IMDb > Kes (1969)
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Kes (1969) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 9 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
Kes -- A tale of a lonely working-class Yorkshire boy, who turns from a life of comic books and shoplifting when he finds a baby kestrel and decides to raise and train it.
Kes -- Trailer for Kes
Kes -- Criterion Trailer


User Rating:
7.8/10   11,940 votes »
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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Barry Hines (book)
Barry Hines (adaptation) ...
View company contact information for Kes on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 April 1970 (UK) See more »
They beat him. They deprived him. They ridiculed him. They broke his heart. But they couldn't break his spirit.
A young, English working-class boy spends his free time caring for and training his pet falcon. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Possibly the best British film of all time ! See more (75 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

David Bradley ... Billy
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
The 4D Jones
Eric Bolderson ... Farmer
Joe Miller ... Reg, Mother's Friend
Beryl Carroll
Julie Shakespeare
Bill Dean ... Fish and Chip Shop Man (as Billy Dean)
Geoffrey Banks ... Mathematics Teacher
John Grayson
Duggie Brown ... Milkman
Trevor Hesketh ... Mr Crossley
Stephen Crossland ... Billy's Friend
Harry Markham ... Newsagent
David Glover ... Tibbutt
Frank Norton ... Billy's Friend
Martin Harley ... Billy's Friend
Leslie Stringer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julie Goodyear ... Woman in betting shop (uncredited)

Directed by
Ken Loach  (as Kenneth Loach)
Writing credits
Barry Hines (book "A Kestrel For A Knave")

Barry Hines (adaptation) and
Ken Loach (adaptation) (as Kenneth Loach) and
Tony Garnett (adaptation)

Produced by
Tony Garnett .... producer
Original Music by
John Cameron 
Cinematography by
Chris Menges (photography)
Film Editing by
Roy Watts 
Art Direction by
William McCrow 
Production Management
David Griffith .... production supervisor (as David Griffiths)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Keith Evans .... assistant director
Art Department
Peter Allchorne .... props
Sound Department
Gerry Humphreys .... sound recordist (as Gerry Humphries)
Tony Jackson .... sound recordist
Peter Pierce .... dubbing editor
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Daphne Dare .... wardrobe
Music Department
John Cameron .... conductor
Other crew
Peter Allchorne .... filmmaker
Michael Barnett .... filmmaker
Harry Bell .... filmmaker
Dave Clarke .... filmmaker (as David Clarke)
Harry Daly .... filmmaker
Jim Duffy .... filmmaker
Michael English .... filmmaker
Arthur Evans .... filmmaker
Penny Eyles .... continuity
Jane Harris .... filmmaker
Richard Hines .... filmmaker
Paddy Holman .... filmmaker
Sean Hudson .... filmmaker
Terry Lewis .... filmmaker
John Matthews .... filmmaker
Robert Matthews .... filmmaker
Mike McDuffie .... filmmaker
Mick Messenger .... filmmaker
Ray Orton .... filmmaker
Bert Payne .... filmmaker
Eddie Price .... filmmaker
Edward Riley .... filmmaker
Anne Robinson .... filmmaker
Franco Rosso .... filmmaker
Fred Ruff .... filmmaker
Nicola Webber .... filmmaker
Eric Wicks .... filmmaker
John Williams .... filmmaker
Tony Woodcock .... filmmaker
François Vila .... press agent (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for language, nudity and some teen smoking
110 min | Netherlands:90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-11 (2010) | Finland:K-18 (2006) (self applied) | Germany:12 | Singapore:NC-16 | Sweden:11 | UK:U (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1987) | USA:PG-13 | USA:GP (original rating) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Ken Loach said in a 2013 interview that a group of American executives shown the film on its release responded that they could understand Hungarian better than the dialect in the film.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: Member of crew visible (with a beard) in the scene where Mr. Sugden is selecting the football teams.See more »
Billy:[training his falcon] C'mon Kes!
Billy:C'mon Kes!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Falcon of Fury (2013)See more »
The Marrow Song (Oh! What A Beauty)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
64 out of 71 people found the following review useful.
Possibly the best British film of all time !, 30 August 1999
Author: Simon Langley ( from Schiltigheim, France

Although Kes was not Loach's first film (he had made "Cathy come home" for television and "Poor Cow") it is probably his best both artistically and historically. Historically, the film is an important one, because it's the first one that gives an accurate description of a working-class environment. There had been several social realist movies made before it, such as Karel Reisz's "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" or Tony Richardson's "Billy Liar", but Kes set a whole new agenda. Esthetically, Loach went a lot further than those before him, filming his characters in a quasi-documentary way. Also, the actors were, for a great part, non-professionals, which lent a further "realistic" touch to the film. For the first time, strong regional accents (Yorkshire) were allowed to flow freely. Finally, the story itself is extremely compelling. Without being at all demonstrative or heavy, the film is the most powerful indictment of the british class system that has ever been recorded on film.

Billy Casper, the hero, is shown to have absolutely no chance of escaping his harsh milieu. At home, his half-brother bullies him and he finds no comfort from his mother. At school the behaviour of teachers, career-councillors and headmasters ranges from violent to merely condescending. It's this anti-institutional side to the film that makes it so powerful. Billy basically knows that he'll probably end up down the mine and he knows that school isn't there for his pleasure or his fulfillment but to tell him what to do. So, unable to express himself at home or at school, Billy develops a passion for hawks and devotes great time and effort to the taming of a kestrel. This passion comes to symbolise both the boy's hopes and his identity.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Kes (1969)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Colin Welland (Mr Farthing) RIP alanpdobbs
Was 1960s England really so gloomy and depressing? pilarp-1
Yorkshire people shouting at each other for 2 hours conor_kearney
Hardest actual punch in a movie ever? drmattdestruction
US users' rating is 6.0 . canonalan
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