"A panorama of gay life": Nighthawks and British queer cinema in the 1970s

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter details the production history and reception of Paul Hallam and Ron Peck’s film Nighthawks (1978), often recognized as a “classic” of British LGBTQ cinema. It centrally engages with Vito Russo’s suggestion that the film offered “a community reaction to itself.” Making the film was a lengthy undertaking: the chapter draws on Peck and Hallam’s archives to reconstruct its creation, and unpacks Peck’s involvement with the Four Corners collective and its influence on the content and form of Nighthawks. The film is situated in relation to key events in British queer history and the landscape of British filmmaking during the decade, as well as in relation to Richard Dyer’s landmark 1977 film season “Images of Homosexuality.” The film’s “sequel,” Strip Jack Naked (1991), is also explored as a partial atonement for Nighthawks’s omissions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of queer cinema
EditorsRonald Gregg, Amy Villarejo
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780190878023
ISBN (Print)9780190877996
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2022


  • Queer cinema
  • LGBTQ cinema
  • Queer history
  • Queer culture
  • UK queer history
  • Film studies


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