Ok, I am admittedly a huge Bond fan going back to as far as I can remember. I loved the camp of the Roger Moore years before I knew any better and then I learned to appreciate the fierce ruggedness of Connery as I grew to learn the earlier films. Hell I even appreciated Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
I loved the back to basics Bond that Dalton created on screen, even if the stories were a tad weak given the political climate at the time. I did struggle with the Brosnan editions finding them a bit too close to Moore as I matured. Yet I was in the theater every opening weekend.
I know I made a bold, almost outrageous statement saying that Skyfall is the single best James Bond movie of all time; but it’s one I am going to stand behind for several reasons.
As many of you probably know from my exhaustive and often lengthy pieces on the true history of James Bond one William Stephenson of turn of the 20th century Winnipeg that I am both a Winnipeg booster and a James Bond 007 fanatic. I have been to pretty much every opening night of the Bond saga that I could crawl to since I was a teenager growing up in Fort Frances, Ontario.
Well I am happy to say that the latest James Bond production Skyfall will be no different and even a bit better as Darlene and I will be attending the Winnipeg premiere courtesy of the Winnipeg Free Press.
Free Press movie reviewer Randall King recently published a Bond trivia challenge in the pages of the weekend edition of the Winnipeg Free Press and I am the happy winner of that competition.
Even though I am a geek of some long-standing, I must freely admit that I found the questions very challenging. I first probed my mind for the easy questions, the song whistled by the janitor in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (the theme from Goldfinger); to the most obscure asking about James’ witty comeback lines and motivations for the femme fatale bond girls. YIKES!
In any event I must have scored well or been given extra points for showing my work, as I included not only the movie but also character names and actors names for all that I could uncover. In all it probably took me longer than the movie to come up with the quiz answers but being able to count myself among the first in North America to see Skyfall is priceless.
PLUS as readers of my blog you all will get a great review on Thursday so you all can judge for yourselves if you want to plunk down some coin and see Daniel Craig as James Bond shoot up the silver screen in his 23rd film.
So stay tuned same Bond time, same Bond Channel people.
Here’s a taste to make sure you come back for more.
What are the first things that spring to mind when someone mentions the word “Spy”? Well, in my mind images start to appear, men in trench coats, stolen and falsified documents, secret codes and spy gadgets. Not to be forgotten is the legendary drink of fictional super spy James Bond a perfectly poured vodka martini.
Now imagine just for a second that all of these things have a basis in fact and that the man at the center of it all was a real person who inspired the greatest fictional spy of them all Ian Fleming’sCommander James Bond of the Royal Navy. You would think that I’d been staring at my computer screen just a tad long, wouldn’t you?
Well friends gather round and I’ll continue the story of William Stephenson. In my last installment I told you all the story of William’s birth in turn of the century Winnipeg, Manitoba, his exploits as a child and his daring as a World War One fighter ace.
The rest of the story picks up back in Winnipeg with a can opener that William had stolen from the Commandant’s quarters while he was imprisoned in a German POW camp. The design was revolutionary for the time leaving a clean edge on the can lid where other models of the day simply hacked off the top leaving a sharp jagged edge. Since North American patent law did not recognize German patents, William registered the device in North America and went into business forming the Franco-British Supply Company with friend Charles Wilfrid Russell in 1919. Soon after the young business men incorporated the company as Stevenson-Russell Ltd. raising money through selling shares in the community.
The post war period was hard for business and Stephenson-Russell was failing by 1922. William lost face in the Icelandic community he was raised in by not paying back the debts he had incurred while trying to grow the company. He fled to England while members of his extended family set up a hardware store with the remains of the failed venture.
William Stephenson sends the first image via radio. July 6, 1924.
James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is… William Stephenson. – Ian Flemming
The Times of London October 21, 1962
It is accepted that Canadians are quiet people, we are not full of random boast or ecstatic praise without good meaning. This post is an example of a quiet man who made it to the very top of the silent services before there was a silent service to speak of.
Nothing deceives Like a document. – William Stephenson
William Stephenson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba to immigrant Icelandic parents just before the turn of the 20th century. Orphaned by his father at around the age of three, his widowed mother had little choice but to surrender one of her children to an extended family of other Icelandic immigrants. Historians on the subject often over look this fact and in many sources have quoted an incorrect birthday and indeed an incorrect surname. Sources have him attending a high school that never existed. It seems that either the researchers did not attend to proper diligence or the trail has been intentionally made confusing.