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]] Airport (1970) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by CPT_Doom on 2013-11-09 00:15:24.



CPT_Doom said:
Airport may be the most inadvertently feminist disaster movie ever made. It has 4 major female characters - Tanya Livingstone (Jean Seberg), Global Airlines operations executive; Gwen Meighan, head flight attendant; Ada Quonsett (Helen Hayes), elderly airplane stowaway; and Inez Guerrero, wife of the man threatening to blow up Gwen's flight. There are also several minor, but named female characters.

The Bechdel test is met on several occasions, including Tanya Livingstone helping to question Mrs. Quonsett about her tactics for stowing away (although Burt Lancaster participates in the conversation), Tanya Livingstone also discussing the mechanics of foreign student exchanges with teenaged Judy Barton, and Gwen Meighan joking with Judy about the (admittedly boy) child whose fallen asleep on her lap. However, the grandmother of all Bechdel-qualifying scenes is the staged argument between Gwen and Mrs. Quonsett when the latter is exposed as a stowaway, which is meant to cover-up for the plan to snatch the bomb and save the plane.

In other conversations, which are between men and women, there are two of the most mature discussions of divorce and abortion likely ever put on the screen. The female characters are also pivotal to the plot - Tanya Livingstone's dogged detective work makes her the first person to understand the flight is in danger and she convinces the men that action is needed; Ada Quonsett provides much needed comedy relief and is unfazed when asked to risk her life to save the flight; Inez Guerrero desperately tries to stop her husband and the provides key information about his history and mental state to airline personnel, enabling them to alert the flight crew; and Gwen Meighan not only tries to snatch the bomb, but when that is thwarted (by a man), she's also the one who tries to physically stop the bomber and ends up having the bomb blow up in her face. Even after that, she has the strength to save herself and ensure she isn't sucked out of the plane during decompression.
Message posted on 2013-11-09 00:15:24

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