An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Bruce Geller (television series), David Koepp (story) | 3 more credits »
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1,061 ( 319)
3 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise ... Ethan Hunt
Jon Voight ... Jim Phelps
Emmanuelle Béart ... Claire (as Emmanuelle Beart)
Henry Czerny ... Kittridge
Jean Reno ... Krieger
Ving Rhames ... Luther
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Sarah Davies (as Kristin Scott-Thomas)
Vanessa Redgrave ... Max
Ingeborga Dapkunaite ... Hannah
Valentina Yakunina ... Drunken Female IMF Agent
Marek Vasut ... Drunken Male IMF Agent
Nathan Osgood Nathan Osgood ... Kittridge Technician
John McLaughlin ... TV Interviewer
Rolf Saxon ... CIA Analyst William Donloe
Karel Dobrý ... Matthias
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Storyline

Based on the hit television series. Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) was sent to Prague for a mission to prevent the theft of classified material. His wife Claire (Emmanuelle Béart) and his trusted partner Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) were members of Phelps' team. Unfortunately, something went horribly wrong and the mission failed, leaving Ethan Hunt the seemingly lone survivor. After he reported the failed mission, Kittridge (Henry Czerny), 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" (Vanessa Redgrave)) to try to find who set him up and to clear his name. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Expect the Impossible See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script that Tom Cruise approved called for a final showdown to take place on top of a moving train. Cruise wanted to use the famously fast French train, the TGV, but rail authorities did not want any part of the stunt performed on their trains. When that was no longer a problem, the track was not available. Brian De Palma visited railroads on two continents trying to get permission. Cruise took the train owners out to dinner, and the next day they were allowed to use it. For the actual sequence, Cruise wanted wind that was so powerful that it could knock him off the train. Cruise had difficulty finding the right machine that would create the wind velocity that would look visually accurate before remembering a simulator he used while training as a skydiver. The only machine of its kind in Europe was located and acquired. Cruise had it produce winds up to one hundred forty miles (two hundred twenty-five kilometers) per hour so it would distort his face. Exterior shots of the train were filmed on the Glasgow South Western Line, between New Cumnock, Dumfries, and Annan. Most of the sequence, however, was filmed on a stage against a bluescreen for later digitizing by the visual effects team at Industrial Light & Magic. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 13 mins) After obtaining the NOC list, Ethan Hunt sends a meeting request to Max at the address Job 315. The original Usenet group and email was Job 314. This is not a goof but merely an increment in the passage number to indicate a new job. Indeed, Hunt then quotes from Job 315 at the end of his message to Max. See more »

Quotes

Ethan Hunt: [inside a compartment on the TGV, referring to stealing the NOC list from CIA headquarters] Relax Luther, it's much worse than you think.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits contain several plot points from the movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

The in-joke where Tom Cruise goes online with his laptop by typing in, not Usenet, but Crusenet, has been changed in the US DVD versions to where he types "internet access." See more »


Soundtracks

Dreams
By Dolores O'Riordan & Noel Hogan
Performed by The Cranberries
Courtesy of Island Records, Ltd.
By Arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

 
call it a guilty pleasure
13 December 2008 | by TheUnknown837-1See all my reviews

Every now and again, you will come upon a film that you know really isn't the best movie in the world, or even a particularly good movie on its own. And yet, despite its glaring flaws and imperfectness and lack of completion, you do find yourself strangely attached to it because it has a charm to itself that keeps you interested. Call it a guilty pleasure.

Mission: Impossible is my guilty pleasure. It's based on a 1960s television series created by Bruce Geller and the movie with Tom Cruise is kind of like a mash-up between The Bourne Identity and the James Bond pictures. Basically, the standard spy movie. Tom Cruise plays a spy who is falsely accused of betrayal to his organization and finds himself working with some unlikely partners to track down the real mole in the system and expose him and clear his name. Now, this is a plot as old as the hills and Mission: Impossible works with it just as well as the others. Not enormously well, but on an acceptable level.

Tom Cruise is great as the film's action hero lead, unfortunately his supporting cast is quite uninteresting. Another defect worth noting is the film's convoluted plot, which sometimes is hard to follow. This is caused by a screenplay in need of revisions. That's one of the film's major weaknesses and really the reason why it's just a standard spy movie with lots of cool gadgets instead of something special.

But that's really my only significant complaint about Mission: Impossible. Those rather small, unimportant defects left aside, and leaving the movie to its own devices, it works out well especially in its action sequences. Again, it's all been done before, sometimes better sometimes worse, but that doesn't meant it's boring or overdrawn. In fact, sometimes it's very primal. There is one scene in particular that I found intense and suspenseful on a hair-raising level. The scene goes on for an unremittingly long time, keeping us on the edges of our seats, and the best thing of all is that it's silent. The filmmakers could have chosen to go along with some dark, heavy music or some ominous heartbeat sound effects to put us in the same shoes with the characters, but the fact that it's quiet—too quiet for our liking—makes it so much more compelling. I only wish the rest of the movie was like this scene. Then it really would have been special.

Nevertheless, De Palma's Mission: Impossible works out well for what it is and unless you're not a fan of the standard spy movies or action pictures in particular, of if you have your standards and hopes up too high, I imagine you will enjoy it. Again, it is kind of a guilty pleasure, but hey, it was a lot of fun.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Czech

Release Date:

22 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mission: Impossible See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,436,830, 26 May 1996

Gross USA:

$180,981,856

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$457,696,391
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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