When it was first made and released way back in 1978, Nighthawks was billed as the first British film to deal with gay life in positive light. Viewed almost thirty years later it seems as if life hasn’t changed all that much. London’s gay scene, and one man’s search for belonging in it, are explored in this sensitive and intelligent drama.
Ken Robertson plays a quiet teacher who divides his time between the classroom and the closet – and spends his evenings aimlessly cruising the city’s gay bars and discos. Using mostly unprofessional actors, this gritty, heartfelt drama has surprising depth despite the lack of any discernible plot, as it sympathetically portrays one man’s homosexual lifestyle without resorting to theatrics, hysterics and stereotyping.
Made over thirty years ago, the film has a “period” feel, offering strong evidence to the rapid change of gay lifestyles and gay men, specifically, in both how they accept their homosexuality as well as the social possibilities offered.