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The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test 

Amy Boal
Originally by
Updated February 11, 2020 8.8k votes 642 voters 15.3k views 111 items

List Rules Films must pass all three criteria of the Bechdel Test: 1) Contains two female characters with names 2) who talk to each other 3) about something other than a man.

Few movie cliches are more common than the female best friend. What's she like? What are her interests and life goals? Who knows? Who cares! Many times female characters in film aren't given especially interesting parts, and then, if by chance they happen to meet another woman in the script, they usually gab about boys. Ladies, right?!!? But, there are over 5,000 films that pass the Bechdel Test, meaning the film has at least two named female characters, who talk to each other, about something other than a man. Doesn't that sound fun?

Which films pass the Bechdel Test? You might be surprised that dude-tastic films like Die Hard, The Godfather Part II, and even The Terminator make the cut. Of course, there are other female and women-focused films that pass the Bechdel Test as well. Classics like A League of Their Own and newer films like Obvious Child and Wild are examples. Even some of the greatest films of all time like Gone with the Wind, Rear Window, and The Wizard of Oz, feature female roles and meet the Bechdel criteria. Even animated films like Frozen and Toy Story 3 pass the Bechdel Test! Thanks, Disney!

The origin of the test is credited to cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who had a character voice the idea in her comic strip called Dykes to Watch Out For. Bechdel has also attributed the idea for the test to her friend, Liz Wallace. Swedish cinema even incorporates the test into some of their ratings.

Does your favorite film pass the Bechdel Test? Vote for the best Bechdel Test-passing films below and if the movies you love aren't listed here, check the full Bechdel Test database and if they meet all three criteria, add them below!

Want more? Check out this list of 2019 Bechdel Test movies.

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1
Alien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Ridley Scott

Actors: Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, + more

Released: 1979

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2
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Jonathan Demme

Actors: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak, George A. Romero, Roger Corman, + more

Released: 1991

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

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3
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Quentin Tarantino

Actors: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Quentin Tarantino, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox, + more

Released: 2003

Kill Bill: Volume 1 is a 2003 American martial arts film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. the Bride, who swears revenge on a team of bad guys and their leader Bill after they try to ...more

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4
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
James Cameron

Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Biehn, + more

Released: 1984

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5
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Quentin Tarantino

Actors: John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Walken, + more

Released: 1994

Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more

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6
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

Actors: Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Gloria Foster, + more

Released: 1999

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Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton

Actors: Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Toni Collette, Abigail Breslin, Alan Arkin, + more

Released: 2006

Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama road film and the directorial film debut of the husband-wife team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The screenplay was written by ...more

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8
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Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly

Actors: Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, Rita Moreno, Cyd Charisse, Donald O'Connor, + more

Released: 1952

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Penny Marshall

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Released: 1992

A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Directed by Penny Marshall, the ...more

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Brad Bird

Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee, Craig T. Nelson, Wallace Shawn, + more

Released: 2004

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Released: 1945

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Terry Zwigoff

Actors: Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Teri Garr, David Cross, Thora Birch, + more

Released: 2001

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13
The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
M. Night Shyamalan

Actors: Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, M. Night Shyamalan, + more

Released: 1999

The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, isolated boy who ...more

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LuckyCambon added Colin Higgins

Actors: Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Dabney Coleman, Sterling Hayden, + more

Released: 1980

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John Carpenter

Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence, Sandy Johnson, Charles Cyphers, + more

Released: 1978

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James McTeigue

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Released: 2005

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Released: 2011

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Released: 1992

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19
Alita: Battle Angel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
morethanestimate added Robert Rodriguez

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Released: 2019

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Joseph L. Mankiewicz

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Released: 1950

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21
Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Martin Scorsese

Actors: Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino, + more

Released: 1990

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Sam Mendes

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Released: 1999

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Sam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

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Released: 1939

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Ferris Bueller's Day Off... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
John Hughes

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Released: 1986

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25
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
John McTiernan

Actors: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Robert Davi, Kym Malin, + more

Released: 1988

Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Die ...more

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