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Movies written by women

By Tim Smith

An automatically generated IMDb list.

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Movies written by women


I was curious to watch movies written by women, but couldn't find a list, so I decided to generate one. This turned out to be a nice software engineering project. IMDb makes some data files available for download. From these, I was able to compile a list of movies and their writers. But the data contained no gender information. To find out the genders, I wrote a script to query IMDb, which lets you search for writers by name and gender. There were too many writers to query individually, so I had to be clever. I extracted all words in the names of the writers, and sorted them by frequency. Then I queried for the most frequent words first. This allowed me to find a maximum number of writers per query. I also used Ruby's typhoeus library to retrieve multiple pages of search results simultaneously.

I restricted the results to movies with at least 5,000 votes, all of whose credited writers are female. This resulted in a list of about 500 movies, which I then posted to IMDb.