7.9/10
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87 user 55 critic

Kes (1969)

PG-13 | | Drama, Family | 3 April 1970 (UK)
Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
A young, English working-class boy spends his free time caring for and training his pet falcon.

Director:

Ken Loach (as Kenneth Loach)

Writers:

Barry Hines (novel), Barry Hines (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Кес See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,517
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When the PE teacher is explaining the meaning of the word "stimulating" to Goodfry, he spells the word incorrectly. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Some copies of the film have a few extra minutes in the scene where Billy explains his hobby to his class, when a ginger-haired child asks an extra question about laying eggs. Why this scene was removed is unknown. Copies that include it are very rare and usually from home-recordings made from a 1980s BBC broadcast. See more »


Soundtracks

The Marrow Song (Oh! What A Beauty)
Written by Edrich Siebert
Performed by Joey Kaye at the club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kes or when childhood is stolen.
1 September 2001 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

From the start,the hero's future is at a complete standstill.His familiar background -an indifferent mother and a brute of a brother-leaves him no hope .His school seems an alien world,of which he cannot take advantage,where the adults are hostile.The gymnastics teacher is a failed football player,and now,with his students,he's still dreaming he's coaching his football team for glory.And because he 's getting old and embittered,he uses a scapegoat when things go wrong:and of course,he always chooses our unfortunate hero.The shower scene enhances ,so to speak,the psychological and pedagogical "aptitudes" of this dumb-and a bit sadistic-man.

So,the young boy needs someone to love,and because he cannot find one,he tames an hawk.This hawk epitomizes freedom,escape from this petty microcosm.In direct contrast to the gym teacher,appears the English teacher.He wants the young boy to give a presentation on his hawk.And,in front of a spellbound class,the dog has his day.Thanks to this clever man,the boy acquires self-confidence and maybe his studies will take a new turn.

But Kenneth Loach's characters rarely escape from their fate.Because of his brother's cruelty,all hopes will be blighted,and the boy's future will probably that of the two lads in "looks and smiles". Kenneth Loach or the wrong side of England.


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