Mission: Impossible

The mission, which can be compared with McLaglen’s The Wild Geese, is to extract Dr. Kolda from his hospital bed in a country governed by race laws. Doug notes his condition, prison camp living has taken its toll. An operative is wounded during the escape and left behind. He coolly sizes up the available routes, heads down a street and collapses in a shop. The seamstress is black, she applies a wet cloth to the white man’s face and it peels off, revealing Barney.

Paris is sent across town as a diversion, limps into a pharmacy and asks for bandages and morphine. Workmen in a factory crack his ribs with a winch hook when he demands food at the point of a gun. He can’t make the rendezvous point.

The seamstress extracts the bullet, hides Barney in a secret room behind the fireplace. Phelps and Doug in police uniforms scour the area with a stolen police car. The girl’s cousin sneers at Dr. Kolda as good for nothing except the reward, finds the bloody clothes Barney has shed and calls the police. Phelps and Doug arrive, knock him out, take Dana and the seamstress and Barney to a waiting helicopter.

The police sergeant who shot the girl’s father (she is now a deaf-mute) has risen to become Chief Inspector with the Secret Police. He and his men gather atop a dam where Paris rides a cage elevator to a steel tower and amid gunfire from below is picked up on a rope ladder from the helicopter.


Mission: Impossible

Pantheon Studios is taken over by a mob, therefore a director (Barney) undertakes The Murder of Gonzago (Portrait of a Murder), and the studio puts a bomb in his camera.

The Impossible Missions Force contrives a second film in which the studio head (John Vernon) murders the mob capo’s brother (Jim Phelps incognito), who had been sent to keep an eye on things.

A junior executive (William Smith) grills Barney on his script, but this director has full creative control and insists on a closed set. It’s the rushes that provoke the bomb.

Becker has Paramount for this, and three writers (Anthony Bowers, Arthur Weiss, Stephen Kandel) devised the double whammy.