Media > Film > The Goshawk

iThe Goshawk

TV documentary commissioned by BBC-tv and Crescent Productions in January 1969.
Issued on VHS videotape in 1979.

Duration: 50 minutes

Music duration: 15 minutes
Music by Carey Blyton
Scoring: Piccolo/Flute/Alto Flute, Piccolo Trumpet/[Trumpet], Horn, Harp, Violoncello
Performance: Harold Clarke (Piccolo, Flute, Alto flute), David Mason (Piccolo trumpet, Trumpet), Neil Saunders (Horn), Tryphena Partridge (Harp) and Denis Vigay (Cello)

Script by T. H. White
Narrated by Duncan Carse

Edited by Terence Twigg
Directed and Produced by David Cobham,
David Cobham Productions Ltd

Awarded The Golden Gate award in the 13th San Francisco International Film Festival (Films as Communication category).

With thanks to David Cobham Productions Ltd for permission to host this video

The Goshawk

An intimate and poetic view of one man and his training of a bird of prey. Based upon T. H. White’s book of the same name, The Goshawk quietly blends the love of man with the stubborn intelligence of the hawk into a moving film of dignity and respect.

In flashback the story of Gos is told. His arrival—a laundry basket wrapped in sacking. The first meal grudgingly accepted from the man’s hand. The first night—the bird sleeping and the man ruminating on the past and present of maybe the oldest sport in the world.

No final victor in this battle of wills, but rather a step towards a deeper understanding and appreciation of man’s role within this animal kingdom and the fragile balance of life.

Stunning in its photography, The Goshawk reaches out beyond its own medium to touch something almost literary in nature.

“No wonder the old falconers used to love their hawks … The effort which went into them, the worry which they occasioned, the two months of human life devoted to them both waking and dreaming … these things made the hawk, for the man who trained it, a part of himself.”

The above text is taken from the inlay of the 1979 VHS video release of the film.

Please note that the original soundtrack of The Goshawk is available on the CD Carey Blyton: Film & Television Music (3/4), which may be purchased from this site.


…after the first minute of the film I suspected: here again was so much underlined with such telling economy … So it was with a certain sense of self-satisfaction that I saw, at the end of the film, ‘Music by Carey Blyton’.

Hilton Gough, BFFS Film magazine, no 25, April 1975