As much as I loved the film it fails women egregiously. The 1966 series was more advanced in how it represented women than this movie. Infact it was more advanced in general.
Message posted on 2013-06-22 23:40:09
JustKate said:
I agree with AF and others - I really enjoyed this movie, and I really enjoyed both Uhura and Marcus, but the movie failed the test. Badly.
Message posted on 2013-07-16 20:35:56
saskia said:
i find it incredibly remarkable that this movie fails what a tv-series from the 60's managed
wtf man
Message posted on 2013-07-18 18:24:56
Lesley said:
I was also disappointed that the female characters continued to wear the small dress uniforms instead of the standard pants and shirt that everyone else wore. I know this film was a prequel to the TV series(where female characters wore the little dresses), but still...
Message posted on 2013-08-13 00:08:37
Kevin said:
Ironically, this movie was basically a retelling of the Wrath of Khan -- a 21 year-old movie which not only passes the test with flying colours, but also portrays women as strong, intelligent, and capable of leadership.

I'm pretty sure Gene is spinning in his grave.
Message posted on 2013-10-21 14:30:47
lkeke35 said:
The point of the rating is not whether or not the women are strong. I really liked this movie and the women are strong but are often written into uselessness at every opportunity.

Carol Marcus is a spectacularly egregious example especially when you compare her to the Carol from Wrath of Khan. This Carol Marcus could have been completely removed from this movie and not affected the plot at all. Any other character would have been just as ineffective as she was and I would not have been subjected to a horribly awkward scene of them in their underwear.
I love Star Trek but Lindehlof should never be allowed to write another scifi movie, ever. Trek is far to good for him.
Message posted on 2013-11-28 02:45:12
AEG 1701 said:
Meh. Disappointing, but it was made after "All Good Things", so does not actually count as Star Trek.
Message posted on 2014-01-03 21:49:13
Terrus said:
As a long-time Trekkie, I pride myself on appreciating a franchise that generally displayed respect for women. Star Trek featured strong female characters in nearly every series: Lieutenant Uhura in TOS, Lieutenant Yar and Ensign Roe in TNG, Kina Nerys in DS9, Captain Janeway in Voyager, and T'Pol in Enterprise. Roddenberry and his predecessors used these characters for stereotypical sexual purposes from time to time -- Uhura being possessed by an alien and kissing Kirk, T'Pol's going crazy and coming onto the Doctor in that one awful Enterprise episode -- but by and large, I felt proud as a Trekkie that my franchise respected women.

There is no overstating my disappointment as such with the role played by women in the new Star Trek films. Lieutenant Uhura exists for no purpose except as a sex object for Kirk; in Into Darkness, her primary role is to argue with Spock about their relationship. Because even when a woman's life is at risk, I guess all she cares about is her relationship with her man! And don't even get me started on Carol, whose only purpose seems to be to appear in a bikini. I do not remember offhand if Uhura and Carol speak to each other regarding something other than a man, but even if they do, it really doesn't matter. The two are objectified so much that these movies couldn't possibly recover.

Star Trek once stood for equality. A 1960s television show that featured a cast including a Russian, an Asian, and a black woman. A show that, in the 1960s, dared to show an interracial kiss. A show in the 1980s that regularly put women as Picard's commander, and that in the 1990s put a woman as key character. It it sad to see that today, Star Trek has become nothing more than an action franchise, which uses women solely for sex appeal.
Message posted on 2014-01-13 15:17:26
Sarah said:
Absolutely disappointed. Does anyone else think that it is almost worse to see these strong women that are, as another commenter put it, written into uselessness? It almost sends the message that it doesn't matter if you're strong, because you won't be respected anyway. As if someone were to say 'you're a strong woman, but still JUST a woman.' :/
Message posted on 2014-09-12 08:57:01
DavidH said:
As someone else put it, to boldly go backwards...
Message posted on 2014-10-04 08:47:00

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