Nighthawks (1978) Poster

(1978)

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7/10
70's Gay Man in London
Havan_IronOak31 August 2001
This film is the story of Jim, a man who's a comprehensive (middle) school teacher by day and gay man by night in the late 80's. It was the time before AIDS when Men wore Levi's and mustaches and before Calvin Klein made tighty whities sexy again.

Jim does the rounds, going to bars to meet men. The string of men lengthens one after the other; some attracted to him some he's attracted to. But, there's never a mutual attraction. As with so many bar-met men, getting to bed is easy, getting to a second date is not.

The film takes an interesting turn when one day in class, he's asked if he's ` Bent'. He answers yes and then proceeds to answer the other questions that the students pose.

Like most things in life, this film doesn't end with all the loose threads tied up neatly. However, for those of us that lived through this period, it is an interesting film.
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5/10
Live By Night
sol-3 December 2017
Finding a steady boyfriend proves challenging for a gay geography teacher in prejudiced 1970s London in this British drama starring Ken Robertson. The film was considered daring in its day with its suggestion that something is wrong with a society in which it is so hard for homosexual men to be themselves. Viewed nowadays though, the impact is not the same. There are some admirable techniques at hand, like the absence of audible dialogue for the first six minutes and a shot that gradually zooms into his nervous face at a gay bar, and some of the dialogue resonates (some believe "you're not even human" if you do not "like birds"). For all these positives though, there are many repetitive shots of men dancing for ages on end. A new teacher at Robertson's school also provides a too obvious outlet for him to ramble on about the difficulties of being gay and while a scene in which his prejudiced students grill him about their misconceptions of homosexuality is great, it comes too late in the piece. The film additionally shies over how its protagonist has so much spare time or can turn up to class two hours late without repercussion - but, for all its drawbacks, the film does at least have its heart in the right place.
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9/10
Painfully realistic
fubar-22 December 1998
This could almost be a documentary, it's depiction of the gay male lifestyle is so realistic. A brilliant film unlike any others in the genre. No fantasies here, just honesty (though obviously made before AIDS was an all-too common fear).
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5/10
London by night
bkoganbing31 December 2014
Nighthawks is an interesting study of gay life in London and at the time it was made it was those heady 70s, post liberation and pre-AIDS. This kind of film was not made again so soon either here or across the pond where Nighthawks originated.

This is a study of Kenneth Robertson who is a young geography teacher at one of London's inner city schools by day and by night he's living the life of a gay man whose only venue is the bar scene. We see him picking up a lot of men, but it's only a series of one night stands. Neither Robertson or Diane Keaton is destined to find Mr. Goodbar to spend a life with.

The climax of the film is when his students find out about him and confront him in class. He answers a lot of their questions, their most ignorant questions since these are kids who have not exactly been exposed to positive gay role models. Since then a lot of positive LGBT characters have been on the big screen, the small screen, and a ton of well known people in all walks of life have left the closet behind. And not for a hedonistic existence that Robertson enjoys.

Many films like Nighthawks fall into a category like this. Stonewall has come, liberation has come, we'll get our rights, but let the good times roll. That's the attitude that dates Nighthawks now.

Still it makes an interesting view of the times.
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10/10
a film for now as much as forty years ago
robertknight200312 September 2014
This extraordinary film was made in 1978 - almost forty years ago. The Sexual Offences Act in Britain had come into effect in 1967 decriminalizing sexual acts between two men in private at the age of 21.

Clearly, seven years on from then, a huge liberation had occurred, but homosexuality was still hampered by amazing ignorance and intolerance in general British society. There was still the fear of being branded 'queer' or 'bent', and becoming bereft of a livelihood and an income, and viewed as repugnant by family and those around where you lived.

This film cannot be valued enough. It's breathtaking in its lack of polemic. It's just about gay men getting on with their lives in their particular period. What's so interesting is that their sad search for love then is no different to the search now.
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Wrong credit for kris Watson.
kris-watson-752-6999425 January 2020
I know this is the wrong credit for kris Watson Cos I am Kris Watson and I can 100% tell you I wasn't in it.
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