Entertainment

The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test 

Amy Boal
Originally by
Updated February 11, 2020 8.7k votes 638 voters 15.2k 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.

list ordered by
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

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more

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2
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 2 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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3
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 3 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

The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James Cameron, written by Cameron and the film's producer Gale Anne Hurd. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a ...more

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4
Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 4 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

Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. ...more

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5
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Christopher Nolan

Actors: Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, + more

Released: 2014

Interstellar is a British-American 2014 science fiction epic film directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. The film ...more

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Christopher Nolan

Actors: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, + more

Released: 2008

The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more

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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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8
Alita: Battle Angel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
morethanestimate added Robert Rodriguez

Actors: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, + more

Released: 2019

Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American science fiction action film directed by Robert Rodriguez, based on the manga by Yukito Kishiro. After being revived by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), ...more

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9
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 9 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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Penny Marshall

Actors: Madonna, Tom Hanks, Rosie O'Donnell, Geena Davis, Téa Leoni, + more

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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Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly

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

Released: 1952

Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, and choreographed by Kelly and Donen. It ...more

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12
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Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor

Actors: Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, Ray Bolger, + more

Released: 1939

The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more

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Brad Bird

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

Released: 2004

The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated superhero film directed by Brad Bird. A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into ...more

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Sam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

Actors: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel, George Reeves, + more

Released: 1939

Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more

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George Miller

Actors: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, + more

Released: 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 action film directed by George Miller. In a post apocalyptic desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities, Max Rockatansky (Max Hardy) joins ...more

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John Carpenter

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

Released: 1978

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her ...more

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17
Ferris Bueller's Day Off... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
John Hughes

Actors: Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Kristy Swanson, + more

Released: 1986

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who skips school and spends the day in ...more

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LuckyCambon added Michael Curtiz

Actors: Joan Crawford, Eve Arden, Butterfly McQueen, Ann Blyth, Jack Carson, + more

Released: 1945

Mildred Pierce is a 1945 American drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Joan Crawford, Jack Carson and Zachary Scott and featuring Eve Arden, Ann Blyth and Bruce Bennett, in a film ...more
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LuckyCambon added Ridley Scott

Actors: Brad Pitt, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, + more

Released: 1991

Thelma & Louise is a 1991 American film, written by Callie Khouri and directed by Ridley Scott. It stars Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise, two friends who embark on a road ...more

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20
Shazam! is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
David F. Sandberg

Actors: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel, Grace Fulton, + more

Released: 2019

Shazam! is a 2019 superhero film directed by David F. Sandberg, based on the DC Comics character. A boy (Asher Angel) is given the ability to become an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) in times of ...more

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LuckyCambon added Jan de Bont

Actors: Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels, Joe Morton, + more

Released: 1994

Speed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels. A ...more

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Christopher Nolan

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, + more

Released: 2010

Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph ...more

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23
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Steven Spielberg

Actors: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Embeth Davidtz, Norbert Weisser, + more

Released: 1993

Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

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Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Actors: Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Thelma Ritter, + more

Released: 1950

All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It was based on the 1946 short story "The Wisdom of Eve" by ...more

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25
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Miloš Forman

Actors: Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole, Abraham Murphy, Tom Hulce, + more

Released: 1984

Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.

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