Kes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Directed by Ken Loach
Starring David Bradley, Colin Welland, Brian Glover
Criterion | 1969 | 110 minutes | Rated PG-13
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
English: LPCM Mono
English: Dolby Digital Mono
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 ›
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.
Billy Casper is an early to mid teen who is not so much an angry young man (his older half-brother Jud fits that description better) but an almost totally ignored kid, even by his classmates, who doesn't really relate to anything in school or at home. His mother mostly ignores him, his brother is hostile to him and in school no one much knows him. When he adopts and raises a baby kestrel hawk, whom he names Kes, his life suddenly becomes more meaningful and fulfilling. Unlike many of the protagonists of these films, Billy is presented in a sympathetic way with only a bit of petty stealing to hold against him.
Meanwhile life goes on around him in a generally harsh environment where most everyone is in a bad mood, the teachers hate their students and the principal canes students for coughing during a school assembly.Read more ›
"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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Touching, probing, insightful and compelling....had I been able to understand more of the dialogue -- I got maybe half of it -- it could have been creme de la creme. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michael Clark
There is something Truffaut-like about Kes. It could be the slow pacing or the focus on the characters, rather than the plot. Read morePublished 3 months ago by VioletandRye
this movie is really really good, serious, touching and much much morePublished 4 months ago by charley starr 49
This movie is excellent - and reflects the kind of culture i grew up in when i lived in England. A must if you want to know what it is like for someone who does not fit the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
A beautiful movie about a boy and his bird and bullying in years gone by.... It'll make you cry.Published 8 months ago by reviwer
Absorbing story about a boy who has few almost no positive influences among the adults. Poverty and being part of an underclass don't help either. Read morePublished 11 months ago by gavin o'connor
I went to the school where this was filmed. I knew Brian Glover, the actor who was really a teacher in real life (and a Professional Wrestler) through his daughter who went to the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by GeoffU