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Kes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1969)

David Bradley , Freddie Fletcher , Ken Loach  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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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 (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004JPJHLK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,028 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

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
    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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    22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. 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.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Delicate and haunting film! 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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    22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars If your out there please release on region1!!! 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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    7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    4 1/2 Stars

    Ken Loach's acclaimed 1973 film "Kes" is one of the saddest films I've ever seen, literally ever. 90% percent of this film is shown with scenes displaying the public disapproval of small loner Billy Casper; be it by his teachers, peers, or family. No matter where he gos there is always Something someone finds to disapprove of in poor Billy: His appearance, attitude, or just the simple fact that he exists. He is a kid whose past is percieved as horrible, present is obiviously miserable, and whose future is looking as dim as the mine shaft he's destined to plunge into. But in all of this darkness there is one small bright shade of light: Kes. A beautiful kestrel taken from a monastery wall by Billy. He seems to be the only thing in this world that Casper takes a natural interest to. "It's just a bird!" His mother shouts, but it's not. Its his sole reason left for existing.

    We have all felt down and out in our lives, but only a few of us have ever reached the level of hopelessness that fills Billy's life. The flying scenes with Billy and kes are brief but beautiful, for they show a kid regaining his reason to live when his society told him he had none. "They beat him. They Deprived him. They Ridiculed him. They Broke his heart. But they could not break his spirit." That is the tagline for this film, and I don't think they could've made one that summed up this film better. In some ways I believe that Kes represents Billy in that he feels the need to take flight, to go make something of himself, but is trapped by the forces of his own environment (that leash).

    At Kes' Conclusion we are left in want of a resolution, but are sadly denied it.
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    7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Touching Coming-of-Age Drama 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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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Restrained and moving
    Although superficially a story about a beleaguered young man who trains a kestrel, the setting in this film is at least as important. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Larry Benjamin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Better than it ever was
    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 more
    Published 4 months ago by J. A. Mayer
    5.0 out of 5 stars PACKAGING PROBLEM for a GREAT MOVIE
    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 more
    Published 6 months ago by Thomas Dutton
    5.0 out of 5 stars Tit for Tat
    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
    Published 7 months ago by Luke Javan
    3.0 out of 5 stars Kes 1969
    I saw this movie this morning on MGM hd cable channel.. It really wasn't my kind of movie. I wouldn't watch it again.. Read more
    Published 11 months ago by ozzy
    5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Performance By Young David Bradley
    Billy Casper(David Bradley) shares a twin bed with his older coal miner brother in their bleak council house estate. Read more
    Published 13 months ago by David Baldwin
    5.0 out of 5 stars bleak and real
    a viscerally wrenching depiction of the cold reality of one kid's dead end working class life in England. highly recommended
    Published 15 months ago by James K Johnson
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Working Classes
    I think the point of this is to see a slice of life for England's working classes.... and it is pretty bleak. Read more
    Published 16 months ago by E. Walker
    5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking
    "Kes" is a plain and simple story that has more depth and character than most Hollywood movies. Read more
    Published 17 months ago by Reviewer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good
    Kes is not a great film, nor even a near-great one, but it is a good film- at times very good (even with brilliant flashes), and shows how political art can be of quality when the... Read more
    Published on June 21, 2012 by Cosmoetica
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