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

[[2]] Not as a Stranger (1955) [imdb]

This movie passed 2 of 3 tests. It was entered by ShawmK on 2018-01-15 22:12:10.



ShawmK said:
"Good night, Mrs. Lang."
"Thank you. Good night, Clara."

There you have it. That is the sum total of non-male related dialogue between two female characters in this 135 minute behemoth of a film.

There are plenty of women: nurses, wives, patients and sultry widows (Gloria Grahame at her sultriest) but none of them serve any purpose except to function as accessories to the male characters.

The thesis of the film is that surgeons are basically gods, holding the power of life or death over the rest of us mere mortals - and needless to say, every one of those gods has an Adam's Apple.

Robert Mitchum is the brilliant but penniless medical student who marries nurse Olivia de Havilland because she has the money that will allow him to finish medical school. She is older than he, and already has a successful career as a nurse, but of course she promptly gives that up to keep house for him once he establishes himself as a country doctor.

When he summons her out of retirement to assist during a typhoid outbreak, he actually tells her what a wonderful nurse she is.

"You shouldn't be stuck at home cooking dinners," he tells her, "You belong here, working as a nurse. You're too good at your job to give that up."

This should be the high point of the film. Finally, he has noticed that she is an intelligent and capable person with a life and an identity of her own - but no; the film portrays this as the worst thing he could possibly have said to her, since obviously she only wants to keep house for him and make babies, like the good little wife she is supposed to be.

If ever a film was anti-feminist, this is it.

Message posted on 2018-01-15 22:12:10

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