Taglines: In this life, people are either hawks or pigeons. Meet the… HAWKS.
Bancroft (Timothy Dalton), the terminally ill lawyer who is the hero of ”Hawks,” regards his own mortality as a bad joke and is determined to respond in kind. Decker (Anthony Edwards), the terminally ill American football player who winds up as Bancroft’s roommate in an English hospital, becomes the lawyer’s willing protege. Together, they embark on a series of rebellious escapades tailored to Bancroft’s unusual wit.
They dine at an elegant restaurant wearing hospital pajamas and bright red clown’s noses. They determine whether Decker is depressed enough to ride his wheelchair off the hospital’s roof. They steal an ambulance and run away to the red-light district of Amsterdam. In the course of this last desperate attempt to beat back the inevitable, they change noticeably for the better. Bancroft even manages to fall in love.
”Hawks,” which opens today at the Angelika Film Center, suffers from broadness and bombast, but it’s more bearable than it sounds. Mr. Dalton is asked to spout an incessant stream of cloying chatter, but he does this with grace and good humor. Mr. Edwards makes the football player’s plight quietly affecting. The very tall Janet McTeer, as a pregnant chambermaid who takes an understandable shine to a man who’s as handsome as James Bond, overplays the comic effect of her gawkiness. But she, too, is backhandedly appealing. And the Dutch setting means, among other things, windmills.
Hawks is a 1988 British comedy film about two terminally ill patients, an English lawyer named Bancroft (Timothy Dalton) and a young Gridiron football player (Anthony Edwards), who decide to sneak out of their hospital rooms and live life to its fullest for whatever time they have left. Their goal is to reach a famous brothel in Amsterdam. Along the way, they encounter various characters including a pair of misfit British women played by Camille Coduri and Janet McTeer.
It was filmed on location in London’s Charing Cross Hospital and in the Netherlands. The film was directed by Robert Ellis Miller and based on a short story written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees and David English, and the screenplay was written by Roy Clarke. The musical score was composed by Gibb. The film has been regarded by some as one of the most overlooked and underrated in Timothy Dalton’s career.
Directed by: Robert Ellis Miller
Starring: Timothy Dalton, Anthony Edwards, Janet McTeer, Camille Coduri, Jill Bennett, Robert Lang, Pat Starr, Bruce Boa, Sheila Hancock, Caroline Langrishe
Screenplay by: Barry Gibb, David English
Production Design by: Peter Cooke, Peter Howitt
Cinematography by: Douglas Milsome
Film Editing by: Malcolm Cooke
Costume Design by: Catherine Cook
Music by: John Cameron
Distributed by: Skouras Pictures
Release Date: November 10, 1989