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Kes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Perrie, Colin Welland, Brian Glover
  • Directors: Ken Loach
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: April 19, 2011
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004JPJHLK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,108 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer, approved by director Ken Loach and director of photography Chris Menges, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

    Making “Kes”, a new documentary featuring Loach, Menges, producer Tony Garnett, and actor David Bradley

    The Southbank Show: “Ken Loach” (1993), a profile of the filmmaker, featuring Loach, Garnett, directors Stephen Frears and Alan Parker, and other Loach collaborators

    Cathy Come Home (1967), a feature directed by Loach and produced by Garnett, with an introduction by film writer Graham Fuller

    Original theatrical trailer

    PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by Fuller


  • Editorial Reviews

    Named by the British Film Institute as one of the ten best British films of the century, Kes, from Ken Loach (Hidden Agenda, The Wind That Shakes the Barley), is cinema’s quintessential portrait of working-class Northern England. Billy (an astonishingly naturalistic David Bradley) is a fifteen-year-old miner’s son whose close bond with a wild kestrel provides him with a spiritual escape from his dead-end life. Kes established the sociopolitical engagement and artistic brilliance of its filmmaker, and pushed the British “angry young man” film of the sixties into a new realm of authenticity, using real locations and nonprofessional actors. Loach’s poignant coming-of-age drama remains its now legendary director’s most beloved and influential film.

    Customer Reviews

    4.6 out of 5 stars
    5 star
    21
    4 star
    8
    3 star
    2
    2 star
    0
    1 star
    0
    See all 31 customer reviews
    Worked fine, I watched three times or more.
    Santiago
    There's a strong political message in the film, confirmed during interviews in the special features, that many kids have no chance to escape their miserable reality.
    Steven Aldersley
    I would go further but don't like to post spoilers.
    Ted

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Steven Aldersley on May 4, 2011
    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    Kes
    Directed by Ken Loach
    Starring David Bradley, Colin Welland, Brian Glover

    Criterion | 1969 | 110 minutes | Rated PG-13

    Video:
    Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
    Video resolution: 1080p
    Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

    Audio:
    English: LPCM Mono
    English: Dolby Digital Mono

    Subtitles:
    English SDH

    Disc:
    Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc
    Region A locked

    The film contains brief nudity and scenes which may disturb young children.

    Kes is a very British film, winning two BAFTA awards from its five nominations. Colin Welland won for best supporting actor and was the only professional actor in the film. David Bradley won for most promising newcomer.

    The story deals with a troubled young boy, Billy Casper (Bradley). He is bullied by his older brother at home and similarly treated by his peers in school. He's insolent, not above lying or stealing and does little to encourage people to like him. He's a loner.

    The setting is Barnsley, Yorkshire, in the north of England. If you have ever seen this part of England depicted in other films, you'll know that it's a poor area populated largely by working class people. In the 1960s, that was very much the case. Billy's brother worked in a coal mine, as did most of the town. The two had to share the same bed, so you can imagine how poor they were.

    Anyone unfamiliar with British accents may find the thick Yorkshire dialect hard to follow. It's the main reason that Kes wasn't given a wide release outside England. I'm completely at home with the accent because my grandfather came from Barnsley. He often talked about his tough upbringing and it gives the film additional meaning for me.
    Read more ›
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    23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 26, 2008
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I enjoyed this story when I read it at school in the 70's and this is the fourth or fifth time I have watched the movie.

    Very realistic socially (I grew up just a few miles from where this is filmed) and don't doubt that the PE teacher is based in reality.

    Touching and emotional.
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    24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on September 12, 2005
    Format: DVD
    A beautiful and tender story that turns around a 15 year-old Yorkshire boy who tames and trains his pet. One of the most remarkable films of that decade directed by that young and raising promise. Ken Loach.
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    23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By a reader on August 31, 2007
    Format: DVD
    This film is so beautiful-i saw it in the U.K.I really wish they would release in U.S format so i could have it to keeeep!!It is very realistic real film that gets right under your skin and into the little boy's head.Life is stark and hard for him but when he flys or handles that bird ,it sets his soul free.Not much time left-he's soon going to grow up and have to work in the mine and be smothered by mundane grind like folks around him.Heartbreaking without an once of sentimentality so this film gets you.Somewhat upsetting.But so goddam beautiful.
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    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Man VINE VOICE on April 28, 2011
    Format: Blu-ray
    "Kes," named one of the ten best films of the century by the British Film Institute, is director Ken Loach's portrait of working-class Northern England. Using real locations and non-professional actors, "Kes" is a touching coming-of-age drama. Fifteen-year-old Billy Casper (David Bradley) lives in a ramshackle house with his emotionally remote mother and physically abusive half-brother, Jud. At school, Billy is mistreated by his teachers, who regard him as a hopeless case. His close bond with a wild kestrel provides him with a spiritual escape from his dead-end life.

    "Kes" will remind viewers of "Billy Elliot," since both films are set in the same location and feature young protagonists from blue-collar backgrounds. "Kes" is beautifully directed and young Mr. Bradley turns in a moving, believable performance.

    The newly restored Blu-ray edition's extras include a making-of documentary, a 1993 profile of director Loach, a 1966 television feature by Loach, the alternate internationally released soundtrack, and a booklet with a critical essay.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Little Pazille on June 3, 2011
    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    KES was a wonderful story of a young boy growing up in Northern England. It was difficult for me to get used to the English
    dialect, but half way through I was understanding the words. A second viewing of this DVD is definitely indicated.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ted VINE VOICE on February 23, 2012
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Kes is not just a film but a social commentary, and a story of hope.

    The film is about a teenage boy living in a poor coal-mining town in the North of England. He is often bullied by his classmates and older brother. He is a slacker in school as well, and worries that he will end up working in the coal mines. One day he encounters a kestrel falcon whom he names "Kes." He later steal a book on falconry, being too young to borrow a book from the local library. He later makes great progress training it, which provides an escape from his otherwise boring life. He gives a presentation in his class about it and his teacher is astonished at the effort he made into this. He later has an opportunity to see Kes in action. I would go further but don't like to post spoilers.

    The film is raked number seven on the BFI's top ten British films and was long sought in the US. The supplements include a documentary on the film's production and an optional audio track with dubbed dialogue. This was due to the vernacular, thick accents many of the characters have which can be difficult for audiences outside Britain to understand.

    This is a film all should see.
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