Greatest Movie Series
Franchises of All Time
The "Mission: Impossible" Films

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Mission: Impossible Films
Mission: Impossible (1996) | Mission: Impossible II (2000) | Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
| Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) | Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

The "Mission: Impossible" Films - Part I
Mission: Impossible (1996)
d. Brian De Palma, 110 minutes

Film Plot Summary

The film's prologue was set in an apartment in Kiev, where headset-wearing computer hacker Jack Harmon (Emilio Estevez) was watching a TV surveillance b/w video on a monitor. The scene was a shabby hotel room, where Gennady Zosimov (Ion Caramitru) in a blood-stained T-shirt with a presumedly-dead hooker on the bed, was desperate and distraught, speaking to Russian godfather/mobster Anatoly. He claimed that he knew nothing about how he got there. Under pressure, he then divulged the name of his contact in Minsk -- Dimitri Miediev. Harmon typed the name into his computer, and discovered that Miediev worked in the American Consulate in Kiev. He continued watching as a whorehouse waitress entered the room with vodka shotglasses, and Kasimov was poisoned and passed out. Anatoly left the room through a door that emerged, shockingly, directly into the adjoining surveillance room where Harmon was located. Anatoly removed his latex facial mask -- revealing himself to be Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), an IMF (Impossible Missions Force) team member/agent. The hotel room was a fabricated set-up, created in a larger empty warehouse. Hunt injected adrenalin from a hypodermic needle into the thigh of the hooker on the bed -- she revived and asked: "Did we get it?" He replied: "We got it." [Later, it was revealed that she was fellow agent Claire Phelps (Emmanuelle Beart).]

Credits began following the trademarked opening of a close-up view of a match-head igniting, and the lighting of a sparking fuse, accompanied by a blindingly-fast montage of action scenes from the film - and of course, Lalo Schifrin's memorable theme music. Under the credits, the film introduced Mr. Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), a first-class passenger on a jet airliner, who first declined a movie videocassette from the flight attendant, claiming he preferred the theater, but then acquiesed when she again asked: "Would you consider the cinema of the Ukraine?" - her request was coded-language regarding his next mission. With headphones, he watched the tape on a personal viewing screen - it was a briefing, typical of the film series, beginning with the words, "Good morning, Mr. Phelps." [Phelps was the leader of the IMF team, an unofficial branch of the CIA.] The IMF tape told about an attache at the American Embassy in Prague, named Alexander Golitsyn (Marcel Iures). A traitor who had stolen "one-half of a C.I.A. NOC list, a record of all our deep-cover agents working in Eastern Europe." [NOC List = "Non Official Cover" List.] Both halves of the list were necessary to understand the information (code-names had to be matched with true names) - and Golitsyn already had the list which contained agent code names, and was planning to steal the other list-half, during a reception at the Embassy the following evening. "Your mission Jim, should you choose to accept it, is to obtain photographic proof of the theft, shadow Golitsyn to his buyer, and apprehend them both." A selected team of undercover agents had already been dispatched to the mission in Prague: Sarah Davies (Kristin Scott-Thomas), hacker and high-tech genius Jack Harmon, surveillance expert Hannah Williams (Ingeborga Dapkunaite), transport organizer Claire Phelps, and point-man Ethan Hunt. The tape ended with the familiar phrase: "As always, should you or any member of your IM force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim!"

The group met at a safe-house apartment in Prague, where the mission and various roles were explained by Phelps to his agents, who would infiltrate the Embassy party. Phelps feared that if the list of covert operatives in the countries of Eastern Europe was sold, it would be bid upon by "third world terrorists, arms dealers, drug lords, any and everybody who'd love to get rid of long-term coverts like us. If they're exposed, they'll be executed." He added: "Anything goes wrong, I call abort, everybody walk away immediately." In preparation, they discussed their high-tech gadgets including a pair of glasses with a camera in its bridge (that could transmit video to Ethan's wristwatch) and an earpiece, and a red/green piece of gum - potentially explosive. Mention was made of Senator John Waltzer (D, North Carolina), the chair of the Armed Services Committee hearings, who was against the CIA's shadow organizations (he considered them "irrelevant at best or unconstitutional at worst") and covert intelligence operations. Phelps claimed that he had been diverted for fly-fishing to Ireland -- so that they could impersonate him at the reception.

From the safe-house, Phelps monitored the operation by computer (with split-screens of his agents' points-of-view). During the formal reception, Jack climbed up inside an elevator shaft toward a gray metal box (where he attached an uploading, patch device to send data to the security system's database), while Sarah, dressed in an elegant gown, ran up to greet "Senator Waltzer" - being impersonated by Ethan Hunt. Alexander Golitsyn was identified as arriving on the stairway, after which Sarah sprayed the back of his head with invisible yellow dye, to "mark" him (the glowing, flourescent mark could only be seen with special viewing glasses, worn by Hannah, who watched from her vantage point at the top of a staircase). Sarah led the "Senator" on a tour of the facility, pointing out the "only limited-access area in the whole facility," accessible by an elevator (a sign read "ELEVATOR INOPERATIVE"). Her thumb-print imprint on the elevator button, a 'thumbprint analyzer,' alerted a suspicious Marine surveillance security guard in plain-clothes to ask for her ID. Just in time, Jack uploaded Sarah's ID information, to confirm for the guards that Sarah was 'legitimate' and could be permitted to enter and use the elevator. They entered the top-security floor where computer terminals and equipment were located. Ethan removed his glasses (equipped with the camera), and they were positioned so that anyone sitting at the main computer terminal would be recorded.

Their plan went awry when they found themselves calling for the elevator that Alexander Golitsyn was riding up in. To avoid confronting the traitorous Golitsyn directly, Phelps assisted them in opening the elevator doors (before the cab arrived), and they jumped into the elevator shaft to hide, as Golitsyn emerged from the elevator cab and entered the top-security room. He was video-recorded at the computer as he typed in his security password and inserted a computer disk to download vital information, fulfilling their mission. Ethan asked for transport in five minutes for all the operatives, removed his mask disguise, and awaited their safe exit from an outdoor service area by the river waterfront. However, when the elevator inexplicably ascended and Jack couldn't cut its power, he was crushed and impaled on the roof of the elevator shaft by spikes ("Man down, Ethan," Phelps said). Phelps hurriedly left the safe-house and proceeded to the Embassy, where Golitsyn emerged "in the open" near Ethan and Sarah. Realizing he was being followed, Phelps alerted them as he crossed a bridge and ran to their location: "I've got a shadow" and ordered: "Abort" - fearing an ambush. Ethan counter-ordered: "Negative. Golitsyn is on the move," and was determined to recover the disk. After Phelps ordered Ethan to "cut all radio communication," Ethan ran past Claire (waiting in a getaway car), and then watched from Phelps' POV as he was shot in the stomach with a gun-silencer and fell off the side of the bridge into the water.

Horrified by Phelps' death, Ethan ordered Sarah to "abort" -- she was busy following Golitsyn along the cobblestone promenade next to the river, in the fog, and didn't answer. He was stunned when a getaway car just entered by Hannah exploded and burst into flames nearby, and exclaimed: "Claire! Oh, my God!" When Golitsyn was pulled out of Sarah's sight and seized through an iron gate (presumably by someone stealing the disk), she rushed to him, and they both ended up lethally stabbed in the chest - she died in Ethan's arms. A drunken Russian couple witnessed Ethan holding a bloody knife, and he fled the scene from approaching Czechoslovakian officers on a Prague police boat. He raced to a payphone, rigged the receiver of the phone to enable calling, and contacted CIA-based IMF director Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny), reporting: "They're dead....My team. My team is dead!...Golitsyn's gone...They knew we were coming and the disk is gone....The list is in the open." Kittridge wanted to bring in sole surviving Hunt, asking first if he was followed or hurt, to meet at "location green" in one hour.

They met at the code-named Akvarium Cafe, a glass-fronted restaurant with a giant aquarium tank that comprised part of the cafe's exterior wall. Kittridge rotely offered his condolences for the elimination of his team, and then provided the shocked Ethan with a visa and passport to allow exfiltration through Canada, and passage to Langley, Virginia for debriefing. Ethan blamed himself for the others' deaths -- and then asked a crucial question: "Why was there another team...of IMF agents at the Embassy tonight?" He described the members of a second IMF team: the "drunk Russians" on the embankment, a waltzing couple, the waiter behind Hannah at the top of the stairs, and a guy with a bowtie. Kittridge told Ethan of a "penetration," and explained how a decoded message on the Internet from a Czech known as "Max" (an illegal arms dealer, known for anonymity and for corrupting susceptible agents) had been intercepted. "Max" had been able to contact someone on the inside, and had gotten "himself in a position to buy our NOC list. An operation he referred to as job 314 -- the job he thought Golitsyn was doing tonight." Ethan added: "But the list Golitsyn stole was a decoy." Kittridge confirmed what Ethan had surmised: "That's correct. The actual list is secure at Langley. Golitsyn was a lightning rod. He's one of ours." Ethan was shocked to realize: "This whole operation was a molehunt." Kittridge explained further: "The mole's deep inside, and like you said, you survived" -- directly implying that the CIA believed that Hunt was the mole. The operation in Prague had been designed to discover the identity of the mole and allow the traitor to acquire the NOC list (although fake) from Golitsyn and sell it to "Max."

To strengthen his belief that Hunt was the mole, Kittridge revealed Hunt's recent banking records with "over 120 grand" in it, although the illness of Hunt's father should have wiped out the account. As Hunt removed the explosive piece of "gum" from his pocket, Kittridge told him that he had "bribed, cajoled, and killed" using loyalties on the inside: "You want to shake hands with the devil, that's fine with me. I just want to make sure that you do it in hell." However, Hunt threw the wadded-up gum explosive at the aquarium where it stuck on the glass wall, shattered the fish tank and was able to make a daring escape into the city's square.

He ran to the IMF safe house, where he broke a lightbulb and scattered glass fragments on the floor at the top of the stairwell - to alert him if anyone approached. He also removed a revolver from a flower vase, searched for money, and used Phelps' laptop computer to access the Internet and search for two phrases on Usenet Groups: Job 314, and then, but he found nothing. He then scrolled through a list of Usenet Groups with the same result. It suddenly dawned on him that Job 314 might refer to the Biblical book of Job 3:14 ("with kings and counsellors of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins"). He sent an email to Max@Job 3:14, warning that the NOC list was a fake -- Max, Goods tainted. Consider extremely hazardous. DO NOT USE. Fate will be that of kings and counsellors who built for themselves palaces now lying in ruins. Must meet to discuss a.s.a.p. --

Over the keyboard, an exhausted Ethan fell asleep, and imagined the bloodied Phelps entering the front door, and claiming: "I needed you, Ethan, I needed you on the bridge but you weren't there" -- and then he awoke -- leaping to his feet with his gun raised and pointed at Claire, Phelps' wife, who had survived the car bomb, but was presumed dead by the CIA. She claimed that she had left the getaway car and run to the bridge. He yelled at her: "Wake up Claire! Jim's dead. They're dead. They're all dead." As he frisked her, she also asserted that she walked away when the "abort" command was given. She vowed that no one had sent her to him - she had returned as instructed, at 4:00am (as cathedral bells chimed to confirm her story). Hunt described to her how he had been disavowed - and was the chief suspect responsible for the murders of Phelps and fellow agents. He also told her that his parents' bank account was now $120 grand larger, and that he was accused of being a mole in the 2-year employ of an arms dealer named "Max," to acquire the NOC list. And then he decided to play into the CIA's suspicions: "I'm going to get it for him...Whoever the mole is, I think, goes by the name Job...If he knows I have the NOC list, he'll find me."

Ethan received a reply-message from "Max," addressed to Job@Book of Job -- Job, Corner of Nekazanka and Prikopy. One p.m. Buy a pack of Dunhill and ask the man sitting on the bus stop bench for a match. -- At the bus stop after Ethan asked for a match, he was seized and escorted into a car that pulled up by the curb, and his head was covered with a black hood by a thug named Matthias (Karel Dobry). After being detained for awhile, Ethan met the female "Max" (Vanessa Redgrave) in her lavishly-furnished apartment, who knew immediately that he was NOT the mole named Job (in Internet conversations), and described Hunt as paradoxical ("You are not Job. Job is not given to quoting scripture in his communications...Job is not playful"). During witty repartee with "Max," Ethan reemphasized that the disk sold to her by Job was "'s bait, part of an internal molehunt," and told her he wanted to ask Job why he had been "disavowed" - he then promised to "deliver the actual NOC list," while warning her not to open up the 'worthless' disk that was equipped with a homing device, that would automatically summon CIA agents within no more than 10 minutes. She dared to load the disk to look at the information on it, to determine its veracity, while monitoring the read-out on a radio frequency (RF) scanner. Out on the street, as Ethan had predicted, three white-coated men and a female Czech agent (undercover IMF agents) from a pollution control van emerged and climbed the stairs, where they were directed by trench-coated Kittridge to assault the apartment with guns drawn. But they were too late -- Ethan had convincingly persuaded "Max" and her thugs to flee moments earlier. In the apartment, Kittridge was frustrated by the elusive Hunt, and suggested to fellow bureaucratic agent Frank Barnes (Dale Dye): "Let's not waste time chasing after him. Let's make him come to us."

In their escape car, "Max" apologized to Ethan: "Sorry I doubted you, dear boy. You are a good sport." She confessed that her deal with Job included a "successful boot scan" - which had obviously failed, so the deal with "off" with Job. She was ready to deal with Ethan instead, and offered him a cash advance of $6 million, the same amount in her deal with Job, although she now demanded the "complete list...not just Eastern Europe." He asked for an inflated amount of $10 million, in negotiable US Treasury certificates, and her "personal assurance" that Job would personally be "at the exchange" - so that he could learn the mole's identity. Later in the safe-house, Ethan told Claire the terms of the deal: "I deliver the NOC list, Max delivers Job." Claire partnered with him, vowing to seek revenge for her husband's murderer. Using a stack of currency given to him, Ethan funded the recruitment of other local, "disavowed" (blacklisted) intelligence agents from the IMF database, including French pilot Franz Krieger (Jean Reno) and computer hacker expert Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames). On a high-speed train, he spoke to the two agents, in coded language analogous to a bank robbery - about his plan to infiltrate the CIA's Langley, Virginia main headquarters, and steal from the IMF mainframe a copy of the complete NOC list: "Exfil opens the pocket -- Cyber ops lifts the wallet." He tempted the reluctant Luther: "This is the Mount Everest of hacks," although the notorious hacker knew that he would have to "physically" be at the terminal, located in a "black-vault lockdown," secured with intrusion countermeasures. [All elements of the secure vault were shown as Ethan described the highly-protected setting, that included voice-print identification and a six-digit access code for its outer room, and a retinal scan and a double-electronic key card for access to the inner vault room. The inner vault was also protected by state of the art sound and temperature sensors, an overhead air conditioning vent 30 feet above the floor with a laser net, and a pressure-sensitive floor.] When Luther asked: "And you really think we can do this?" Ethan replied confidently: "We're going to do it."

The team members began their infiltration of the heavily-fortified CIA headquarters by sounding an emergency fire alarm, requiring evacuation of some of the complex. Three uniformed, yellow jump-suited firemen (Ethan, Franz, and Claire) entered the lobby, and with Luther in the belly of one of the fire trucks hacking the alarm system and other computer systems, they convinced guards to allow them access to Sector 21 where the air conditioning system was located (for vent/duct access to the vault room). As they raced there, Claire ducked into a side room, and changed into a secretary's business-suit with an ID tag. In the CIA cafeteria, Claire squirted a clear liquid into the coffee cup of the CIA analyst William Donloe (Rolf Saxon) to cause him to soon become nauseous - Donloe had top-security clearance into the vault and its computer terminal. She placed a small piece of shiny gray metallic tape on his left shoulder - a tracking device so Luther could follow his movements ("Hi there"). Meanwhile, in a service area, Ethan and Krieger climbed up into the open vented and ducted A/C system to crawl over the sealed vault room, where they blocked the laser net's beams, unscrewed the bolts holding the A/C vent cover, and then Ethan lowered himself (head-first by a cable/winch system held by Krieger) through the vent hole into the locked-down computer room. Suddenly, he had to quickly be lifted back up to hang upside-down at ceiling height above the computer when the CIA analyst entered the room. While working at the computer terminal after gaining access, he took ill and vomited into a wastebasket, and then hurriedly left for the bathroom. Ethan continued to work - first manipulating the thermostat to keep the temperature stable, and then typing in Donloe's password (dictated to him by Luther). He accessed the NOC list file ("Holy mother of God," Luther exclaimed), downloaded-copied the long file to a CD disk, and reached to eject the disk -- but a small rat in the duct near Krieger caused him to unexpectedly drop Ethan and dangle him within only a few inches from the floor. He skillfully balanced himself to avoid triggering the floor's pressure sensors, but still worried about the rising temperature and falling drops of sweat from his brow (caught with his gloved hand), and an increase in decibel levels, as he was raised back up into the vent when the CIA analyst reentered the vault. Krieger dropped his knife onto the terminal's desk - noticed there by the CIA worker. He was further tipped off to the illegal download with a message on the log-in screen of the monitor. Donloe immediately reported the breach, although it was too late -- the victorious foursome had successful stolen the list, escaped from the building, and driven away in the front cab of a fire truck. When notified, Kittridge was incensed, and ordered Barnes to keep it top-secret: "It never happened," while the hapless CIA analyst was immediately reassigned to a radar tower in Alaska.

After their return to London, they hid out in a safe-house apartment near the Liverpool Street Underground Station. Friction developed between Krieger and Hunt about who possessed the real NOC disk (there were two disks and both men had one). Krieger tossed his 'worthless' disk into a trash can and threatened Ethan: "Try any sleight-of-hand with my money and I’ll cut your throat." Hunt then happened to notice that the Gideon Bible he was using was originally placed at the Drake Hotel in Chicago - recalling how Phelps at the beginning of the film had said he stayed there. Hunt then retrieved the disk Krieger had discarded, the real NOC list, and entrusted it to Luther for safe-keeping, to prevent it from getting out "in the open." On a TV news broadcast, Ethan learned that Margaret Ethan Hunt (his mother) and her brother-in-law Donald Hunt (his uncle) were arrested by drug-enforcement agents in farmlands of Wisconsin, for allegedly masterminding an international drug ring that manufactured methcathinone, known as "Cat". Hunt realized that Kittridge had them falsely arrested to lure him out of hiding. Infuriated, Hunt phoned Kittridge from Liverpool Street station, who offered to have the "ridiculous charges" against his family dropped if he surrendered to authorities. Kittridge also promised to "plea down" the charges against Hunt. Before he hung up, knowing that his specific London location was soon be traced, Hunt pointedly told Kittridge: "If you're dealing with someone who's crushed, stabbed, shot and detonated five members of his own IMF team, how devastated do you think you're gonna make him by marching Ma and Uncle Donald down to the county courthouse?" And then as Ethan turned, he was startled when Phelps appeared next to him.

They spoke together at a railway station cafe, where Phelps described how he had been wounded but survived the Prague operation, and eventually was able to locate Ethan when he returned to London. He then revealed: "I saw who shot me. I saw the mole. It was Kittridge." Claiming to accept Phelps' account, Ethan pieced it all together in his head: how Kittridge was at the Embassy that night, first took out Jack in the elevator shaft, and then shot Phelps on the bridge -- in reality (seen in flashback while he narrated), Ethan suspected that Phelps was the mole who had caused Jack's death, and then faked his own shooting on the bridge (he used a gun with blanks and then a soaked sponge to rub a blood-like substance on his hands). He added that Kittridge "had backup to take out Golitsyn and Sarah at the fence" - he pictured Krieger knifing both of them, and Claire pressing the detonator button to the car bomb that killed Hannah (alternatively, it could have been either Kittridge, or even Phelps who exploded the car bomb). Phelps explained why Kittridge acted the way he did: "No more cold war. No more secrets you keep from everyone but yourself. Operations - you answer to no one but yourself. And then one day, you wake up. The President of the United States is running the country without your permission. The son-of-a- bitch! How dare he? Then you realize it's over. You're an obsolete piece of hardware not worth upgrading. You've got a lousy marriage and 62 grand a year. Kittridge - we'll go after the no-good, son-of-a-bitch big time!" Ethan was certain Kittridge would instead come after them, to acquire the NOC list. [Ethan was unsure about Claire's allegiances, when Phelps mentioned that she still believed he was "dead and gone," and shouldn't know he was still alive until "this is over." Ethan was conflicted about her, having romantic feelings for her himself, but not entirely trusting her.]

The next day, the plan was for Ethan to meet "Max" on the high-speed TGV bullet train en route to Paris, to turn over the NOC list in exchange for delivery of the mole, Job. Claire and Luther would be onboard as backup support, and Krieger was positioned in Paris with helicopter transport. Ethan sent an email to "Max" -- Max, With rulers who had gold, who filled their houses with silver... Meet on TGV, noon tomorrow. Take seat 27. Bring our mutual friend Job. -- Kittridge and Barnes arrived in London, and were given two items: tickets to board London's TGV train to Paris, and Ethan's video wristwatch. On the train, an unidentified pair of hands assembled a gun with a silencer, while Ethan phoned "Max" and told her the disk was under her seat. Her aide Matthias booted up the disk in a laptop computer, and it loaded the NOC list with the code names and true names of agents. In exchange, she told Ethan where the $10 million was hidden: "Baggage car, rack three. Silver briefcase, combination 314." She added that Job would appear after he retrieved the money. When Matthias attempted to transmit the NOC list by modem (to German phone number: 004940229713), it was jammed by Luther sitting nearby, but the block was curtailed when Luther's jamming phone was moved, and the transfer of data progressed. "Max" phoned the man with the silencer-gun and told him: "He's in the baggage car."

After Claire observed Kittridge and Barnes onboard the train, Ethan instructed her by phone to meet him in the baggage car where the money was located. As she entered the darkened luggage car, she met up with "Phelps", confirming her conspiratorial partnership with her husband, but then advised against killing Ethan: "Is it such a good idea to kill him?" She warned: "Kittridge is here. We take the money. Ethan takes the blame. No one else has seen you alive. No one will believe him." Suddenly, "Phelps" removed his latex mask, revealing himself to be Ethan. And then the real Jim Phelps entered with a gun, and demanded that Ethan explain when he knew about Phelps' duplicitous plans. He answered: "Before London. But after you took the Bible from the Drake Hotel in Chicago." Phelps replied: "They stamped it, didn't they? Those damn Gideons." Claire had been used by Phelps to work on Ethan with her "charms," with their ultimate goal of acquiring the money paid for the NOC list ($10 million). Ethan surrendered the currency to Claire, but then noted: "Claire was wrong about one thing, Jim" - as he put on the video-transmitting glasses and transmitted an image of Phelps to Kittridge, proving that the traitorous Phelps was still alive: "I'm not the only one who's seen you alive." Kittridge viewed Phelps on the wristwatch and greeted him: "Good morning, Mr. Phelps." The two were stunned by the devious disclosure - and Phelps threatened to kill Ethan. When Claire again advised: "Don't, Jim," he shot and killed her. Phelps knocked Ethan down and escaped through a ceiling trap door leading to the train's roof, where he awaited helicopter pickup from his other traitorous partner - Krieger.

Ethan pursued Phelps onto the top of the wind-buffeted train, where he continued to struggle with Phelps to prevent him from escaping. Phelps had the advantage, using a suction cup on each hand to steady himself and reach the back of the train, while Ethan tenuously held on. Krieger lowered a tethering cable/hook line to Phelps to pull him up, as the chunnel - the tunnel under the English Channel - came closer. Ethan dislodged the cable/hook from Phelps' grasp and attached it to the train. Krieger could not disengage the line and was forced to follow by flying the helicopter into the tunnel behind the train. [As the train entered the tunnel, the NOC list computer transfer failed when the connection was terminated.] Both Ethan and Phelps dangled from different sides of the train, and barely avoided being crushed when an oncoming train whizzed by. Phelps was able to disengage the line connecting the helicopter to the back of the train, and grasped onto the helicopter's right landing skid. Ethan followed, jumped onto the left landing skid, and attached a piece of explosive gum to the windshield. The force of the ensuing explosion killed Phelps and Krieger, and the fireball propelled Ethan in mid-air onto the windshield of the rear-power car of the train - and he narrowly escaped death when the charred husk and one razor-sharp blade of the helicopter came close to his jugular.

Onboard the train, Luther handed the disk with the NOC list to Kittridge, who leaned over and greeted "Max" - she quickly claimed that her lawyers would avoid prosecution, citing: "Entrapment, jurisdictional conflict..." She also proposed some kind of plea deal in exchange for information. In a London pub over beers, Luther and Hunt mentioned Hunt's apology from the Justice Department, and that the DEA charges against his relatives had been dropped. Luther had been removed from the "disavowed" list and reinstated as an IMF agent, although Hunt was reluctant to join him. As Ethan took a British Airways flight home, a flight attendant asked him, in coded language, about taking on a new mission: "Would you like to watch a movie?...Would you consider the cinema of the Caribbean? Aruba, perhaps?"

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

Based on the popular US CBS-TV series of the same name for seven seasons in the Nixon era from 1966-1973, starring Peter Graves as Jim Phelps - the head of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) of secret agents. The film was the first feature film to be based on a TV series with the same name. The original film, a reinvention of the espionage TV series, was followed by a number of sequels.

With the tagline: "Expect the impossible."

With a production budget of $80 million, and box-office gross receipts of $181 million (domestic) and $457 million (worldwide) - the third highest-grossing film of 1996.

Directed by Brian De Palma, with his typical characteristics - Hitchcockian suspense and tension.

With no Academy Awards Oscar nominations.

Nominated for one Razzie Award: Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million. The only character that appeared on the TV show, good-guy Jim Phelps, turned out to be the villain in the film.

Set-pieces: the well-staged sting in the opening prologue, the reception scene stake-out at the American Embassy in Prague during which the IMF team performed their mission, the blowing up of a restaurant with a massive aquarium tank, the brilliantly-choreographed infiltration of the heavily-fortified CIA headquarters in Virginia to acquire the NOC list from a highly-secure, vaulted computer room, and the finale action scene involving a high-speed bullet train and a helicopter in the Channel Tunnel.

Gennady Zosimov
(Ion Caramitru)

Ethan Hunt
(Tom Cruise)

Jack Harmon
(Emilio Estevez)

Jim Phelps
(Jon Voight)

Claire Phelps
(Emmanuelle Beart)

Sarah Davies
(Kristin Scott-Thomas)

Hannah Williams
(Ingeborga Dapkunaite)

Alexander Golitsyn
(Marcel Iures)

Eugene Kittridge
(Henry Czerny)

Frank Barnes
(Dale Dye)

(Karel Dobry)

(Vanessa Redgrave)

Franz Krieger
(Jean Reno)

Luther Stickell
(Ving Rhames)

CIA Analyst William Donloe
(Rolf Saxon)

Greatest Film Series Franchises - Sections
Series-Introduction - Index to All Films | Series-Box Office

Previous Page Next Page