The Lost World of Mr. HardyClosed Captioning
Andy Heathcote & Heike Bachelier
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About the Film
Since the 19th century the craftsmen of the family firm Hardy’s have hand-made beautiful cane fishing rods and exotic salmon flies which are cherished by keen fishermen all over the world. This documentary tells of the history of the company, using interviews with family members and archive film from the 1930s, all the while making us realise what this country has lost in skills and the tradition of craft. “The greater issue accumulates forcefully but quietly - the value of craftsmanship in a global economy preoccupied with quantity.” -Ken Russell, The Times
Essential armchair angling
I was a little unsure what to expect from 'The Lost World of Mr Hardy'. I'd read some great reviews but did think, "hey it's just a film about an old Brit fishing tackle company". I needn't have worried, in fact I was blown away. This is one of the best documentary films I have ever seen. Not just because of the subject, the rise and fall of that loveable and eccentric old British firm called Hardy's. More than that, it was a story about a 135 year love affair with angling, and a film about people besotted with what they did; which was to make the best fishing tackle in the world. Wonderful archive clips from the 20s and 30s really capture this incredible world now sadly lost to us. The Hardy's are great inventors and quite the showmen too. Yet all the while the world is changing around them; World Wars are fought and won, the British lose their Empire, but still deep at the heart of it all, is a passion to fish, and the need to be the very best lives on, albeit with unbelievable ups and downs.
The spirit of fishing behind this film is what makes it really stand out, the dedication and workmanship of master craftsman of past days, as well as those struggling to survive in our modern day. I guess the U.S. and the British are pretty similar in how they'll happily discard things of value in their recent pasts. I think it's 'hats off' to the filmmakers for rescuing so beautiful and fascinating a part of our angling history, one perhaps soon lost forever.
The film-making by the way is excellent. If I saw this on the big screen I'd go away a happy man. The photography is lush, the editing poetic and it knows when to savour the moment. And the music, it strikes this wonderful balance between beauty and melancholy and if I could buy the soundtrack I would.
Apparently in the early days of Rolls Royce, their advertisements would show their cars parked up outside the Hardy's shop in London. Hardy's was the brand they aspired to and in turn Hardy's became know as the Rolls Royce of fishing tackle. I'd say this film is the Rolls Royce of fishing films. "Only the best is good enough for fisherman", claimed J.J. Hardy in the 1890s, well this film exceeds the claim. In my opinion it's an essential hour and a half of armchair angling for anyone who appreciates the best.