The Compleat Angler, first published in 1653 by Izaak Walton is a “celebration of the art and spirit and fishing in prose and verse.” (Wikipedia). The subtitle is The Contemplative Man’s Recreation.
For centuries people have commented on the sport, or art, or whatever, of fishing:
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. Author Unknown
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. Author Unknown
Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley. Author Unknown
Fishing is a… discipline in the equality of men – for all men are equal before fish. Herbert Hoover
“Carpe Diem” does not mean “fish of the day.” Author Unknown
Fishing was one of Robert Taylor’s main leisure occupations. It was apparently the act of catching the fish that appealed to him, not eating his catch. Barbara Stanwyck complained that the back porch was always covered in rotting fish. After their divorce, she admitted to missing even the fish!
Fishing, however, gave Mr. Taylor a break from celebrity (even when being filmed), He could relax and enjoy the sport with friends.
THE SATISFIED FISHERMAN…was Robert Taylor when this picture was snapped during a day’s outing on the San Gabriel River, which for the expert angler can usually be counted on to provide a few fish for the pan. Taylor didn’t get the limit, but he caught some fish and had a thoroughly enjoyable day on the scenic stream. It was a one-day fishing trip, because Bob is a busy actor these days. He has just finished his latest film, When Ladies Meet, a gay, romantic comedy drama with Joan Crawford, Greer Garson and Herbert Marshall in the all-star cast. Now he’s preparing to star with Lana Turner in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Johnny Eager. (Original press release).
FISHERMAN’S FRUSTRATION…This is the pictorial story of the fishing expedition of Robert Taylor and Vincent Price, while on location filming Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s The Bribe. They were all set for a Marlin swordfish, had all the equipment and the boat–what they got was a small herring. Taylor and Ava Gardner co-star in the dramatic adventure of a secret service agent in the tropics, with Charles Laughton, Price, John Hodiak and Samuel S. Hinds in the cast. Robert Z. Leonard directed and Pandro S .Berman produced. (Original press release).
The second one, in 1949 (or 1948) is especially enigmatic because The Bribe was filmed entirely on the MGM lot. Were fish hired for the day?
Left to right: Strolling along the dock–note equipment in the background; Taylor waits confidently for the fishing boat; checking out the equipment; smiling ruefully–no Marlin on the back lot?
Left to right: Practicing reeling them in; sharing a laugh with Vincent Price; checking the boat.
These are from the forties. Left to right: making sure he has everything; including a companion.
A fifties fishing trip. Left to right: the camera boat is in front; concentration; chatting with friends; displaying the catch.
Great photos Judith! I had never seen many of them. Yes, he probably enjoyed much more catching a fish than eating it. After all, I never read any fish recipes from him… Also remember Tom Purvis said once they put too much salt to the fish they had for dinner on one of the fishing/hunting trips they shared together. Maybe they didn’t even know how to cook a fish properly? 😉
I hadn’t heard the salt comment. Why would you need to salt fish? They’re already salty enough. But eating the fish, as we know, wasn’t the point. Having fun catching them with friends was the point. I was actually looking for a way to use those photos–I particularly like the one with Mr. T sitting in the front of a boat and staring out with great concentration. Thanks again for writing.