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The Gypsy Moths (1969)

 -  Action | Drama | Romance  -  28 August 1969 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,148 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 10 critic

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

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(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
Ford Rainey ...
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:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 August 1969 (USA)  »

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

According to director John Frankenheimer, the dancers in the go-go club were local Kansas girls, not city girls, because they looked authentic. 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

Joe Browdy: Look, kid, this is a business. They don't pay to watch us walk across the street. Now, when are yuh gonna get that through your head? If you're so concerned with Rettig doing the jump, I mean, you can learn it yourself. Then you wouldn't have to worry about him.
Malcolm Webson: I have a better idea. Why don't you do it?
Joe Browdy: Because I recognize my limitations. It's the secret to my success in life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Space Travellers (1992) 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 film that is near to my heart for personal reasons
19 June 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

As a very young boy in El Dorado, Kansas, I marveled when the film crews came to town from Hollywood to shoot this film, what is considered John Frankenheimer's `lost classic.' The story is sub-par: three barnstormers stop at a small Kansas town to put on a show and get involved in a less-than-intriguing soap opera with the occupants of a house where they are staying. What makes the movie work for me is the reoccurrence of so many memorable images from the town where I grew up, but for outsiders, the essence of small-town Kansas life is captured so purely you'll be transported to the peacefulness of a world where the arrival of daredevil skydivers is a Big Event.

Most interesting to note in this film are the back-stories. Scott Wilson was called in to replace an injured John Philip Law, who was originally cast as the young daredevil. Gene Hackman was still a fledgling, relatively unknown, and yet he managed to steal most of the scenes from the established Burt Lancaster. For the locals, this film still lingers in the memory. The Victorian home where the barnstormers stay still stands, and the screened in porch on the house's north side--built exclusively for this film by the visiting film crew--is still referred to by locals as the `MGM porch.' The fight song that the marching band plays throughout this film is still the fight song of the Butler County Grizzlies, the athletic team of the local community college. And even today, old-timers wonder whether or not that was really Deborah Kerr in the buff … or if a body double was used. Either way, you'll get a real feel for this community, an interesting first look at up-and-comers Gene Hackman and Bonnie Bedalia, and a fascinating series of sky-diving sequences that set the tone for many such scenes to come.


22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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