feminism The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test  

Amy Boal
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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!
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Alien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Alien Ridley Scott Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more

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The Wizard of Oz Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor 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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The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
The Silence of the Lambs Jonathan Demme 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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Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Pulp Fiction Quentin Tarantino Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American black comedy crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, from a story by Tarantino and Roger Avary. The film is known for its eclectic dialogue, ironic ...more

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Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Goodfellas Martin Scorsese 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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Kill Bill Volume 1 Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is a 2003 action film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

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The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second part of Nolan's Batman film ...more

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The Incredibles Brad Bird The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy superhero film written and directed by Brad Bird and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was the sixth film produced by Pixar ...more

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Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Star Trek J.J. Abrams Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and produced by Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk. It is the eleventh film based on the ...more

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Guardians of the Galaxy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion ...more

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Gone with the Wind Sam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming 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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Fargo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Fargo Ethan Coen, Joel Coen Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

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The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
The Godfather Part II Francis Ford Coppola The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. ...more

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Rear Window Alfred Hitchcock Rear Window is a 1954 American mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by John Michael Hayes based on Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder". ...more

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A League of Their Own Penny Marshall Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial 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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Little Miss Sunshine Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton 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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To Kill a Mockingbird Robert Mulligan To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

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Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Schindler's List Steven Spielberg 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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LuckyCambon added Panic Room David Fincher Panic Room is a 2002 American thriller film directed by David Fincher and written by David Koepp. The film stars Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart as a mother and daughter whose new home is ...more

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It's a Wonderful Life Frank Capra It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story "The Greatest Gift", which Philip Van Doren ...more

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LuckyCambon added The Help Tate Taylor The Help is a 2011 American period drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film is about ...more

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Frozen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Frozen Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Frozen is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy–comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 53rd animated feature in the ...more

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The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
The Matrix Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe ...more

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LuckyCambon added Driving Miss Daisy Bruce Beresford Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 American comedy-drama film adapted from the Alfred Uhry play of the same name. The film was directed by Bruce Beresford, with Morgan Freeman reprising his role as ...more

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The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
The Terminator James Cameron 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, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, ...more

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

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Ferris Bueller's Day Off is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Ferris Bueller's Day Off John Hughes 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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Singin' in the Rain Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly 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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Pirates of the Caribbean: The ... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Gore Verbinski Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 American fantasy swashbuckler film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney theme parks. It was directed by Gore ...more

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LuckyCambon added Death Becomes Her Robert Zemeckis Death Becomes Her is a 1992 American black comedy-fantasy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and scripted by David Koepp and Martin Donovan. Starring Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn and ...more

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Mad Max: Fury Road George Miller Mad Max: Fury Road is an upcoming post-apocalyptic action film directed, produced and co-written by George Miller, and the fourth film of Miller's Mad Max franchise. The first film of the ...more

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American Beauty Sam Mendes American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film, directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, an office worker who has a midlife crisis when he becomes ...more

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LuckyCambon added Poltergeist Tobe Hooper Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural thriller film, directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the first and most successful entry in the Poltergeist ...more

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LuckyCambon added Mildred Pierce Michael Curtiz 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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Almost Famous Cameron Crowe Almost Famous is a 2000 comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit. It tells the fictional story of a teenage journalist ...more

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Toy Story 3 Lee Unkrich Toy Story 3 is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film, and the third film in the Toy Story series. It was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. ...more

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Ghost is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
LuckyCambon added Ghost Jerry Zucker Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Ghost is a 1990 American romantic fantasy/crime thriller film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn, and Whoopi Goldberg. It was written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Jerry ...more

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LuckyCambon added Underworld Len Wiseman Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Underworld is a 2003 action horror film directed by Len Wiseman about the secret history of Vampires and Lycans. It is the first installment in the Underworld series. The main plot revolves ...more

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V for Vendetta James McTeigue V for Vendetta is a 2006 American political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowski Brothers, based on the 1988 Vertigo graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore ...more

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

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Bonnie and Clyde Arthur Penn Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 American biographical crime film directed by Arthur Penn and starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the title characters Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. The film ...more

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The Apartment Billy Wilder The Apartment is a 1960 American comedy-drama film produced and directed by Billy Wilder, which stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray. It was Wilder's next movie after Some ...more

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LuckyCambon added Sunset Boulevard Billy Wilder Sunset Boulevard—stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.—is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the ...more

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Carrie is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
LuckyCambon added Carrie Brian De Palma Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen. The ...more

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LuckyCambon added Speed Jan de Bont 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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Inception Christopher Nolan Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, ...more

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A Clockwork Orange Stanley Kubrick A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

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The Royal Tenenbaums Wes Anderson The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson and co-written with Owen Wilson. The film stars Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, ...more

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Jaws Steven Spielberg Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

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LuckyCambon added Fast & Furious Justin Lin Fast & Furious is a 2009 American street racing action film directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan. It is the fourth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise. The plot ...more