Nan Reynolds encourages her copywriter husband Bill to open his own agency. Nearly out of business, he finally gets a client. Former girlfriend Patricia Berkeley writes a very successful ... See full 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
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 »
When Mike (Lancaster) and Elizabeth (Kerr) are driving to the ladies meeting, the dome light is on inside the car. See more »
I imagine you're the sort of man who always manages to find the best and rightest reasons for everything you do. Do you think that's possible for everyone?
I'm always hopeful.
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A film that is near to my heart for personal reasons
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.
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