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
Was filmed in sequence, except for climbing the wall to take a chick, as the kestrels were growing daily and close to gaining their primary feathers used for flight. The film took around eight weeks to shoot, working six days a week through the summer holidays. Suffice to say, it was a memorable experience for all involved cast and crew. See more »
When the PE teacher is explaining the meaning of the word "stimulating" to Goodfry, he spells the word incorrectly. See more »
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 »
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 »
"New Every Morning Is the Love'
Lyrics by John Keble
Music by Samuel Webbe
Hymn sung at school See more »
This is a classic.
If you are not from the north of England you may have difficulty with the dialogue in this film but dont let it put you off this is a masterpiece.The story of a teenage boy with no friends and no hope set in the mining heartland of yorkshire in the sixties is absolutely authentic. He finds salvation from the grim reality of his existence when he rears and trains a young kestrel, which is the only thing in his young life that has any meaning.David Bradley who plays Billy Casper in the leading role is superb.There are many scenes from the film that are absolute gems, but here are a few that warrant a special mention.Brian Glover playing the role of billys physical education teacher is out of this world, why he was never nominated as best supporting actor for an oscar i will never know.Colin Welland (later to become an oscar winner himself for screenplay of chariots of fire) was also brilliant as billys form teacher.The film reaches out to you on many levels. In me it stirred horror, anger, humour and tears.I am quite sure it will also do the same to anyone who views this timeless masterpiece.
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