7.9/10
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77 user 64 critic

Kes (1969)

PG-13 | | Drama , Family | 3 April 1970 (UK)
Trailer
1:40 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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 »
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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:

'Kes' - falken See more »

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

The order of the scenes was altered from the novel. This leads to a continuity problem with Billy's relationship with McDowell. In the novel, Billy was originally in McDowell's gang but grew apart from him when he begins training the kestrel. See more »

Goofs

Member of crew visible (with a beard) in the scene where Mr. Sugden is selecting the football teams. 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 Simpsons: Diggs (2014) 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 john-3109See 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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