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]] Trumbo (2015) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests (although dubious). It was entered by Lauren on 2015-11-29 17:41:34.



Lauren said:
This one was a very tricky pass and a difficult movie to classify. One scene involves Niki and Cleo talking about their shared frustrations in life and about using a punching bag to get it out. Part of the conversation was about Dalton, but not all of it was. So I'm calling this one a very dubious pass. Good movie, but not a directly feminist one.
Message posted on 2015-11-29 17:41:34
katrina disagreed with the rating and said:
Hmm I'd have to disagree.. There was no part of that conversation that wasn't about Trumbo. They didn't chant the name "Trumbo" over and over again for a solid minute, sure, but even the little bits that didn't mention him directly (the daughter's anger at Him) still referenced him: him being the object of her anger, but a talking subject nonetheless. the only other scenes where female characters interact were: the sweet 16 birthday party, where the only exchange of words were about trumbo, a couple of scenes where one female character says something to the other but the other doesn't reply, and one scene where the mother says to one of the daughters "don't forget your towel" (calling from the stairs, off camera). The mother passes the daughter who stops, turns around to look back up the stairs in the opposite direction of the mother and says, "oh shoot, wait for me". But it's not clear if she is replying to the mother and telling the mother to wait for her, or her siblings, one of whom is a boy, who come down the stairs behind her. And even if you make the assumption that she's replying to the mother, the entire interaction is less than 5 seconds.

It was quite a good movie, but... unbelievable!!!! If a movie is that dubious, should we really give it a passing rating? After all, the test is supposed to measure the quantity of films having even basic levels of communication between women that isn't about men. If we have to decipher the scenes to figure out if they're about men or not, or if it's a real interaction or not, can we really call it the bottom line?
Message posted on 2015-12-29 11:57:01
Ryan disagreed with the rating and said:
The whole scene concerned how the women deal with Dalton. Individual lines may have been off-topic, but the scene only existed to deal with frustrations about their relationship with a man. Especially sad because the story had room for great scenes - every woman's point of view was left unexplored.

My initial reaction to the movie was "wow, I can't believe a movie about screenwriters didn't pass the test."
Message posted on 2016-01-19 00:36:21

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