Nighthawks (1978) – extract | BFI

Please note this video contains language that some viewers may find offensive.

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The first major British gay film, Paul Hallam and Ron Peck’s ‘Nighthawks’ was criticised in some circles for being too downbeat in its study of a schoolteacher who searches for companionship in London’s gay clubs. Being the first of its kind meant that many disparate groups wanted it to conform to their agendas. Yet portraying the protagonist as a normal, everyday man was far more subversive than conforming to stereotypes. This extract features one of the film’s most memorable scenes, as the teacher discusses his sexuality with his class, confronting their prejudices for the first time.

‘Nighthawks’ and Ron Peck’s follow-up feature ‘Strip Jack Naked’ are available to buy on BFI DVD:

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