When Nighthawks was first released 30 years ago our world was undoubtedly a different place. Key gay rights had still yet to be won, and low-budget independent British films were influenced by international arthouse directors such as Pasolini, Fassbinder, Warhol/Morrisey, Wenders and Chantal Akerman. Nighthawks defies categorisation, its compelling cyclical structure interspersing the daily work of schoolteacher with his documentation of changing urban spaces and nights spent cruising bars and clubs in search of Mr Right. Leading a mixed cast of actors and non-professionals, Ken Robertson excels in a brave performance that confounded critics at the time. This stunning restoration by the BFI reveals Nighthawks to be one of the great undervalued films of the 1970s. –BFI
Pioneering, if a little earnest, drama; resolutely gay in theme and with a pleasing gaucheness about it. A tad overlong and rather lacking in humour to balance out the right-on drama, but an important film nevertheless and an interesting counterpoint to the more flamboyant guilt trip of Jarman's Sebastiane a couple of years before.