On a 4th of July weekend, three barnstorming skydivers arrive to perform in a small Kansas town. They are hosted by the youngest member Webson's aunt, the unhappily married Elizabeth. While Browdy one-nights with a topless dancer, a doomed romance flares up between Elizabeth and Rettig. Tension builds, and explodes with a spectacular skydiving show. Written by
When you turn on by falling free... when jumping is not only a way to live, but a way to die, too... you're a Gypsy Moth.
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Did You Know?
During filming at the airfield in Benton, Kansas, director John Frankenheimer
wanted to get a real, horrified reaction from the extras playing the audience, so he had a mannequin dressed like a skydiver and tied it under a helicopter, which ascended several hundred feet, then released the dummy. Most of the people hadn't noticed what had been rigged up, so when it fell they thought it was a real person hitting the ground and he got the reaction he was looking for. One minor problem was that the pilot didn't gauge the wind accurately and the "skydiver" fell into some parked cars, narrowly missing some people and caving in the roof of an extra's car. The studio bought the car for several times what it was worth and the damaged vehicle spent the rest of the shooting behind one of the hangers. See more
During the parachute jump that opens the film, the Gypsy Moths jump from the exact same plane flown by the same pilot they meet and hire - supposedly for the first time - in another town several days later. See more
Remember what you always said when I first started with you? "Be careful." That's what you always said. "That's what's important in this business kid. BE careful."
Is that what I always said?
Why are you taking so many chances now? What are you trying to prove?
Featured in The Sky Divers
Wild Blue Yonder
("U.S. Air Force Song")(uncredited)
Music and lyrics by Robert MacArthur Crawford
First two lines sung by Gene Hackman See more