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Movie Suggestions Needed--Male heavy titles--Sexist movies


fairfarmhand
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My dd is writing a script about "pretty lamp" movies. Movies where the lead female role could be replaced by a pretty lamp and the movie would pretty much turn out the same. The girl is just there for looks and to affirm that the lead man is hot.

 

We've got The Princess Bride.

 

Star Wars, the newer ones with Anakin

 

Thor

 

The Hobbit....

 

Anyone have any other suggestions?

 

(I told her I'd ask you all and you'd know!)

Edited by fairfarmhand
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I never watched them, but isn't that basically what ever Bond girl was?

 

 

probably the epitome of . . . . I haven't seen a bond movie in many years.   

 

dsil was afraid for dd to see his collection of bond movies . . .he thought she'd be mad

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Now I can't stop imagining Buttercup as a lamp.

 

I think pretty much any movie you can replace the woman with a lamp.

 

 

I think you must have a pretty low opinion of women to think that almost no female movie characters contribute anything to the movie.

 

Well, that's where the Bechdel Test comes in.  A movie passes if it meets the following criteria:  

  1. The movie has at least two women in it,
  2. who talk to each other,
  3. about something besides a man.

It's a rough test, obviously, but it's a relatively objective standard.  It's an interesting exercise to see which movies pass and which (mostly of the "lamp" variety) fail.  The wiki article has some interesting criticism and commentary of the test.

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The Bechdel test is a very low bar to set, and even then a lot of things fail, or barely scrape in.  I'd start by looking for movies where: 
1. The lead female character is not conventionally "pretty" OR stereotyped (eg the Jolly Fat Friend);
2. She isn't concerned about this fact; and 
3. She achieves something major without any kind of makeover/appearance change AND without the help of a male character; plus
4. She is supported by female friends/relations/associates that are non stereotypical, properly fleshed out characters. 

 

 

Edited by IsabelC
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I think you could probably replace the lead's husband with a lamp in Fried Green Tomatoes and it wouldn't change the movie.

 

Edited to say that wasn't helpful. Now I can only think of all those Disney princess movies where the males could be replaced with lamps. Interesting to think that whatever sex the lead is makes it likely the other can be replaced with a lamp. Very few have the interaction that "The African Queen" for example has.

Edited by frogger
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I think you could probably replace the lead's husband with a lamp in Fried Green Tomatoes and it wouldn't change the movie.

 

Edited to say that wasn't helpful. Now I can only think of all those Disney princess movies where the males could be replaced with lamps. Interesting to think that whatever sex the lead is makes it likely the other can be replaced with a lamp. Very few have the interaction that "The African Queen" for example has.

Or a horse. Re; tangled

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Jurassic Park?  Disagree.  Which female could be replaced by a lamp?  The one who is a teenage computer programmer who saves her brother's life over and over, or the one who goes out to bring back the grandkids and manages to get the power back up in the fencing whilst the other guy becomes a dino treat?  Or were you thinking Jurassic World (haven't seen that one)

 

 

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Well, that's where the Bechdel Test comes in.  A movie passes if it meets the following criteria:  

  1. The movie has at least two women in it,
  2. who talk to each other,
  3. about something besides a man.

It's a rough test, obviously, but it's a relatively objective standard.  It's an interesting exercise to see which movies pass and which (mostly of the "lamp" variety) fail.  The wiki article has some interesting criticism and commentary of the test.

 

I would say that there is a difference between a "pretty lamp" movie and a movie that would pass the above test.  A pretty lamp movie, I'm thinking, is all about a pretty girl making a guy look awesome.  Fair enough.  But not all movies need a woman in them at all.  I'm thinking "A Walk in the Woods" might be one of them (I haven't actually seen the movie, but I believe it's about two guys who hike the App. Trail).  It doesn't make a movie sexist to not necessarily include women, or for women not to have a strong part.  Not everything is about us.

 

Ironically, network TV seems to be the counter to pretty lamp movies.  So many of the shows seem to be about a long-suffering pretty woman married to a fat dolt of a husband, who is too stupid to live, much less parent decently.

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The Bechdel test is a very low bar to set, and even then a lot of things fail, or barely scrape in.  I'd start by looking for movies where: 

1. The lead female character is not conventionally "pretty" OR stereotyped (eg the Jolly Fat Friend);

2. She isn't concerned about this fact; and 

3. She achieves something major without any kind of makeover/appearance change AND without the help of a male character; plus

4. She is supported by female friends/relations/associates that are non stereotypical, properly fleshed out characters. 

 

Fried Green Tomatoes?

 

Not sure it would meet the "achievement" mark..but Driving Miss Daisy?

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I would say that there is a difference between a "pretty lamp" movie and a movie that would pass the above test. A pretty lamp movie, I'm thinking, is all about a pretty girl making a guy look awesome. Fair enough. But not all movies need a woman in them at all. I'm thinking "A Walk in the Woods" might be one of them (I haven't actually seen the movie, but I believe it's about two guys who hike the App. Trail). It doesn't make a movie sexist to not necessarily include women, or for women not to have a strong part. Not everything is about us.

 

Ironically, network TV seems to be the counter to pretty lamp movies. So many of the shows seem to be about a long-suffering pretty woman married to a fat dolt of a husband, who is too stupid to live, much less parent decently.

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Jurassic Park? Disagree. Which female could be replaced by a lamp? The one who is a teenage computer programmer who saves her brother's life over and over, or the one who goes out to bring back the grandkids and manages to get the power back up in the fencing whilst the other guy becomes a dino treat? Or were you thinking Jurassic World (haven't seen that one)

I stand corrected. Jeff Goldblum is the pretty lamp. 😉

Edited by Onceuponatime
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Perhaps if we had more women directors and producers, this wouldn't be such a problem.

 

I doubt it. I realize there is some amount of hyperbole in people's answers, but if people really believe that almost all female movie characters are completely useless and add nothing to the story, then having more women directors and producers won't change their perspective of the value of female characters. I reject the notion that very few movies at all feature female characters that drive the story in any way and find it an odd, incredibly simplistic view. I usually don't watch vacuous Hollywood blockbusters like Fast & Furious and avoid action movies, so maybe that's why I don't get where people are coming from in this thread.

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Well, that's where the Bechdel Test comes in.  A movie passes if it meets the following criteria:  

  1. The movie has at least two women in it,
  2. who talk to each other,
  3. about something besides a man.

It's a rough test, obviously, but it's a relatively objective standard.  It's an interesting exercise to see which movies pass and which (mostly of the "lamp" variety) fail.  The wiki article has some interesting criticism and commentary of the test.

 

Meh. Who decided a test that came from a cartoon should be the standard for evaluating movies? 

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Interesting conversation.

 

The hilarious and wonderful thing that I just love about the Bechdel test is that it didn't start out as a Serious Feminist, or Serious Sociologist, academic construct of some professor in some ivory tower; as Word Nerd pointed out above, it started out as a cartoon.

 

And then got traction because... lo and behold!  It's true; there really are precious few movies with more than one female character; and even fewer in which they talk about saving the world from the Dark Side, or politics, or catching bad guys, or building empires, or even taking care of children, or anything at all, other than their love interests.  Whereas finding two MEN talking about matters other than women happens in... well, just about every movie ever produced, other than Green Tomatoes and perhaps Thelma and Louise, lol.  Once you start noticing it's hard to stop noticing.

 

Pretty funny, and in a way encouraging, that a cartoon led the sociology which in turn turned analytic eyes onto the industry.

 

 

I think in the last five years, Hunger Games and Divergent and now Force have come a long way, in that a (single) female lead of substance, not just a Buttercup-style romantic interest, has crossed over to mass audiences.  (Interestingly, though, many of those movies still don't pass the Bechdel test.)

 

 

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A lot of the movies that most clearly fit the bill are action movies.  The difficulty though is in many you could also replace the lead male's brain with a lamp, and have a very similar movie.  And the same is really true in teh action films with a female lead - the male companions are pretty much just there for the female to play off or to be pretty for the audience.

 

ETA - I don't think it would apply to every Bond girl, though many would fit the bill.

 

 

Edited by Bluegoat
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Meh. Who decided a test that came from a cartoon should be the standard for evaluating movies? 

 

Not THE standard, by any means.  Evaluating movies is and should be complex, just like evaluating any other art/literature.  But it is a lens that gives an interesting perspective, along with the many other lenses one might choose to use.

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I doubt it. I realize there is some amount of hyperbole in people's answers, but if people really believe that almost all female movie characters are completely useless and add nothing to the story, then having more women directors and producers won't change their perspective of the value of female characters. I reject the notion that very few movies at all feature female characters that drive the story in any way and find it an odd, incredibly simplistic view. I usually don't watch vacuous Hollywood blockbusters like Fast & Furious and avoid action movies, so maybe that's why I don't get where people are coming from in this thread.

 

Well, let's look at the statistics.

 

Despite being approximately 50% of the population, women comprise merely 12% of the protagonists in movies. Women are only 30% of all speaking characters. That doesn't make me feel very optimistic about the ability of filmmakers to write competent women who carry a story. (And if you follow the link, you find that, despite what a previous poster said, the numbers are MUCH better when there are women directors and producers. Not at 50%, but still hugely better than when it's male producers and directors.)

 

You keep saying things like "people believe female characters add nothing to the story", as though it is viewers who tune out when seeing female characters rather than filmmakers who refuse to show them. However, you don't offer any counterexamples. I don't know why you're placing the blame on viewers, but that's not what anybody here is discussing.

 

Meh. Who decided a test that came from a cartoon should be the standard for evaluating movies?

 

Are you suggesting that this is an invalid measurement simply because it "came from a cartoon"? What other measure should we use to evaluate the role of women in Hollywood? I don't think it's fair of you to come here to disparage the conversation without giving constructive suggestions for what we should do instead.

 

Of course, the Bechdel test is rarely used to evaluate individual movies. After all, there are many very good movies which have no reason to involve female characters, taking place inside male prisons or boarding schools or military units in the 1940s. Instead, it's more commonly used to evaluate the industry as a whole. And for the record, the Bechdel test is such an extremely low bar that it is absolutely dismaying that last year, barely more than half of all films managed to pass it.

 

I think that if the female character is talking to a man in a person to person, respectful, non-sexual way, that is a plus

 

It's not about HOW women are portrayed, it's about whether or not there are enough women on screen to have a conversation (that isn't about a man). Women are 50% of the population (more or less). There is no reason they can't make up 50% of the characters in movies... and if they did, you'd really have to stretch and contrive to NOT have them speak to each other!

 

I'm pretty sure my life wouldn't pass the Bechdel test ...

 

You're speaking to other women right now, about something that isn't a man. You pass!

 

Color me flabbergasted. The movie is entirely slapstix ridiculousness.

 

And also a little bit misogynistic. The two things are not mutually exclusive.

 

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I think you are misunderstanding what people are trying to say about The Princess Bride. The reason it is so obvious is because it is purposely being ridiculous to make fun of that particular story line. It's revealing the subtle in other stories by making it ridiculously obvious.

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I think everyone needs to stop trash talking my beloved princess bride.

 

Watched elf with the family today and I kept picturing Mary Steerburgen's character as a lamp. She has very scenes and is there to counter balance her grouchy husband. Even as a lamp we all laughed and still love the movie. And the princess bride which is a story of true love and what one does with their life when you move past revenge.

Sometimes a movie is enjoyable just because.

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