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


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7.8/10   12,187 votes »
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Down 5% 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:
A fine early Loach 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
Sean Hudson .... second assistant director
Art Department
Peter Allchorne .... props
Sound Department
Gerry Humphreys .... sound recordist (as Gerry Humphries)
Tony Jackson .... sound recordist
Mike McDuffie .... sound recordist
Peter Pierce .... dubbing editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Arthur Evans .... still photographer
Terry Lewis .... gaffer
John Matthews .... best boy
Ray Orton .... camera operator
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?

The book Billy is reading is "A Manual of Falconry", by M H Woodford. 2nd Edition, it has a picture of a goshawk on the front cover. Note, Jud calls it the: "Falconer's Handbook."See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When the PE teacher is explaining the meaning of the word "stimulating" to Goodfry, he spells the word incorrectly.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 »
HoneySee more »


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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
A fine early Loach, 8 July 2005
Author: jandesimpson from United Kingdom

SPOILER We hear a lot about the great French New Wave of the late '50's and '60's but what must not be forgotten is that in Britain at approximately the same time we were experiencing a New Wave that for us was no less exciting, even if, in retrospect, the directors that led it, Lindsay Anderson, Tony Richardson and Karel Reisz did not quite possess the iconic genius of giants such as Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Godard. Nevertheless under the collective umbrella of a company named Woodfall they produced some pretty exciting stuff. I remember thinking Richardson's "A Taste of Honey" one of the most life-affirming films I had ever seen. If time has been a little less kind to it as one became more and more aware of its dependence on the use of melancholy industrial landscapes to underline its excitement, one film that understated this element, Anderson's "This Sporting Life" (not actually a Woodfall film but very much a part of this movement) has not diminished its power and remains in my opinion as seminal a work as Godard's "A Bout de Soufflé". Towards the end of the Woodfall era a new figure, Ken Loach emerged on the scene with early works such as "Kes", that were to carry forward the spirit of the British New Wave from the late '60's to the present day, a body of work without parallel in its consistency in our native cinema. "Kes", the story of an unloved streetwise adolescent, Billy Casper, living in Barnsley breaks dramatically away from the cinematic tradition of cute kids in much the same way as Truffaut had done in "Les Quatre Cent Coups". Billy, grubby and not beyond the odd bout of petty pilfering, lives in a council estate with a single mum and a loutish elder brother. School is a drudge to somehow get through each day. It's a place peopled by largely unsympathetic teachers who keep the kids down by barrages of verbal abuse and the odd swish of the cane. Somehow Billy holds his own. In the meantime he finds his inner strength and salvation in training a kestrel from the wild. When in the closing scened he loses the bird through the uncaring machinations of his brother, the effect is nothing short of heart wrenching. I would not quite go along with those reviewers who consider this to be Loach's finest film. It is somehow too loosely focused and concentrates a little too much on peripheral social issues such as the parlous state of education in a Northern secondary school and unsympathetic career guidance. The football match in the middle, although gently funny, goes on for rather a long time, deflecting our interest away from Billy. Loach was later to develop his vision of the human condition more single-mindedly and to greater effect in works such as "The Gamekeeper", "Ladybird, Ladybird" and what I believe to be his greatest work, "My Name is Joe", which is not to diminish a film with many wonderful moments provided mainly by David Bradley in his unforgettable performance as Billy Casper.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Nobody realises DVD version is dubbed! holstenpils20
Colin Welland (Mr Farthing) RIP LarryScalper
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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