Any movies fail a reverse Bechdel Test?

For those of you not aware of it the Bechdel Test was formulated to highlight the relative lack of women in mainstream movies. Women obviously are present in movies but they’re usually there to support the male characters. The Bechdel Test looks at movies and asks if they pass these three tests:

  1. Are there at least two female characters with names?
  2. Do they have a minute of conversation with each other in the movie?
  3. Is the conversation about something other than men?

It seems like a pretty low bar but it’s amazing how many movies fail to meet it.

But my question here isn’t about the regular Bechdel Test. I’m wondering about a reverse Bechdel Test and if there are any movies which would fail that.

So can anyone think of a mainstream movie in which would fail the following test:

  1. Are there at least two male characters with names?
  2. Do they have a minute of conversation with each other in the movie?
  3. Is the conversation about something other than women?

Obviously, I’m not looking for a gimmick movie where none of the characters have names or there’s only one character or there’s no dialogue.

One that comes surprisingly close? Psycho. But there’s one scene where Norman and Arbogast are talking about the hotel.

Any version of La casa de Bernarda Alba, “Bernarda Alba’s household” which is true to the play on which it’s based - but then, one of the items that make the play a favorite with amateur theatre groups is that it doesn’t have a single male character. It’s about an extremely bitter and dominant matriarch (Bernarda Alba) and the relationships between her and her daughters, and of the daughters with each other.

You find this hard?

The Dirty Dozen Most of the movie.
The Boys in the Band The entire movie, but several scenes of one-on-one conversation
Key Largo Bogart and Robinson have several conversations.
Forbidden Planet Morbius spends about ten minutes talking with Leslie Nielson.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail Dennis and King Arthur
The Thirty-Nine Steps – Hannay and the leader of the spies
The Big Sleep – Marlowe and Col. Sternwood in the greenhouse
All the early Bond films (Bond and M)
He Walked by Night – the detective and the crime lab guy

The entire point of the Bechdel test is what you propose is extremely common.


  1. Are there at least two male characters with names?

i. Kyle Reese ii. Does ‘Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Terminator with living tissue over a metal endoskeleton’ count as a name? There are bit-part cops named, but wouldn’t count that more than a nametag.

  1. Do they have a minute of conversation with each other in the movie?


  1. Is the conversation about something other than women?

Its all Sarah Connor this, Sarah Connor that …

A much better chick flick would have had lines like ‘Cyberdine … , you look sad. What’s wrong? If Kyle can’t see beyond the living tissue over the metal endoskeleton he’ll never know the real you, and then its him you should feel sorry for.’

The OP is asking for ones that fail the reverse Bechdel test

I think he’s saying are there any that FAIL, Chuck. It’s a corrolary to how common it is.

I’m not completely sure, but now I’m wondering about ‘Mean Girls.’ There are several male characters, they have conversation… but I’m not sure if they have conversation that’s not about the girls. :wink:

Ahhm…is he not asking about movies that DON’T have a)Two named males b) Who talk to each other c) about a subject other than a woman?

Nemo was looking for films that fail the Ledhceb test, not pass it.

On that note…maybe Antichrist? Though it might be under the “no gimmick movies” proviso.

Dagnabit…beat me to the draw.

I think you missed the point. The question is what movie would fail the male version of the test (IOW, what are movies that do not meet the three criteria).

Many films that don’t leave the POV of a female protagonist would probably fail. I’m thinking House of Games maybe, but there probably others, (even if HoG passes. I haven’t seen it recently so I’m not sure.)

The Women has no male characters (at least, not onscreen).

I’m not 100% sure but I think How To Make An American Quilt would also fail.

No, Terminator has Dr. Silberman interviewing Kyle Reese, so there are two named male characters who have a conversation. While Sarah Connor is mentioned, the conversation is about the Terminator and the future, not about her specifically.

I bet a lot of rom-coms would fail - in that they would have at least two men, the two men would talk, but never without it being (at least in subtext) about a woman.

I can’t remember any scenes that were men talking not about women -

When Harry Met Sally
About Last Night
Crazy, Stupid, Love

Driving Miss Daisy?

It’s been a while but I think Juno would fail the reverse Bechdel test.

I think Hoke and (Daisy’s son - can’t remember character’s name) have a conversation about Hoke’s salary. Also, when (Daisy’s son) meets Hoke, it’s a bunch of men trying to figure out how to get a warehouse elevator unstuck.

Do the various Disney Princess movies pass? I’m thinking through Beauty and the Beast and, counting singing as talking and animate furniture as their presenting gender identity, I’m not sure it passes. In fact, I’m not sure it passes the normal Bechdel Test either. Though it’s probable I’m missing something.

[QUOTE=bup;16696563 (Daisy’s son - can’t remember character’s name) [/QUOTE]

Booley, or something like that. They have a conversation about Hoke’s work experience when he first gets hired, and then later a conversation about how some other family had made him an offer. I’ve not sat down with a watch and timed either conversation, but they’re about the job, not about Miss Daisy.

In a rom-com you could definitely fail it on both sides… the men are always talking about women, the women are always talking about men. :smiley:

FWIW, the original Bechdel Test did not require that the characters have names or that the conversation last at least a minute. Those are later additions and not used by everyone who talks about the test. I assume they were added by some to exclude movies that might otherwise technically pass the test with something like this:

(Hero and his female love interest go into a restaurant.)
LOVE INTEREST: Smoking, please.

But there are some movies where major characters don’t have proper names (e.g. the heroine of Rebecca, the two main characters and most of the supporting characters in Once), so I wouldn’t be too picky about that.

Google turned up a (not currently active) blog called Reverse Bechdel where the blogger examines different movies to see if they pass the Bechdel Test and Reverse Bechdel Test. It looks like every movie the blogger examined – including the first three Twilight movies – passed the RBT, and that most but not all passed the BT.

Even counting only non-enchanted humans, Beauty and the Beast has three significant male characters – Belle’s father Maurice, Gaston, and Gaston’s sidekick Lefou. I’m pretty sure they talk about the Beast at some point. If musical numbers count as conversations, there’s also an entire song about Gaston in which there’s some back and forth between Gaston and Lefou.