Entertainment

The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test  

Amy Boal
Originally by
8.3k votes 613 voters 14.7k 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
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
2
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 2 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 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
3
Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
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Christopher Nolan
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
6
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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
7
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
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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
10
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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
11
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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
12
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Brad Bird
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
13
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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
14
Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
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LuckyCambon added Colin Higgins
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial 9 to 5 is a 1980 American comedy film written by Patricia Resnick and Colin Higgins, directed by Higgins, and starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman. The film ...more
17
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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
18
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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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
19
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Terry Zwigoff
Ghost World is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Terry Zwigoff, based on the comic book of the same name by Daniel Clowes, with a screenplay cowritten by Daniel Clowes and Terry ...more
20
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
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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
22
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John Carpenter
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial 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
23
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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
24
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies That Pass the Bechdel Test
LuckyCambon added 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
25
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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