6.3/10
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The Gypsy Moths (1969)

Three skydivers and their travelling thrill show barnstorm through a small midwestern town one Fourth of July weekend.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mike Rettig
...
Elizabeth Brandon
...
Joe Browdy
...
Malcolm Webson
...
V. John Brandon
...
Annie Burke
...
Waitress
Carl Reindel ...
Pilot
...
Stand Owner
John Napier ...
Dick Donford
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Storyline

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 Markku Kuoppamäki

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 1969 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Die den Hals riskieren  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The skydiving equipment the Gypsy Moths use in the film was sport parachuting state-of-the-art for the late 1960's. The three jumpers' personal gear consisted of Para-Commander main parachutes in "Piggyback" containers and harnesses made by the Pioneer Parachute Company, Pioneer jumpsuits, Bell helmets, Altimaster wrist altimeters, and French-designed and manufactured "Paraboots". The goggles they wore were a commercially-available type identical to the Polaroid M-1944 military goggle, their light gloves a commonly-available work or trucker's driving glove. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mike Rettig: [Softly] Tomorrow, when we leave here, I want you to come with me.
Elizabeth Brandon: [Clearly surprised at the request] Come with you?
Mike Rettig: Yes.
Mike Rettig: [She makes some low sounds, and he moves toward her] Do you always offer more than you're asked for?
Elizabeth Brandon: Only to those who ask so much less than they want.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blunt Talk: Who Kisses So Early in the Morning? (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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 »

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User Reviews

 
A personal experience with Deborah Kerr while making this movie.
31 January 2006 | by (Wichita, Kansas) – See all my reviews

When action scenes for "Gypsy Moths" were about to be shot, mostly at the Benton,Kansas airfield, I was 18 and living in Wichita. Due to my interest in acting, mainly in High School productions, I, along with my five brothers and sisters and Mother who was a bit of a ham herself, answered a "cattle call" for crowd scenes at Benton Airfield. Because I was Burt Lancaster's general height and build and was the same size, 42 Long, I was upgraded to Stand-in for him and ended up standing in for all the principle male characters except Gene Hackman who used his brother. There was a scene in a park in El Dorado, KS where Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster sit on a merry-go-round and talk. He then stands up and leans in rather closely to Ms. Kerr. The director wanted to change the lighting on that particular shot to compensate for Mr. Lancaster's new position. He called for the "Seconds" to take the actors' places while they fine tuned the lighting. At that moment Deborah's stand-in was over by the swings, in the process of losing the greasy chili which had been catered that night and couldn't answer the call. John Frankenheimer was upset by her failure to report and acted like he was about to fire her, but, always the gracious lady, Ms. Kerr said she was fine just sitting there and would stand in for herself. The scene required that Burt Lancaster lean in to the point that their faces are mere inches apart. There she was, the consummate professional and I, standing in for Mr. Lancaster, was face to face with an actress I had loved ever since seeing her in such films as "From Here to Eternity" and "The King and I". It's understating my uneasiness by saying I was sweating bullets and worrying about my breath. She sensed my discomfort and proceeded to ask me questions like what I aspired to be (she didn't say 'when I grew up', which was, to me, just more evidence of her class) to set me at ease. At the time I was very interested in an acting career and she said that if I ever got to Hollywood to look her up and she would get me an appointment with her agent. What amazed me about the exchange was that I realized she was serious and would very probably have taken the time out of her busy schedule to do just that. My esteem for her grew many fold that night. Although I understand she now lives in Switzerland, I have often thought that even though I am in my 50's and gave up the thought of acting professionally years ago, it would be great if she still lived in Hollywood and I was able contact her. I would remind her of what she said 36 years ago and ask when she would be able to take me to see her agent. At 85 years old, I wouldn't be surprised if she said, "Give me a couple of minutes and we'll go over right now." Deborah Kerr, I still love you and I always will.


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