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]] A Quiet Place (2018) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by Don't Mind Me Now on 2018-04-09 04:20:53.



Don't Mind Me Now said:
This is definitely a complicated case due to the film's subject material. Anyone familiar with the premise of the film knows that the ability to converse is highly suppressed by the presence of man-eating monsters with hypersensitive hearing. Thus, the majority of conversations are limited to sign language or in loud locations (such as near a rushing river or waterfall). With that in mind, we'll excuse the fact that ALL of the characters are unnamed outside of the credits as reasonable artistic license - characters in this situation wouldn't realistically go out of their way to bluntly state each other's names. THAT SAID, although the movie does have a positive female empowerment angle (and would make an interesting subject for a gender studies analysis), the movie doesn't pass Bechdel. Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) only directly interact with each other in one scene, and while their communication is about the monsters (not men), it only occurs through generic gestures rather than spoken or sign language. In contrast, both of these characters had fully-formed conversations with the film's male characters using sign and (in Evelyn's case) spoken language. It's dubious, but since the film doesn't provide a scenario where the two characters have a true linguistic interaction in spite of the possibility of doing so, I would argue it ultimately fails Bechdel.
Message posted on 2018-04-09 04:20:53
Brian said:
Well said. This is a unique case, but Regan and Evelyn never directly have a conversation alone.
Message posted on 2018-04-30 00:57:13
Adam said:
It certainly fails, but does so very admirably. The previous comment lays out very clearly why it fails. It just goes to show that the Bechdel test isn't perfect, and that not all films that fail are in any way anti-feminist. When none of the characters in a movie are named, there's no chance of passing, and that's that.
Message posted on 2018-04-30 19:25:49
Drew Olds said:
I completely disagree.

The two female leads do interact with one another about things other than men in instances in which communication is very clear.

More importantly, their relationship toward one another is complex and fleshed out.

They do not use spoken words for obvious reasons (monsters would kill them and one of them is deaf).

They don't use sign language because they both have their hands full (of objects which they're using to fight the monsters).

No one in the film has a name (outside of the credits sequence). For obvious reasons, that requirement should be waived.

If this film does not pass the Bechdel test, then it is a clear failure of the Bechdel test.
Message posted on 2018-10-02 17:17:37
J said:
Voicing my dissent with the original rating, if the movie wasn't silent and it were just the mom and daughter (who is deaf) communicating in sign language (as they do in Quiet Place) but they were communicated in a more normal circumstance, would that movie fail the Bechdel test?

As someone who communicates through sign language on a daily basis, I almost feel offended at the lack of regard for my and other's method of communication, which is a very legitimate form of communication.

Compliance with a three rule test is not an excuse for the ignorance in communication differences. If Bechdel really meant the test just for "vocal" speech between women, then that is a shame.
Message posted on 2018-12-20 11:34:46
howarthe said:
If we are going to expand the requirement for "talking" to include non-verbal communication (and I think we should), then the single communication between Evelyn and her daughter Regan about the monsters qualifies this film as having PASSED the Bechdel test.
Message posted on 2018-12-30 08:03:32
Álvaro Saiz Serra said:
I agree with the comment above, we are taking the test very literal with the "talking" part, I mean, one of them can't even talk for god's sake, they interact with each other about something more than men, this movie should pass the test
Message posted on 2019-01-26 16:14:36
Taylor Malowney said:
I agree with Adam — the film fails the test, but only does so on the second point because of creative decisions by the filmmakers. The definition of “talk” is as follows: “speak in order to give information or express ideas or feelings; converse or communicate by spoken words; conversation or discussion.” Again, given the film’s environment and Evelyn’s deafness, the women do not “talk.” They undoubtedly exchange information, ideas, and feelings through body/facial/sign language, which if the following were not true I would consider “talking.”

However, the conversations mother and daughter do have are still technically about men, such as Evelyn’s brothers and father.
Message posted on 2019-01-27 07:15:17
Deafie anon said:
I am very disappointed in the fact that readers would think sign language "doesn't count" as communication. I would not have expected this website to discriminate against disabled people.

The conversation at the end wherein they realize the monsters weakness should absolutely count.

Or do conversations had by Deaf and mute people not matter?
Message posted on 2019-02-03 19:44:59
ulos12 said:
A linguist here, sign languages is a natural languages not indistinct from ANY other natural language on earth in qualities such as complex syntax, semantics, discourse communities, affects, localizations, etc. The only different sign languages has to other languages is it's not verbal.

Taking this test literally to exclude sign and non-verbal language is super ableist and ignorant.

The character's are all unnamed including the male chars which means no preference is given to them and the mother and daughter have non-verbal communication about the monsters.
Message posted on 2019-05-10 23:09:22
K said:
I disgaree with the previous statements above that state that the movie passes because they are forced to be silent. That was not the reason that the movie failed. The reason is that they the two women really only communicated(whether verbal or not) when it was about the monsters, but when it came to the men, several other topics were discussed. I understand why you might've been upset if the raters were saying that ASL isn't an actual form of communication, but that was not the point. Thank you for your time.
Message posted on 2019-07-21 20:26:43
martin said:
C'mon people, non-verbal communication is indeed communication, specially in a movie with a congenitally deaf character!! (even the actress, kudos to the casting dept here).
Message posted on 2019-07-22 01:08:39
R A Williams said:
Sign language is speech. Stop treating Deaf characters like they aren't people.
Message posted on 2019-09-20 20:44:40
SidKnee said:
Talking only about monsters doesn't count? Do you actually know where the Bechdel Test comes from? Talking about monsters definitely counts, lol.
Message posted on 2020-09-21 21:46:44
Tinu said:
I agree with the rating: they don't talk about anything not involving a man; not even in sign language (which is subtitled). But it could be a 2/3 as in the very beginning they have a two-sentence sign language conversation about the brother (that he is fine).
There were plenty of opportunities to show the two women talking to each other (in sign language) - brother and sister do, for example - the film did not take these opportunities and fails.
Message posted on 2021-06-27 16:36:45
Drew said:
I just rewatched this film.
The mother and daughter do sign to one another. However, their signs are not translated in subtitles like they usually are with the dad. I think that makes it a pass (ASL is talking).
Message posted on 2021-12-23 22:28:31
Drew said:
To reiterate, I am kind of angry at this test for failing a film because the two women only talk with their hands without subtitles.
I assume this was an oversight that will be corrected.
Message posted on 2021-12-23 22:38:44
neil (webmaster) said:
I've updated the rating from 1/3 to 3/3.
Message posted on 2021-12-28 09:08:25

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