Mission [1986]

Director: Roland Joffé
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn
Genre: Adventure, Drama, History
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 125 minutes

The classic Impossible Missions Force lineup made its debut in Mission: Impossible's sophomore season (1967-1968), which is preserved in this essential set for classic TV fans. Gone was Steven Hill as Dan Briggs, and in his place the supremely confident and smooth Peter Graves as new team leader Jim Phelps, whom most viewers identify with the series. Carrying out the missions assigned from a pre-recorded voice on the self-destroying tape recorder was magician and master of disguise Rollin Hand (Martin Landau, who moved up from guest star to regular cast member with this season), top model Cinnamon Carter (Landau's real-life spouse Barbara Bain, who won three Emmys for her work on the show), electronics genius Barney Collier (Greg Morris), and all-purpose strong man Willie Armitage (body builder-turned-actor Peter Lupus). Among the 25 adventures carried out in this seven-disc set: "The Seal," in which the IMF uses a trained cat to assist in the recovery from an important statue from thief Darren McGavin; "The Town," with Phelps discovering that Communists have overrun an entire hamlet; and "The Slave," in which the team tangle with a Middle Eastern slavery ring. Guest stars include Anthony Zerbe, Paul Winfield, Fritz Weaver, and Sid Haig, but it's the team itself that shines the brightest, especially Landau and Bain, who exude the breezy charm of the series itself (though both would depart the show by the following season). Sadly, the second season set includes no extras. -- Paul Gaita

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