DVD - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A troubled fifteen-year-old working-class boy in Northern England forms a close bond with a wild kestrel.
Publisher: New York : Criterion Collection, c2011
Edition: Special ed
ISBN: 9781604654127
Branch Call Number: DVD FIC KES
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (ca. 111 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 09, 2019

To the previous commenter, and future viewers,
This interview:

of David Bradley who played the character of Billy had this to say about the ending of the film:

To elicit a realistic emotional response for the film’s bleak climax, in which Billy’s self-loathing brother Jud (Freddie Fletcher) kills Kes, Loach approached Fletcher and Bradley in the lunch queue and told Fletcher to go off with Richard Hines and slaughter Hardy for the required corpse. Bradley says he wasn’t convinced – “I just couldn’t believe these nice people could be so cruel” – and after shooting the scene was reunited with Hardy (the one on camera had died from natural causes). “I said to them: ‘I knew you wouldn’t kill him! I knew you wouldn’t!’”

Mar 18, 2019

Subtitles are necessary when watching. Spoiler alert but I wish someone had let me know the bird was ACTUALLY KILLED in this film because if I'd known I never would have watched it. No, not a fake film killing. This poor kestral was killed on purpose by the production team, and this after being taken from the nest when young, used , confined and trained never having a moment to ever fly free and hunt on its own. It is explained on the second extras dvd that comes with the set that they didn't tell the young character that he was going to find his bird dead in a trash bin after being killed by his angry brother because they wanted to be able to film his reaction to this tragedy. The boy, like the other players, was not even an actor but was chosen from a school in the area. Where was the Humane Society? I know Britain has one. You aren't allowed to injure and certainly not kill animals in films. Awful. Why do so many films about or with animals end in their death by human hands when it could otherwise just be a feel good film about a bond of love and caring between human and animal, which is the only type of human/ animal film I ever want to see. So unnecessary, so sad, and so wrong, both for the animal and the boy who was not told in advance of the senseless outcome after working and training with this innocent bird. Outrageous.

Mar 12, 2018

A great movie with a talented young actor in a moving story taking place in Yorkshire in the1970-s. The social and geographical environment is well presented.

Nov 11, 2017

Ken Loach's breakthrough film, digitally remastered by Criterion. Slow-paced, its message is conveyed obliquely, with some beautiful scenes. The contrast between the Billy who is always being put down as useless and the Billy who brilliantly describes to his class the (self-taught) techniques of falconry is wonderful. Not to be missed - but be sure to turn on the subtitles!

Apr 17, 2017

I had no idea, when I checked out this DVD that it was a film made in 1970. After watching it, I'm still surprised at this information. What a beautiful piece of work. Highly recommended! Even my daughter, who usually doesn't respond to older, foreign, or slow-building films like this, found herself caught up in it all the way through. So glad to have found this.

Dec 12, 2014

Life in a dreary working class neighbourhood consists of grim conformity and casual cruelties, and no one knows this better than young Billy. With his father eternally absent he shares his modest family home with a violent narcissistic older brother and a harried mother whose tattered evening dress and sad eyes reflect her own dying dreams. One of Ken Loach’s more nuanced films featuring some unbelievable performances from a cast of relative unknowns, especially David Bradley’s naturalistic turn as Billy. One word of caution however, if you’re not familiar with the harsh accent and turns of speech found in Britain’s South Yorkshire area be sure to turn on the English subtitles.

Dec 12, 2014

High on the list of all-time best British movies, Kes is the story of a teen-aged boy's relationship with a kestrel. Billy is tormented at school and at home and is looking toward a bleak future as he prepares to leave school. He takes a young kestrel from its nest and after reading a book about falconry patiently trains her and then flies her in an open field near his home. A wonderful, understated story with a serious core. Be sure to turn on the closed captioning as the accents are pretty thick.

owllover Apr 20, 2013

It wasn't a bad movie, but I just, plain couldn't get into it. Something about the way it was filmed felt very dry. And the sound quality was terrible and made the already impossible to understand accents even worse.

Mar 31, 2013

A beautiful, insightful film with compelling performances.

Mar 09, 2012

Beautiful film about disposable youth in 60s Britain. Wonderful performances from amateur actors. Quiet, unobtrusive style.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at FVRL

To Top