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]] The Big Lebowski (1998) [imdb]

This movie passed 1 of 3 tests. It was entered by Nick on 2009-09-11 23:44:54.



Nick said:
There are only two named female characters and they are never on the screen together.
Message posted on 2009-09-11 23:44:54
Thomas said:
The Dude is in every scene, so there is really no opportunity for there to be conversations that don't involve him.
Message posted on 2010-05-21 17:33:15
Nimravid said:
Some version of "but the main character is male, of course all the conversations are about him" comes up often in discussions about the Bechdel test. It sounds reasonable at first, yet in nearly every movie, named male characters (other than the main character) speak to each other about something other than the main character.

In The Big Lebowski, there are for example many conversations between Donny and Walter about topics other than the Dude; then there's an argument between Walter and Smokey about bowling rules, Walter shouts down Dieter the nihilist about his philosophy, etc. It would be a strange movie if the secondary characters literally didn't talk about anything at all except the main character.

In nearly every movie where someone claims that the format gives "no opportunity" for conversations that don't involve the main character, the male secondary characters are, in fact, engaging in a large number of these conversations. If female characters (1) were included and (2) were having the same type of conversations that even secondary or minor male characters have as matter of course, then almost all movies would pass the Bechdel test even if the lead was always male.
Message posted on 2011-01-16 22:32:32
Alyssa said:
Though she isn't on screen, Maude does talk to a female friend who is named on the phone, though it's in another language one presumes it's about her art and not a man.
Message posted on 2011-05-29 04:28:45
Sam said:
That's an interesting point. Should we exclude a named female character on the basis of them not appearing on screen. Surely Godot is a valid character (in this case male), where do we draw the line?
Message posted on 2012-07-16 21:30:19
Weldon said:
I've always assumed SAG rules apply: the character must be credited, which generally means the actress must either have a line or have a "significant, scripted, and specific business on screen" (IIRC the criteria).

However, to Thomas, it's fine for a male character to be in the room at the time. If Maude and Bunny had had a conversation about something other than a male character with the Dude there, that's still a pass.
Message posted on 2012-07-17 13:14:20
Alex Haladay disagreed with the rating and said:
The 'Log Jammin' scene has 2 females talking to each other about fixing the cable
Message posted on 2013-03-19 14:49:22
Joe said:
@Nimravid There are no conversations between Donny and Walter. Donny's comments are all directed at the Dude exclusively or the Dude and Walter. Walter once exclaims "All right Donny!" But aside from that only demands that Donny stop talking.

The movie is close to a first person perspective. Almost all dialogue is either the Dude or people speaking to the Dude. The exceptions a little bit spoken to the audience and maybe two other short conversations which both have women in them.
Maude does speak to Sandra about Biennale which refers to a bi-annual art fest. So the movie passes the rule
Message posted on 2013-05-18 03:02:06
Riese disagreed with the rating and said:
A.H. is correct I believe, technically I think this passes, as the male character is only introduced later as a solution to the problem.
Message posted on 2013-07-30 05:36:09
John said:
Isn't Maude's friend on the phone Sandro, not Sandra? i.e. male.
Message posted on 2014-02-13 18:04:58
John said:
Alex's observation that "The 'Log Jammin' scene has 2 females talking to each other about fixing the cable" is brilliant— a hilarious example of how a film can pass the letter of the test but not the spirit. (Of course "cable" is a phallic double-entendre — a broken commodity which will be "fixed" by Karl HUNG-US". And the two women in Logjammin exist purely as fictional objects for [presumably] male pornographic audience).
Message posted on 2014-02-13 18:21:44
Peter said:
The 9-toed nihilist girlfriend has a conversation with the waitress about lingonberry pancakes.
Message posted on 2014-06-11 02:45:00
SaffyDahling said:
I *almost* agree with Alex, Riese and John, HOWEVER...Bunny and "Sherry" don't talk about the cable. Bunny introduces Sherry to "Karl," then Sherry says "You must be here to fix the cable," to Karl.

Then Maude says, "You can imagine where it goes from here." To which The Dude replies, "He fixes the cable?" which is hilarious. But no, it still doesn't pass the test.

Now, Sandra is allegedly a female (not Sandro). But, she IS only a voice on the phone, and I don't think a voice on the phone, speaking a foreign language with zero subtitles counts as dialogue.

The "9-toed Nihilist gf" and "the waitress" don't appear to have names.

@Joe, please entertain my semipedantical diatribe: Donny and Walter straight up have a conversation about having a League game on Shabbos, and what that means to Walter. It's not ALL "STFU." But that still has no effect on the rating as it is TWO MALES having dialogue (three, if you count the conversation that is simultaneously happening between Walter and The Dude about the failed hand-off), so I don't know why you brought it up or why I feel the need to respond to your comment from two years ago. Only that, yes, it's easy to find conversations that happen between cis-gender males in films. Sometimes, it's not always pleasant, sometimes it's petty, sometimes two men have meaningless non-conversational dialogue. It's easy enough to find any that. The reverse Bechdel isn't really a test, it's just a movie that doesn't portray even strong-ISH female roles ( art doesn't really imitate life, does it?).
Message posted on 2015-04-14 12:56:01
DR disagreed with the rating and said:
I agree, Sandra and Maude about the biennale counts. Are we gonna split hairs here?
Message posted on 2020-12-27 01:06:33

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