The Gypsy Moths (1969)
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as Mike Rettig
as Elizabeth Brandon
as Joe Browdy
as Malcolm Webson
as V. John Brandon
as Annie Burke
as Stand Owner
as Dick Donford
Critic Reviews for The Gypsy Moths
Audience Reviews for The Gypsy Moths
John Frankenheimer's film is supposed to be about skydiving, which it is. But, there's LOTS of melodrama to go along with it. If I remember, Frankenheimer's "Grand Prix" was like that too. That was about racing, but there was lots of soap opera. The prelude, which lasts a while, does lead to the skydiving sequences. Then, there's a major tonal shift. It is then that the film actually works, and works well. I really liked how the film came to its almost poetic conclusion. The thoughts behind the final part of the film should have been used in the introductory hour or so. John Frankenheimer was very disappointed that this film saw almost no distribution in the U.S. Frankenheimer said it was his favorite film of those he directed. The film was rated "M," which was the two-year forerunner to the MPAA's "GP," and subsequent "PG." Perhaps it was the mature content in those early days of the MPAA's modern rating system that threw audiences and exhibitors off. It is worth one viewing for those who followed Frankenheimer's career, or those who are interested in skydiving.
With the screenplay and the cast, that bring big names of Hollywood, The Gypsy Moths, show be a sentimental and too much dramatic, but unforgettable film.
More interesting for the backstory and the historical perspective on skydiving than for the wafer-thin plot and soap opera antics. Terrific stunts were state-of-the-art for 1969.
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