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
The football match scene was to be filmed over 2 days. On the evening of the first day Brian Glover had a wrestling bout in Blackpool as Leon Arras. The next day he came in limping with a bust knee. He needed a support bandage to do the scenes but as he hadn't been wearing one the first day, they had to reshoot the earlier scenes. So the white bandage you see is from a real wrestling injury. See more »
In the first scene, when Billy Casper gets up to switch the light off, his hand misses the light switch on his first attempt to switch it off, and has to try again to turn the light off. 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 scenes, including the opening scene and the scene when Jud bullies Billy for having a book, were re-dubbed for the American market to be in a more understandable form of English for Americans. This soundtrack was then used in the UK market for VHS and DVD releases in the 1980s and 1990s, but the 2011 DVD and Blu-Ray releases use the original soundtrack in Yorkshire dialect. See more »
One of the defining films of my life. Very few films have come so close to accurately portraying Northern, English, Working Class life. Anyone from outside of this kind of community may find it grim and not appreciate the all the references. As someone who grew up at the same time and in a similar environment as the film then all I can see is the wit, spirit and sensitivity displayed in the face of individual and institutionalised brutality.
David Bradley as Billy is superb and even more amazing is the fact he did nothing before or since this film. All of the incidental characters are played by local residents - unfortunately this is sometimes clearly obvious. The football match however is, in my opinion, a classic cinematic moment.
The film has become even more poignant since many similar communities have since been devastated by the Thatcherite induced collapse of Britain's industrial base.
All in all a exceeding moving, funny, honest and captivating account of a young boy's life in a sometimes hostile, sometimes beautiful environment.
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