Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

Beautiful but deadly Russian KGB agent portrayed by Barbara Bach in The Spy Who Loved Me. Code-named Triple X, she’s partnered with James Bond (Roger Moore) on a hunt for freelance madman Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), whose supertanker, the Liparus, has been swallowing British and Russian nuclear submarines. Both agents are also looking for a British submarine tracking system that has been developed by Stromberg.

Major Amasova is, in effect, the first liberated woman in the James Bond series, reflecting well the mid-1970s movement toward more believable and realistic female characters in film. Having been introduced in the 1960s, when 007’s chauvinism was given a free rein, the James Bond films entered their second decade with a considerably more enlightened outlook. Although there would continue to be playmates for Bond in every film, the main female characters began to be drawn with elements of intelligence, independence, and strength.

Major Amasova pioneered this trend, as demonstrated in the ruined-temple sequence in which Bond and Anya are trailing Jaws (Richard Kiel). Moving stealthfully among the pillars, Anya (accompanied by Marvin Hamlisch’s moody score) shows off a few extremely impressive martial arts stances while dressed in a clingy evening gown. This is no breathless female waiting to be rescued. Later, aboard a train, she’s no match for Jaws, but she still fights back.

In one of the film’s most dramatic moments—an unusual one for a Roger Moore–era Bond film—she even threatens to kill Bond as repayment for the death of her Soviet agent/lover (Michael Billington). The strength and determination in her threat was unprecedented in the series. Bond women were beginning to hold their own at 007’s side, and Amasova was the first. Recalled the film’s late director, Lewis Gilbert, “Anya is a very independent woman; she’s a major in the KGB and Russia’s top agent. She’s capable of scoring off Bond, and she does.

In The Spy Who Loved Me, 007 doesn’t always win. Sometimes she’s smarter than he. This type of interplay makes Bond more human, more like one of us. Being vulnerable with the girl allows Bond’s other accomplishments in the film to appear that much more impressive.”[1]

[1] Lewis Gilbert, interview by Steven Jay Rubin, London, June 15, 1977.


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