609 - THE SKYDIVERS (1963; NR; 75m)

Shown with Short: 609S-Why Study Industrial Arts?

Ad: "Thrill Jumping Guys...Thrill Seeking Girls...
Daring Death with Every Leap!"

Ad: "First Full Length Motion Picture Showing the Daredevils of the Sky who Free Fall from Heights of 20,000 Feet with only a Ripcord between Life and Death!"

Plot: A spurned rich girl sabotages parachutes at a skydiving school.

Exec: George Buckner
Exec: Helen Buckner
Prod: Anthony Cardoza* (also star)
Dir/Scr: Coleman Francis* (also cameo)
Cin: Austin McKinney
(psup/621-The Beast of Yucca Flats)
Cin: Lee Strosnider
(sound/Spider Baby; Beach Ball)
Aerial Photography: Jack Kupp
Ed: Bob Lusby
M/U: Tony DeGeorge
PMgr: Bud Wilson
ADir: Mike Harrington
(812-The Incredibly Strange Creatures...)
Score: John Bath
(619-Red Zone Cuba; Right Hand of the Devil)
Songs: Ha-So; Stratosphere Boogie
(by Jimmy Bryant and the Night Jumpers)
Chor: Robert Banas (actor/307-Daddy-O; The Girl Most Likely)

Beth Rowe / Kevin Casey
Joe Moss / Eric Tomlin*
Harry Rowe / Tony Cardoza*
Suzy Belmont / Marcia Knight (621)
Bob / Bob Carrano
Red / Michael Rae
Bernie / Jerry Mann
photographer Jim / Keith Walton
Pete / Paul Francis (Coleman's brother)
Frankie Bonner / Titus Moede a.k.a. Titus Moody*
(812; The Thrill Killers; sound/621)
airplane gunman, cigar-smoking father / Coleman Francis*
spectator's wife / Barbara Francis (621) (Coleman's wife)
spectator's son / Alan Francis (Coleman's son; 621)
spectator's son / Ronald Francis (Coleman's son; 621)
himself / Jimmy Bryant (West Side Story)
The Night Jumpers / Rue Barclay, Junior Nichols, Harold Hensley
na / Frederic Downs
(*619; 209-The Hellcats; 807-Terror from the Year 5000)
with Howard Saunders, George Tracey, Lynn Merrill,
Pandora Russell, Tony DeGeorge, Tiny Kauffman,
Pam Henderson, Linda Henderson, Richard E. Curtis,
Mary Thompson, Vicky Knight, Thomas Webb, Michelle Fourzon,
Kim Curtis, Gordon Barclay, Shirley Cash, Max Zamora,
Donna Stanton, Brian Ivey, Linda Fisher, Kenny Joyner,
Judy Cole, David Worth, Neil Jorgensen, Valerie Phelps,
Gloria Draper, Nichols sisters, Susan Bay, Michael Oberlander, Darla Hall, Comatte Saccente, Julie Willis, Gayle Lorelle,
Shirley Buckner, Bill Thomson, Bob Grandchamp, Bob Knight, Viva McCluer, Marlene Archie, Simone Pascall, Larry Quimby, Marilyn McRae, Monty McRae, and Tony Gary Cardoza (prod/star's son).

Classic Line: "I don't know. I feel real free up there in the high blue sky."

Classic Line: "I like coffee."

Trivia: Not much is known about the multi-faceted, but alas not multi-talented, movie auteur director/producer/screenwriter/editor/actor COLEMAN FRANCIS. But those wondering how he got the idea he could direct probably need look no further than the extensive list of bit parts he played in Hollywood over three decades. One begins to imagine Coleman, having spent so much time on movie sets, beginning to think he could do it himself. How wrong he was.

Leaving out the many Westerns in which Coleman Francis appeared during the 1940's and early 1950's, here's his filmography as performer: an orderly in 1952's The Girl in White (starring June Allyson and Arthur Kennedy); a deckhand in 1952's Scarlet Angel (starring Rock Hudson and Yvonne De Carlo); character unknown in 1954's She Couldn't Say No (starring Robert Mitchum); the express deliveryman in 1955's THIS ISLAND EARTH; a detective in 1958's Stakeout on Dope Street (with Jonathan Haze and Abby Dalton); character unknown in 1958's Twilight of the Gods (again with Hudson); Smith in 1960's Spring Affair (with Merry Anders); the man at the service station in 1961's 621-THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS (also dir/scr); gunman and spectator in 1963's THE SKYDIVERS (also dir/scr); Harry Bonner in 1965's Motor Psycho (directed by Russ Meyer); Griffin in 1966's 619-NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNDO FINE a.k.a. RED ZONE CUBA (also dir/scr); Mr. Miller in 1966's The Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Monster (directed by 812-director RAY DENNIS STECKLER); probably a hobo in 1969's Last of the American Hobos (with Bruno VeSota; directed by and starring TITUS MOODY); the man at the laundromat in 1969's Body Fever a.k.a. Super Cool (also directed by Steckler); and lastly the rotund drunk in 1970's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (also directed by Meyer). Supposedly C.F. is in The Dirtiest Game in the World (also starring MOODY), released in 1975.

For a special treat, visit the website FrancisLand.

Even though filming had been completed on Super Cool, director Steckler reportedly shot an additional scene with Francis in order to give him some work after discovering him homeless and ravaged by alcoholism. Francis died soon thereafter. Note that all three films which Coleman Francis directed have been MSTed. Too bad there aren't any more. Coleman Francis, rather than Ed Wood, should be heir to the title of "Worst Director in Hollywood."

Little is also known about producer/performer ANTHONY CARDOZA, no doubt Coleman's drinking buddy. Besides the three Francis films, Cardoza also produced and appeared in 209-THE HELLCATS. Cardoza literally had a brush with another MSTed director...Ed Wood. The two of them had met at a party via a mutual friend who was a Fuller Brush Man. Cardoza was about to invest in an apartment building, but decided instead to put up his money for the production of Ed Wood's Night of the Ghouls, the pseudo-sequel to 423-BRIDE OF THE MONSTER. Cardoza tells the tale of when Tor Johnson drank a gallon of wine at his house and passed out; it took six men to lift him onto a truck to get him home. Cardoza also claims that Ed Wood jumped from a second story balcony and saved him from drowning in a deep swimming pool...perhaps those two stories are somehow related...hiccup! Besides the four MSTed movies by Cardoza, he also produced, directed and/or performed in: 1957's Final Curtain (another Ed Wood production, featuring Plan 9's Dudley Manlove); 1970-Bigfoot (with Christopher and John Mitchum); 1972-Outlaw Riders (with Sonny West); 1979-Smokey and the Hotwire Gang (starring James Keach); 1984-Heated Vengeance (starring Richard Hatch and Michael J. Pollard); 1985?-Crime of Crimes (with David Carradine); and 1995-Bikini Drive-In (with Ross Hagen, Conrad Brooks and Forrest J. Ackerman); and very recently Misfit Patrol (with Brooks again). He also did Playground and Raw Force (years of release unknown). Cardoza's working on a movie called Thunder in Las Vegas, and hopes to produce Night of Silence, the last screenplay by Ed Wood.

ERIC TOMLIN who almost manages to show an emotion as coffee-lovin' Joe Moss here, plays a cop in 209-THE HELLCATS, and is seen briefly being run off the road in 621-THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS.

Last Updated: 6/26/1999

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