In Nighthawks, set in 1970s London, Jim (Ken Robertson) enters a discotheque; He goes to the bar and orders a drink. Looking around the darkly lit club reveals a club full of men bumping and grinding to disco with their shirts off. Jim leads a double life as a model geography teacher by day, while cruising London bars and clubs at night, looking for Mr Right and who ever catches his eye.
This is the life of a gay man (pre-AIDS), who does not flaunt his homosexuality but is certainly discreet about it. His colleagues and close friend Judy (Rachel Nicholas James) assumes that he is straight. Unhappily married, when Jim refers to a lover as a “he” Judy reveals her disappointment and surprise. His relationships are frequent and lacking substance. By day Jim’s routine is made up of class work prep, intense discussions with his students before he eventually comes out to his students when taunted for his rumoured homosexuality.
“Truly a classic… Ken Robertson portrays Jim, a gay teacher whose compulsive odyssey through London’s bar scene propels him toward a confrontation with his students. But writers/directors Ron Peck and Paul Hallam have created a character that transcends urban stereotypes and ascends to the universal. Long, pointed collars, bell-bottom trousers, and sideburns come straight from the disco archives.”
— San Francisco Examiner
“The overwhelming feeling when watching Nighthawks is that despite the world changing a lot since the late 70s, many of the issues faced by gay men remain the same.”
— Big Gay Picture Show
Did You Know?
Ron Peck and Paul Hallam raised funds for their groundbreaking feature debut Nighthawks, relying in part on confidential gifts from gay public figures. Spanning five years in the making, the duo assembled gay men to discuss their life stories, their feedback became the film’s script. Review our Gay Themed Films Here