The Gypsy Moths ()

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


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Cast verified as complete

Mike Rettig
Elizabeth Brandon
Joe Browdy
Malcolm Webson
V. John Brandon
Annie Burke
Stand Owner
John Napier ...
Dick Donford
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wendell Burton ...
Man in strip club ordering a drink (uncredited)
Thom Conroy ...
Band Leader (uncredited)
Patty Plenty ...
Topless Dancer (uncredited)
Magistrate (uncredited)

Directed by

John Frankenheimer

Written by

William Hanley ... (screenplay)
James Drought ... (novel)

Produced by

Hal Landers ... producer
Edward Lewis ... executive producer
Bobby Roberts ... producer

Music by

Elmer Bernstein

Cinematography by

Philip H. Lathrop ... director of photography (as Philip Lathrop)

Film Editing by

Henry Berman

Editorial Department

Alex Beaton ... associate editor

Art Direction by

George W. Davis
Cary Odell

Set Decoration by

Henry Grace
Jack Mills

Costume Design by

Bill Thomas

Makeup Department

Sydney Guilaroff ... hair stylist
John Truwe ... makeup artist
William Tuttle ... makeup artist
Robert J. Schiffer ... makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

Jim Henderling ... unit production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Lynn Guthrie ... assistant director
Al Jennings ... assistant director
Lynn Guthrie ... second assistant director (uncredited)
Otto Lang ... second unit director (uncredited)

Art Department

Frank Agnone ... property master

Sound Department

Franklin Milton ... recording supervisor
Tom Overton ... sound engineer (as Tommy Overton)

Visual Effects by

J. McMillan Johnson ... special visual effects
Carroll L. Shepphird ... special visual effects


J. David Jones ... aerial stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Carl Boenish ... special aerial photographer (as Carl Boenisch)
Ray De La Motte ... first assistant camera: aerial unit (uncredited)
Jay Gifford ... camera operator: aerial unit (uncredited)
Richard Hager ... grip (uncredited)

Music Department

Robert Bain ... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Milt Bernhart ... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Elmer Bernstein ... conductor (uncredited)
Ray Brown ... musician: bass (uncredited)
Pete Chrislieb ... musician: saxophone (uncredited)
Buddy Collette ... musician: saxophone (uncredited)
Vince De Rosa ... musician: french horn (uncredited)
James Decker ... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Sam Freed Jr. ... musician: violin (uncredited)
Justin Gordon ... musician: saxophone (uncredited)
Alan Harshman ... musician: viola (uncredited)
Alton Hendrickson ... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Norman Herzburg ... musician: bassoon (uncredited)
Steven Hufsteter ... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Tommy Johnson ... musician: tuba (uncredited)
Armand Kaproff ... musician: cello (uncredited)
Nathan Kaproff ... musician: violin (uncredited)
Pearl Kaufman ... musician: piano (uncredited)
Harry Klee ... musician: flute (uncredited)
Manny Klein ... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Bernie Kaai Lewis ... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Sinclair Lott ... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Alfred Lustgarten ... musician: violin (uncredited)
Arthur Maebe ... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Virginia Majewski ... musician: viola (uncredited)
Shelly Manne ... musician: drums (uncredited)
Jack Marsh ... musician: bassoon (uncredited)
Lew McCreary ... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Peter Mercurio ... musician: bass (uncredited)
Abe Most ... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Larry Muhoberac ... musician: piano (uncredited)
Richard Nash ... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Ted Nash ... musician: flute (uncredited)
Jack Nimitez ... musician: saxophone (uncredited)
Richard Perissi ... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Uan Rasey ... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Dorothy Remsen ... musician: harp (uncredited)
Ethmer Roten ... musician: flute (uncredited)
Gordon Schoneberg ... musician: oboe (uncredited)
Wilbur Schwartz ... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Louie Shelton ... musician: bass (uncredited) / musician: guitar (uncredited)
Leo Shuken ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Tommy Tedesco ... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Milton Thomas ... musician: viola (uncredited)
Lloyd Ulyate ... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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Plot Summary

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 Keywords
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 »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Les parachutistes arrivent (France)
  • Los temerarios del aire (Spain)
  • I temerari (Italy)
  • Oi diamones ton ouranon (Greece)
  • Die den Hals riskieren (Austria)
  • See more »
  • 107 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Did You Know?

Trivia Experienced, but amateur skydivers, most with several thousand jumps to their credit, were brought in from California to double for the actors. During one take, an unexpected gust of wind pulled the chute and caused one of the skydivers to be slammed into the ground, breaking his collarbone and dislocating his shoulder. Even though in great pain, he stayed in character and managed to get up and finish the scene. He was retained by Director John Frankenheimer as a consultant. See more »
Goofs As the plane flies over the first airfield in the film, the town's name of Bridgeville is clearly painted on the airport's hangar. The skydivers pack up, leave town, drive for what seems half a day or so to the next town, and arrive, again, in Bridgeville. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in The Sky Divers (1969). See more »
Soundtracks Wild Blue Yonder See more »
Quotes Allen Brandon: What I don't understand is, why you do this thing at all.
Joe Browdy: To me, it's a business.
Allen Brandon: And you Mr. Rettig? What's it to you? If you don't mind my asking.
Mike Rettig: I had a friend in the Army, a sergeant, a parachutist for about 20 years. He used to say that jumping was not only a way to live, but also a way to die. Damn few things are.
See more »

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