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]] The Shining (1980) [imdb]

This movie passed 2 of 3 tests. It was entered by Epicene on 2010-06-10 19:30:23.



Epicene said:
There's a whole scene that's just Wendy and the (female) doctor talking, but they never talk about anything but Danny and Jack.
Message posted on 2010-06-10 19:30:23
noel said:
Is the 3rd point really realized? First off, Danny is not man, he's a seven year old boy, and secondly his gender is completely insignificant to the nature of their conversation. I won't necessarily disagree with the assessment outright, but its a definite "eehhhhhh".

Regardless, the doctor goes unnamed, and IIRC don't the women involved have to have a character name?
Message posted on 2010-06-16 07:23:57
Epicene disagreed with the rating and said:
I've always interpreted "man" to mean any male character--the broader issue the test is addressing is that women's conversations usually revolve around male characters, regardless of their age and whether their maleness is directly addressed in the conversation.

You're definitely right about the doctor not having a name, though. I thought about that and then decided to cut the film some slack because the character gets two longish, dialogue heavy scenes, which seems enough to count her as a real character (especially in a film with such a small cast.) But I can accept a 0 out of 3 score if others feel that's more accurate.
Message posted on 2010-06-26 19:50:43
Skipskatte said:
Not crazy about the "must be a NAMED character" requirement. Plenty of movies have major characters who are never specifically named (I'm thinking of about a dozen Clint Eastwood movies where he doesn't get a name, but it's not like he's inconsequential). I'd take that requirement as anyone who gets more than a few lines that have something to do with the plot. (Hence, a background scene in which a woman goes to an airline counter that is being staffed by another woman who haven't been seen before and won't be seen again converse about an airline ticket).
Though Epicene is right, Danny is a male character, so it doesn't get the 3 of 3 treatment.
Message posted on 2010-11-16 22:33:29
Tawanda Meeker disagreed with the rating and said:
The conversation between the mother and the doctor should count because you should not assume the gender of the little person. This person is too young to pick the gender this person most identifies with. Furthermore, I have always assumed the Bechdel test refers to actual "men" and not children. If you include all male children it could negate the conversation entirely. Also a character should not necessarily have to be named in order to count, many characters are simply referred to as: Person from Scene 24, and they could be integral to the plot despite not having a name. To assume someone has a name is naive, let's not go about assuming everything about everyone. That is why The Shining should pass the test, though I do understand that the film is not particularly feminist in any way. Peace out girl-scouts!
Message posted on 2016-09-20 01:07:44
Alex said:
I think the test is most useful in revealing structural inequality when applied in its most narrow sense (requiring names and including children) because even when applied that strictly, it would be hard to come up with even a handful of movies that would fail it when the genders are switched (i.e. two named male characters speak about something other than a female).
Message posted on 2016-11-09 22:30:25
MikHF said:
I agree with Alex’s comment.

I’m not so concerned about whether any one film passes the bechdel test; it’s very possible for a film that doesn’t to still be great. The revealing thing for me is the proportion of films that don’t pass such a basic threshold. To that end I think it makes sense to apply the test’s criteria strictly. Does Danny count as a man? Even if we say no, the doctor doesn’t have a name. Furthermore, in the version of the film that was released everywhere other than the US (which Kubrick cut himself), the doctor was left on the cutting room floor.

Chalk it up in the ‘does not pass’ column.
Message posted on 2022-10-12 07:11:30

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