Sunday, August 28, 2022

Mission Impossible

Greg Morris, Peter Lupus
MartinLandau, Peter Graves
Barbara Bain


I've been slow binge watching the TV series 'Mission Impossible' for about a year now.  The show began on CBS in 1966, ending in 1973.  The premise is that a group of government employees (Spies? Never 100% clear) who went from fictional country to country & here in US stopping evil plots against democracy. 

The first season, Steven Hill was Daniel Briggs, the leader of the team.  But he had issues with the shooting schedule because he was an Orthodox Jew & would not work on Saturdays.  IMDB says he was fired but would that be legal?

Martin Landau, a pretty established actor, was Rollin Hand.  He was a magician & master of desguises.  He spent a lot of time playing characters & pulling masks off his face at the end of the show.   He had odd billing, as a "special guest star" which was the first (& maybe last) time that has happened.  I guess it's an actor thing.

Barbara Bain, Laundau's wife, played ex-model Cinnamon Carter who was the femme fatale of the group.  She is still gorgeous & had a great wardrobe.

Greg Morris, played Barney Collier, the smartest guy on the planet who did all of the electronics,drugs & escapes. Nothing would have worked without Barney.

Peter Lupus,, played Willie Armatage.  The muscle.  He carried the heavy stuff & drove all the cool trucks. 

Every week they'd get an assignment from an annoymous voice who told them they could accept the job if they wanted but if they got caught they'd be hung out to dry.  So Dan would come up with the plan, Barney & Willie would do all the work & Rollin & Cinnamon would do sneaky things.  Then at the end of the show, they'd all just walk away together.  That was my favorite part.  The characters & there stories are outlandish but fun.

Then in season 2nd Peter Graves took over the team as Jim Phelps.  Everyone else stayed the same.  No one ever asked about Dan again.  But apparently Peter got top billing & top money & that made Martin mad.  The show refused to negotiate with him so he decided to walk away & Barbara went with him, maybe whether she wanted to or not.   

Rollin & Cinnamon were good but Peter's brother was Matt Dillon for goodness sake.  He deserved billing & money.

Later years had a few more stars--Lynda Day George, Lee Meriwether & Lesley Ann Warren as the beauties & Leonard Nimoy took over Rollin's role although I never cared for character. It was hard to see fuddy Dr Spock trying to be cool.  Sam Elliot was even there for awhile though my Sam-dar was not acute in those days.  I'm looking forward to seeing him later.

In 1988 they tried to revive the show with Jim still in charge & Barney's son but it didn't work out.  Apparently what we fell for & loved in the 60s didn't fly in 1988.  The 60s sets were pretty bad & some of the stories were pretty unbelievable but the writing & acting made us forget that.  I still love every show, hokey or now.

And then they had to ruin things with Hollywood movies with the famous pipsqueak deadbeat dad Tom Cruise.  I saw the first. Will never need to see him in a movie ever again.

I'm in the middle of season 2 now so the Landau-Bain people should be leaving soon.  Their leaving turned out to torpedo their careers.   Laundau even appeared in a Gilligan's Island movie.  He did have a power surge in 1994 when he won an Academy Award playing Bella Lugosi in a movie called Ed Wood.  In his acceptance speech he took a swipe at Mission Impossible.  Still bitter after all the years.  I've never seen it but I'd like to.  But mostly, his career & Bain's fizzled.  Then they got divorced after 36 years of marriage.

It'll probably take me a couple more years to get throught the rest of the seasons.

No comments:

Post a Comment