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Kes (1969)

 -  Drama  -  19 June 1970 (France)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,881 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 47 critic

A young, English working-class boy spends his free time caring for and training his pet falcon.

Director:

(as Kenneth Loach)

Writers:

(book), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: Kes (1969)

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Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Freddie Fletcher ...
Jud
Lynne Perrie ...
Mrs. Casper
Colin Welland ...
Mr. Farthing
Brian Glover ...
Mr. Sugden
Bob Bowes ...
Mr. Gryce
Bernard Atha ...
Youth Employment Officer
Laurence Bould
Joey Kaye ...
Comedian at Pub
Ted Carroll
Robert Naylor ...
MacDowell
Agnes Drumgoon
George Speed ...
Billy's Friend
Desmond Guthrie
Zoe Sutherland ...
Librarian
Edit

Storyline

Bullied at school and ignored and abused at home by his indifferent mother and older brother, Billy Casper (David Bradley), a 15-year-old working-class Yorkshire boy, tames and trains his pet kestrel falcon whom he names Kes. Helped and encouraged by his English teacher Mr. Farthing (Colin Welland) and his fellow students, Billy finally finds a positive purpose to his unhappy existence, until tragedy strikes. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | falcon | teacher | school | milk crate | See more »

Taglines:

They beat him. They deprived him. They ridiculed him. They broke his heart. But they couldn't break his spirit.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, nudity and some teen smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 June 1970 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Kes  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the Kestrels used in the film belonged to Robert Nairac, the Undercover soldier murdered by the IRA in 1977. Nairac was at College at the time when he allowed the film to 'borrow' his kestrel. See more »

Goofs

In the football match, Jim is selected to play for Sugden's team but ends up protesting about the allowed goal his captain, Mr Sugden, scores. See more »

Quotes

Billy: [training his falcon] C'mon Kes!
[whistling]
Billy: C'mon Kes!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The majority of the crew were listed simply under the heading "This film was made by..." without each person's specific job title (director of photography, sound recordist, editor etc) being given. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Falls (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Honey
Written by Bobby Russell
Performed at the club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Eagle for an Emperor
19 January 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ken Loach's (1969) film of Barry Hines' novel 'A Kestrel for a Knave' is written with Tony Garnett (Producer of 'Cathy Come Home' for BBC TV). Set in a mining community in the north of England it tells the story of young schoolboy Billy Casper (Dai Bradley) and his unexpected attachment to a Kestrel.

We join Billy in a fatherless family where Mum (Lynne Perrie) is struggling to keep things together and retain some semblance of control over Billy's fiery elder brother Jud (Freddie Fletcher).

Suddenly we see the well-established northern working class preoccupation with keeping pigeons elevated to an altogether higher plane as Billy begins to rear a kestrel chick. We follow him as he takes on the most challenging project of his life to date and becomes totally engrossed in learning everything he can about this wonderful bird; soon well on his way to becoming expert in the ancient art of falconry.

At school, Billy finds support from English teacher Mr Farthing (Colin Welland) who is not slow to recognise the impact this bird has had upon Billy's otherwise fractured and impoverished home life.

As Billy's imagination soars with his developing rapport with the bird, we share his keen enthusiasm and rich understanding of the nature of this sharp and noble predator.

But in doing so, we pay the price when Billy's troubled home life intervenes and robs him of what has become the powerful symbol of his ability to transcend the limitations of the tough and unforgiving community of which he is inexorably a part.

This is a great film that captures the unique ability of young people to find meaning and fulfilment in the darkest and most unpromising situations.


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