Feminism The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test  

Amy Boal
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4.9k votes 352 voters 12.7k views 92 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!
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Alien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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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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
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
Quentin Tarantino Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American black comedy thriller film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, from a story by Tarantino and Roger Avary. The film is known for its eclectic dialogue, ...more

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Quentin Tarantino 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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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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Christopher Nolan 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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Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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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Fargo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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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Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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) 11 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film directed by James Gunn, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) forms a group of intergalactic "bad ...more

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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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Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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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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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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. Originally released by Paramount ...more

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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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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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Frozen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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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LuckyCambon added 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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The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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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The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a ...more

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Carrie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
LuckyCambon added Brian De Palma Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial arrie 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 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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Ferris Bueller's Day Off is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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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LuckyCambon added Ridley Scott 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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The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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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Miloš Forman Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.

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LuckyCambon added 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 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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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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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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LuckyCambon added Robert Zemeckis This film 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 Isabella ...more

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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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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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Pirates of the Caribbean: The ... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
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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George Miller 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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The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
M. Night Shyamalan 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 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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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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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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LuckyCambon added 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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LuckyCambon added 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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LuckyCambon added James Cameron Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

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Tom Islava added Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 30th film in the Walt Disney ...more

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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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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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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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LuckyCambon added 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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Arthur Penn Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 American biographical 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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Christopher Nolan 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