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Like Tom Courtenay in Tony Richardson's The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Billy isn't a good kid, but the other lads are no better, and Kes brings out his best. If his stern principal and sadistic coach push him around, an English teacher encourages his passion, but when Billy crosses Jud, he risks losing the only thing that gives his life meaning. Though the flute-intensive score attempts to soften the scenario, the dialogue is astringent, the accents are authentic, and self-sabotaging Billy will break your heart.
Criterion's two-disc set offers the ideal counterpart in Cathy Come Home, which critic Graham Fuller describes in the afterword as "a watershed moment in British television drama." In this contribution to the BBC's Wednesday Play series, Loach introduces a Birmingham couple who end up homeless after a series of setbacks. By incorporating actual interviews, he creates a stirring documentary effect. Other supplements include an insightful South Bank Show profile, in which he discusses his working methods, and a featurette with Loach, Bradley, cinematographer Chris Menges, and producer Tony Garnett, who reveals that Kes owes its very existence to Richardson, who saved the day after funding fell through. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
The sound quality is poor, and the subtitles (which you are completely dependent on unless you have no problems understanding mumbled working class northern english) is not... Read morePublished 27 days ago by K. Sjurseth
Sympathetic portrait of a young man growing up in a dismal environment in the north of England. As an American i found the Yorkshire accent close to impenetrable and probably... Read morePublished 1 month ago by JDC
a little hard to understand the strong accent it would take a little while to get used to itPublished 10 months ago by Rod L.
Although superficially a story about a beleaguered young man who trains a kestrel, the setting in this film is at least as important. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Larry Benjamin
This is a review of the quality of the image and sound. The image quality is better than I've ever seen it. It is really sharp and it has been totally color corrected. Read morePublished 16 months ago by jam_2015
KES is a great movie, using local people with original accents. The subtitles are needed for understanding, but I'm glad they did not dub anything. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Thomas Dutton
Tit for Tat, Eye for Eye, tooth for tooth. Such is the human condition.
As the cover says, "Kes" is named one of the ten best films of the century by the British Film... Read more