July 5, 1996 in UK cinemas: Mission: Impossible

 

Mission: Impossible is an American action spy film directed by Brian De Palma, produced by and starring Tom Cruise. Based on the television series of the same name, the plot follows Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his mission to uncover the mole who has framed him for the murders of his entire IMF team. Work on the script had begun early with filmmaker Sydney Pollack on board, before De Palma, Steven Zaillian, David Koepp, and Robert Towne were brought in. Mission: Impossible went into pre-production without a shooting script. De Palma came up with some action sequences, but Koepp and Towne were dissatisfied with the story that led up to those events.

U2 band members Larry Mullen, Jr. and Adam Clayton produced an electronic dance version of the original theme music. The tune went into the top-ten lists of music charts around the world and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The film was a critical and commercial success, eventually becoming the third highest-grossing film of 1996. The film’s success spawned the Mission: Impossible film series.

Several cast members of the original 1966–73 TV series reacted negatively to the film. Actor Greg Morris, who portrayed Barney Collier in the original television series, was reportedly disgusted with the film’s treatment of the Phelps character, and he walked out of the theatre before the film ended. Peter Graves, who played Jim Phelps in the original series as well as in the late-1980s revival, also disliked how Phelps turned out in the film. Graves had been asked to reprise Phelps, but turned it down when he learned his character was going to be revealed to be a traitor.

Martin Landau, who portrayed Rollin Hand in the original series, expressed his own disapproval concerning the film. In an MTV interview in October 2009, Landau stated, “When they were working on an early incarnation of the first one — not the script they ultimately did — they wanted the entire team to be destroyed, done away with one at a time, and I was against that. It was basically an action-adventure movie and not Mission. Mission was a mind game. The ideal mission was getting in and getting out without anyone ever knowing we were there. So the whole texture changed. Why volunteer to essentially have our characters commit suicide? I passed on it … The script wasn’t that good either!” [Wikipedia]

Based on the hit T.V. series. Jim Phelps was sent to Prague for a mission to prevent the theft of classified material. His wife Claire and his trusted partner Ethan Hunt were members of Phelps’ team. Unfortunately, something went horribly wrong and the mission failed, leaving Ethan Hunt the lone survivor. After he reported the failed mission, Kettridge the head of the agency suspects Ethan of being the culprit for the failed mission. Now, Ethan uses unorthodox methods (Which includes the aid of an arms dealer going by the name “Max”) to try to find who set him up and to clear his name. [IMDB]

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