Billy Casper (David Bradley) has been in trouble for most of his 15 years. Deserted by his coal-miner father, neglected by his mother and bullied, not only by his brutish older brother (Freddie Fletcher), but by bigger boys at school and by teachers, Billy has always resorted to the wiles of a petty thief to acquire the things he needs to make life more bearable. One day on the moors, he is transfixed by the flight of a kestrel and steals one of her chicks. He raises the small bird he calls Kes and trains it to hunt for food. Kes gives Billy some purpose in his life and the prospect of some future, despite the efforts of others to extinguish the spark of hope.
David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, Colin Welland