The Gypsy Moths Overview:

The Gypsy Moths (1969) was a Action - Drama Film directed by John Frankenheimer and produced by Edward Lewis.

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Quotes from

Joe Browdy: Hey Kid... Next time you get in an airplane, make sure it's got a door on it!


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.


Joe Browdy: We'll be jumping from a Howard DGA-15. "DGA": that stands for "Damn Good Airplane", which if course it is. Very tricky to land though. Heh heh. You're much better off jumping out if it than you are taking a chance on landing in it. This one's in good shape.
Malcolm Webson: To Browdy, a airplane is in good shape if it has wings and a prop.


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Facts about

John Phillip Law was cast as Malcolm Webson, the youngest of the three skydiving barnstormers, but had to be replaced by Scott Wilson, because of an injury to his wrist. John Frankenhiemer wanted a close-up of him landing after a parachute jump and while in harness he was raised just out of camera shot by a crane, then released to float into the shot. When he landed, he fell and broke his wrist badly when he put his hand out to break his fall.
During the filming of Gypsy Moths at the airfield in Benton, Kansas, the 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 a couple of 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 the parked cars, narrowly missing some people and caving in the roof of an extra's ride. 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.
TCM occasionally plays a 15-minute long documentary short entitled "The Sky Divers", narrated by Wink Martindale, on the making-of this film. The short is also provided on the Warner_Home_Video DVD, often cited as simply a "Behind-the-scenes documentary" featurette.
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Also directed by John Frankenheimer




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Also produced by Edward Lewis




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Also released in 1969




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