Written by / 10/07/2018 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SCOTT WILSON 'THE GYPSY MOTHS' REVIEW & EXTERNAL TRIBUTE

Scott Wilson's yellow suited character's jump YEAR: 1969
John Frankenheimer's THE GYPSY MOTHS has some incredible aerial shots, and it's a shame they had to, right off the bat, provide studio inserts of two of the actors: one who should have been famous from IN COLD BLOOD and the other soon to make his breakthrough in THE FRENCH CONNECTION...

When Scott Wilson and Gene Hackman, as the gold and white suited jumpers, are shown in an obviously contrived setting with a counterfeit sky-blue backdrop, supposedly far up and descending with their own colored parachutes open, it's impossible not to tell we're watching a motion picture... But Frankenheimer, in what's his personal favorite film, and, despite a dated made-for-television style main theme, gives us the impression, otherwise, that these guys are the genuine article: not only by the myriad of actual footage, but in a more harmonious, less obvious rhythm, combining these with close-up expressions of each actor, about to jump for what may be their very lives...

Scott Wilson as Malcolm in The Gypsy Moths
Especially Burt Lancaster, who wears the bright red color and is the star of the mobile open field shows since he takes the longest to open his chute, making him the leader of this daredevil trio and, as their movie's concerned, he's not alone in top billing...

His multi-collaborating co-star, Deborah Kerr, most famous for their lovemaking in the foamy beach in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY over a decade earlier, plays the wife of small town suburban patriarch William Windom, who, with the personality of a Stepford husband, might as well have carried his melancholy wife into Burt Lancaster's arms, making it easy for the still attractive old-timers to hit the hay... or in this case, the couch...

RIP Scott Wilson Gypsy Moths Year of RATES: ***1/2
Where most of the film takes place, at home... this home... which brings the late Scott Wilson up close and personal: He's the long lost nephew of Kerr's from.... well that's all in the backstory she shares with Lancaster, and their romance is not only too easy it's breezy and forgettable, taking away from the three airshows that provide the baseline template for THE GYPSY MOTHS...

Aside from forced and awkward, claustrophobic sequences with the family, the best scenes occur when it's only the trio together, either indoors or out, up or down, and Hackman, as the most boisterous — providing the crowd a commentary between jumps — has ten-times the dialogue and personality of everyone else (which, for some unexplained reason, annoys his cohorts). Otherwise, the movie eventually points to Wilson, who is the man... or, the kid... of the hour. A more low-key, less edgy, non-method actor was originally cast (John Phillip Law), which might have lent importance solely to his youth and family connections. Wilson, though, provides the usual intensity that made all his characters shine even when they were haunted, brooding, tortured, and not so shiny.
Scott Wilson in The Gypsy Moths
Scott Wilson about to jump in The Gypsy Moths
Gene Hackman's "white" falling in The Gypsy Moths
Gene Hackman with stripper Sheree North in The Gypsy Moths
One of our all time favs, Scott Wilson born March 29th, 1942 to October 6, 2018
Gene Hackman and Scott Wilson in THE GYPSY MOTHS Reviewed by James M. Tate
A way too cool Burt Lancaster in THE GYPSY MOTHS
Another great view from THE GYPSY MOTHS
The boys opened up to land in THE GYPSY MOTHS
Spreading the word in THE GYPSY MOTHS
Another landscape shot from The Gypsy Moths directed by John Frankenheimer
Burt Lancaster Scott Wilson The Gypsy Moths Scott Wilson Burt Lancaster The Gypsy Moths Burt Lancaster
Scott Wilson 1942 to 2018 Review of The Gypsy Moths Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson in his career-changing role as Dick Hickock in IN COLD BLOOD w/ Robert Blake
SCOTT WILSON In Cold Blood SCOTT WILSON rest in peace...
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