To mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, we’re exploring our collective past through a season of exceptional British movies.
Director: Ron Peck, Paul Hallam. Starring: Ken Robertson. UK 1978. 114 mins.
Often seen as Britain's first major gay film, Nighthawks is a vivid account of the London gay scene soon after decriminalisation, where, newly freed from the threat of imprisonment, men are able to seek love and sex in the dark confines of Soho clubs.
Director: Michael Mann.
Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Diana Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman. USA 1995. 171 mins.
Two of America’s finest, most charismatic film actors came together for the first time on screen in Michael Mann’s highly intelligent, stylish, violent thriller – and the result is electrifying. An absorbing duel between two men – one the icy cool mastermind of a criminal gang specialising in high-risk, high-yield heists (De Niro), the other the dogged detective assigned to his case (Pacino) – plays out on the battleground of contemporary LA, a moody, ever shifting city of twisted morals and crumbling relationships. Beautifully crafted, superbly paced and boasting a superlative heist gone wrong among several unforgettable sequences, Heat brought Michael Mann the recognition he long deserved as one of America's most talented directors.