Thursday Movie Picks: Movies with Strong Female Character(s)

Welcome to another Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week's focus is strong women in movies. I don't think I need to say more so I leave you with my picks.

20th Century Women (2016)
This is a beautiful coming-of-age centred on Dorothea, a middle-aged divorcée who is raising a teenage son by herself. She is worried though that she is too old to raise him well so she asks for the help of two other women, a free-spirited photography and her son's best friend. This film has essentially 5 characters only, but the three amazing, flawed women are those standing out. They are so strong and inspiring.

Erin Brockovich (2000)
It's about real-life Erin Brockovich, a single mother who becomes a legal assistant and brings down almost singlehandedly a Californian power company accused of polluting a city's water supply almost by herself. Although she struggles a little, this woman manages to be both a loving mother and a successful working-woman.

Hidden Figures (2016)
The heartwarming and inspiring story of three Afro-American women mathematicians who played a vital role in NASA during the early stages of the space program. The film uses its three empowering ladies to address important social obstacles such as racism and sexism.


  1. Great picks! Especially 20th Century Women, I wish I would've thought of that. lol

  2. Haven't seen 20 Century Women, yet. The other two are good flicks.

  3. I haven’t seen your first pick but it’s now on my list to see. We match with Erin which is a good movie and Julia does a great job as the main character. I love Hidden Figures and it shows how much these women had to overcome so many obstacles

  4. Oooo I LOVE Hidden Figures!! It was one of the few films I made a point to see in the theatre last year and was totally worth it. Fascinating stories well presented.

    Erin Brockovich was okay and Roberts probably the best she's capable of being but I didn't think she was Oscar worthy when you take into account that she was competing against Laura Linney and especially Ellen Burstyn that year.

    Sorry but I hated 20th Century Women. I had looked forward to it since I heard so much good but it bored me senseless. Oh well every film isn't for everybody.

    This was an easier week since I usually enjoy films with a strong lead and my first pick like yours has three women at the forefront.

    Three Secrets (1950)-When a private plane crashes in the remote California Mountains the only survivor is a 5-year-old boy. As word spreads that the child had been adopted at birth from a certain orphanage the three possible mothers, housewife Susan Chase (Eleanor Parker), newspaper reporter Phyllis Horn (Patricia Neal) and ex-con Ann Lawrence (Ruth Roman), gather at the mountain base to discover the truth drawing on their strength to endure the ordeal of wondering “Could that be my boy?” Solid drama with three excellent lead performances was directed by Robert Wise.

    Tammy and the Bachelor (1957)-Young Tambrey "Tammy" Tyree (Debbie Reynolds) lives with her grandfather (Walter Brennan) on his houseboat in the swamps of the South. One day young pilot Peter Brent (Leslie Nielsen) crashes nearby and during his recovery Tammy develops a crush on him. He heads back to his family’s mansion telling Grandpa if anything should happen to have Tammy come to his family. Shortly after Gramps is arrested for making corn liquor and Tammy heads to town. Once there she shakes the place up with her common sense approach to all things relying on her strong sense of self to ride out any bumps along the way. Meanwhile Pete sees her in a new light. Debbie carries this with a light touch and scored an enormous hit with the theme song.

    His Girl Friday (1940)-Ace reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) is sick of the cutthroat world of the newspaper game and tells her editor and ex-husband Walter Burns (Cary Grant) she’s quitting to get married to someone Walter considers a dolt (Ralph Bellamy). Walter tries every trick in the book to get Hildy to stay finally dangling a carrot he knows her aggressive take charge reporter’s heart can’t refuse-a murderer’s execution. Despite her protests the resourceful Hildy jumps into action and when the chance for a scoop comes along all else is pushed aside. Manic screwball comedy is noted for its extremely fast dialog patter between the leads. This set Roz on the path as THE boss lady of the movies for most of the decade.

  5. I’m also using this week to re-recommend two films I’ve chosen before but they fit right in and both are terrific somewhat obscure films that deserve a look.

    Cry “Havoc” (1943)-As WWII rages in the Philippines a group of women volunteer to help the army nurses in a hospital unit on Bataan. Set mostly in their protective bunker and the switchboard that brings increasingly more dire war news this focuses on the struggles and hardships endured by the women as the front moves ever closer. The cast is comprised almost exclusively of great actresses, Margaret Sullavan, Ann Sothern, Joan Blondell and Fay Bainter among them, with only very brief glimpses of men, including a young Robert Mitchum. A compelling heavy drama leavened by doses of gallows humor.

    Westward the Women (1951)-Unvarnished look at the hard road faced by a group of women settlers on a wagon train to California. Robert Taylor, weathered and hard is the rough but fair wagon master and has the only significant male role. Hope Emerson stands out as a plain speaking, no nonsense traveler but all the performances are very good. The cost of the trip is honestly depicted as heavy with human lives. Written by Frank Capra and directed with an unflinching eye by Wild Bill Wellman, an involving, unusual picture.