Minor female “types”

A stray remark in comments while speculating on what role Gemma Arterton’s “Fields” might play got me thinking. What are the various minor female roles in a Bond film? Major roles would be the female lead, and the femme fatale.

Very few characters just happen to be female in a Bond film; even a hotel clerk or a lab tech seems to bristle with sexuality when 007 is around. Casino Royale was perhaps exceptional in that regard; the card dealer at the One and Only Ocean Club, and several card players in the film, weren’t filling any eye candy or innuendo roles. And that’s refreshing; I don’t want the sexuality to go away, but like men, women can be sexual and have normal characters.

But for women cast as “types,” what are those types?

Major role: “Bond girl” (female lead). Examples: Pussy Galore (GF), Vesper Lynd (CR), Kara Milovy (TLD)
Major role: Femme fatale (villainess). Examples: Fiona Volpe (TB), Miss Taro (DN), Xenia Onatopp (GE)
Major role: Sacrificial lamb. A “lamb” can be male or female; it is someone whose death (or, in LTK, injury) compels Bond to action and makes the goal personal. The major role of female sacrificial lamb involves a love scene followed by a death scene: Examples: Solange (CR), Aki (YOLT), Plenty O’Toole (DAF), Jill Masterson (GF)

Minor role: Villain’s agent. The photographer in Dr. No is an example of a female villain’s agent who just happens to be female, but most seem to be seductresses. Examples: Peaceful Fountains of Desire (DAD), Photographer (DN), Log Cabin Girl (TSWLM), Bonita (GF)
Minor role: Random romance. Bond has a love life outside of his duties. Although these women often work for MI6 or another intelligence agency, they have no bearing on the plot of the film. Examples: Dr. Warmflash (TWINE), Miss Caruso (LALD), Caroline (GE)

I’m strongly inclined to believe “Fields” is one of the latter two, but we’ll have to wait and see.


2 Responses to “Minor female “types””

  1. Great post Deborah. This reminds me of the other terminolgies used for the female leads in Bond movies. Way back in 1987, Playboy magazine had an article with a summary of the Bond stuff and one of them was: ‘Major Squeeze’ & ‘Minor Squeeze’.

  2. Deborah Lipp Says:

    Well, at least I’m not that offensive!

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