Mission: Impossible (1996) Poster

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  • While working a mission in Prague, the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team, part of an unofficial branch of the CIA led by Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), is wiped out except for Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). Ethan subsequently finds himself under suspicion of being a mole by the head of the agency, Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny). Determined to prove himself innocent, Ethan makes a deal with illegal arms dealer Max (Vanessa Redgrave) in exchange for the name of the mole.

  • Mission: Impossible is based on a TV series, also titled Mission: Impossible (1966), that ran from 1966 to 1973 and was created and initially produced by American screenwriter Bruce Geller. Writing credits for the movie are attributed to American screenwriters David Koepp, Robert Towne, and Steven Zaillian. The popularity of the movie led to four sequels: Mission: Impossible II (2000) (2000), Mission: Impossible III (2006) (2006), Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) (2011), and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) (2015).

  • The team's mission was to prevent Alexander Golitsyn (Marcel Iures), an attaché at CIA's embassy in Prague, from stealing the Non-Official Cover (NOC) list, a list of all covert agents in Eastern Europe, because the list, should it get out in the open, would most likely be sold to the highest bidders, e.g., Third World terrorists, arms dealers, drug lords, etc. If the names of the agents on the list were given or sold to terrorists or even governments, the lives of those agents would be in danger.

  • Jim doesn't. You can see in Ethan's flashback that the gun Jim Phelps fires is actually loaded with blanks. He then picks up a sponge soaked in fake blood which he rubs over his chest and hands before throwing it away. He does this while looking up so Ethan doesn't see it on his screen. When he looks down, his hands are by his chest covered in blood, creating the illusion Jim wanted.

  • The code "Job 314" led Ethan to look at the Bible passage Job 3:14. Later in the movie, Ethan Hunt sees that the Bible was from the Drake Hotel in Chicago. Ethan deduced that Jim Phelps brought the Bible with him to Prague—when the team first meets in Prague they jokingly tease Jim about being allowed to stay in the Drake in Chicago, which is a very high-end and exclusive hotel there. Ethan might have concluded that there was no reason Jim would bring a Bible with him (Jim not being a religious man) unless it was meant to help him contact Max.

  • Lalo Schifrin - "Mission Impossible Theme"

  • There might have been any number of explanations in the way the gum was designed. There might have been a special material inserted between the two halves to separate them or perhaps a larger amount of the two explosives have to be pressed together to ignite it. In the end, it's just a moment where we have to suspend our disbelief.

  • It doesn't exist, it was a set constructed for the movie and specifically for the scene. As Ethan escapes from the rushing water he runs north through Prague's Old Town Square, which is a real place. Through careful cinematography and editing, it appears that the place is in the Old Town Square. To enhance the effect, a large quantity of water is even dumped onto the pavement behind him.

  • The Charles Bridge (Karluv Most in Czech). The Charles spans the Vltava River and is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions and is only open to pedestrian traffic.

  • They used magneto-optical disks. Magneto-optical disks were not as popular as the other two main storage formats at the time the film was made, the 3.5-inch floppy and the Iomega Zip Drive, however, they stored their information differently. The Iomega Zip and the floppy both used magnetic disks. The magneto-optical disks, however, were made of a material that could only be magnetized if heated to a very high temperature with a laser, and the disk would retain its magnetic "bits" after it cooled down. The main advantages of magneto-optical disks were much higher storage capacity (they could be as high as 9.1 GB, compared to 1.44 MB for the floppy and 750 MB for the Iomega Zip) and greater reliability. However, they were expensive; and eventually, they were rendered obsolete by the USB flash drive.


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