Mission: Impossible (film)

1996 film directed by Brian De Palma

Mission: Impossible is a 1996 film about an American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, who must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

Directed by Brian De Palma. Written by David Koepp and Robert Towne, based on the television series Mission Impossible, created by Bruce Geller.
Expect the Impossible

Ethan Hunt

  • Relax, Luther, it's much worse than you think.
  • [referring to CIA headquarters] This is the Mount Everest of hacks.
  • [testing decibel meter on his wrist] One. Two. Three. TOAST. TOAST. [Luther: [through radio] Check.] Good. Okay, Luther, I'm goin' in. Everest, man, you ready to plant the flag? [Krieger sneezes loudly and the meter fills up.] [Luther: Damn!] Krieger, from here on in, absolute silence.
  • If you're dealing with someone who's crushed, shot, stabbed, and detonated five members of his own IMF team, how devastated do you really think you're gonna make him by hauling Mom and Uncle Donald down to the county courthouse?
  • [Holding the wad of explosive chewing gum before jumping off a chopper in the Chunnel] RED LIGHT! GREEN LIGHT!

Eugene Kittridge

  • I want him manning a radar tower in Alaska by the end of the day. Just mail him his clothes.
  • What can we do, Barnes? Put a guy at the airport? How many identities do you think Hunt has? How many times has he slipped past customs, in how many countries? These guys are trained to be ghosts. We taught them to do it for Christ's sake.
  • Let's not waste time chasing after him; let's make him come to us. Everyone has pressure points, Barnes. You find something that's personally important to someone and... you squeeze.
  • Good morning, Mr. Phelps.


  • Franz Krieger: Try any sleight of hand with my money and I'll cut your throat.
  • Jack Harmen: [referring to a stick of exploding gum] Stick of gum, right? No. Red light, green light. Come up against a lock you can't pick, you mash them together...[imitates an explosion] Hasta lasagna, don't get any on ya. You'll have about five seconds. Just don't chew it.
  • Max: I don't have to tell you what a comfort anonymity can be in my profession. It's like a warm blanket.
  • Senator John Waltzer: I want to know who these people are and how they're spending our taxpayers' money. We were living in a democracy the last time I checked.
  • Tape Recorder: This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.


Flight Attendant: Would you like to watch a movie, Mr. Phelps?
Jim Phelps: I prefer the theater.
Flight Attendant: Would you consider the cinema of the Ukraine?
Jim Phelps: Perhaps you'll choose one for me. [She gives him a cassette] Thank you.
[He plugs it in and starts it for a mission briefing]
Voice on Tape: Good morning, Mr. Phelps. The man you're looking at is Alexander Golitsyn, an attaché at our embassy in Prague. He is also a traitor. He has stolen one half of the CIA NOC list, a record of all our deep-cover agents working in Eastern Europe. For security reasons, the NOC list is divided in two. The portion that Golitsyn already has contains code names, but this half is useless without its mate, which matches the code names with their true names. It is this half which Golitsyn plans to steal from the embassy during a reception tomorrow night. Your mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it, is to obtain photographic proof of the theft, shadow Golitsyn to his buyer, and apprehend them both. We've already dispatched a team selected from your usual group. Sarah Davies is already undercover, Jack Harmon can hack into any security system, Hannah Williams will handle surveillance, your wife Claire will cover transport, and Ethan Hunt will be your pointman as usual. He is now in Kiev and will rendezvous in Prague at a safehouse of your choosing. As always, should you or any member of your I.M. force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.
[Jim blows smoke from his cigarette to cover the burning of the tape]

Jim Phelps: Any questions?
Ethan Hunt: Yeah. Could we get a cappuccino machine in here? 'Cause I don't know what you call this.
Jack Harmon: I call it cruel and unusual.
Claire Phelps: Hey, I made that coffee.
Ethan Hunt: Exactly. Is it possible that it's any worse than the sludge you made in that barn in Kiev?
Claire Phelps: [sarcastically] Thank you.
Jim Phelps: Take it easy on my wife's coffee.
Ethan Hunt: We missed you in Kiev, Jim.
Jim Phelps: Missed you too, Ethan.
Jack Harmon: You're off on one of your cushy recruiting assignments again?
Ethan Hunt: Yeah, where did they put you up this time? The Plaza?
Jim Phelps: Drake Hotel, Chicago.
Jack Harmon: Ooh! Punishing! 24-hour room service!
Ethan Hunt: Yeah, chauffeured cars.
Jack Harmon: Fat expense accounts.
Ethan Hunt: He's getting soft in his old age.
Jack Harmon: Yes he is, look at him.
Jim Phelps: All right. Now, listen, if that list gets out into the open, the names of all our agents in every country in Eastern Europe will be up for grabs to the highest bidders. Third World terrorists, arms dealers, drug lords, any and everybody who'd love to get rid of long-term coverts like us. If they're exposed, they'll be executed. So, I'll run the whole show from the crow's nest here. Everyone knows their roles. Let's punch out the details.

Sarah Davies: Tell me, Senator, do you all have someone on your staff named Jack?
Ethan Hunt [disguised as Senator John Waltzer, while Jack struggles to rig the fingerprint recognition system]: Jack... I believe we did have a Jack. An unreliable fellow as I recall. Constantly late, and behind in his work. I was forced to tie him behind one of my best stallions and drag him around my barn for a few days.
Jack Harmon: [seeing Hunt's point] Relax your crack, Foghorn, I'm working on it.

Ethan Hunt: Saved your ass again, Jack.
Jack Harmon: Give me a break, Pops.
Sarah Davies: Such a nice ass.
Jack Harmon: And a lonely ass.

[After losing his entire team, Ethan rushes to a pay phone and hotwires it to make a call]
Ethan Hunt: My God. [wiping blood from his hands]
Operator: Satcom seven.
Ethan Hunt: Central Europe, unsecured.
Operator: Designator?
Ethan Hunt: Bravo-echo-one-one.
Operator: Switching. [dials number]
Eugene Kittridge: This is Kittridge.
Ethan Hunt: Go secure.
Eugene Kittridge: Okay, go ahead.
Ethan Hunt: This is Ethan Hunt. They're dead.
Eugene Kittridge: What? Who's dead?
Ethan Hunt: My team. My team is DEAD!
Eugene Kittridge: Jesus.
Ethan Hunt: Golitsyn's gone. They knew we were coming, man. They knew we were coming and the disk is gone.
Eugene Kittridge: Are you intact?
Ethan Hunt: The disk is gone, did you....DO YOU READ ME? THE LIST IS IN THE OPEN!
Eugene Kittridge: Listen, I read you. Let's just bring you in safely, then we'll worry about that, okay? Were you followed?
Ethan Hunt: I don't think so. I don't think so.
Eugene Kittridge: Don't think. Be sure. Are you clean?
Ethan Hunt: [looks around] Yes.
Eugene Kittridge: Okay. Location Green, one hour. I'll be there myself.
Ethan Hunt: You're in Prague?
Eugene Kittridge: One hour. [hangs up]

[Ethan meets Kittridge at a restaurant]
Eugene Kittridge: I am...I can't tell you how sorry I am. I know how much Jim, in particular, meant to you, Ethan...personally as well as professionally.
Ethan Hunt: Yeah.
Eugene Kittridge: Here's a passport, visa. Usual drill. We'll work the exfiltration through Canada, debrief you at Langley. Throw the Prague police a bone or two. You know, toss them a few suspects....You follow me?
Ethan Hunt: Yeah, I follow.
Eugene Kittridge: I think we've lost enough agents for one night.
Ethan Hunt: You mean, I've lost enough agents for one night.
Eugene Kittridge: You seem hell-bent on blaming yourself, Ethan.
Ethan Hunt: Who else is left?
Eugene Kittridge: Yeah. I see your point.
Ethan Hunt: Why was there another team?
Eugene Kittridge: What?
Ethan Hunt: Of IMF agents at the embassy tonight.
Eugene Kittridge: I don't quite follow you.
Ethan Hunt: Well, see if you can follow me around the room. The drunk Russians on the embankment at 7:00 and 8:00...The couple waltzing around me at the embassy at 9:00 and 11:00...The waiter standing behind Hannah at the top of the stairs..Bow tie, 12:00...The other IMF team. You're worried about me. Why?
Eugene Kittridge: Well, for a little over two years we've been spotting serious blowback in IMF operations. We have a penetration. The other day, we decoded a message on the internet from a Czech we know as Max.
Ethan Hunt: The arms dealer.
Eugene Kittridge: That's right. Max, it seems, has two unique gifts: a capacity for anonymity and for corrupting susceptible agents. This time, he'd gotten to someone on the inside. He'd gotten himself in a position to buy our NOC list. An operation he referred to as "Job 314." The job he thought Golitsyn was doing tonight.
Ethan Hunt: But the list Golitsyn stole was a decoy.
Eugene Kittridge: That's correct. The actual list is secure at Langley. Golitsyn was a lightning rod. He was one of ours.
Ethan Hunt: This whole operation was a mole hunt. This whole operation was a mole hunt.
Eugene Kittridge: Yeah. The mole's deep inside. And, like you said, you survived. I want to show you something, Ethan. Since your father's death your family's farm has been in receivership, and now, suddenly, they're flush with over $120,000 in the bank. Your father's illness was supposed to have wiped out that bank account. Dying slowly in America, after all, can be a very expensive proposition. So...why don't we quietly get out of here and onto a plane? I can understand you're very upset.
Ethan Hunt: Kittridge, you've never seen me very upset.
Eugene Kittridge: All right, Hunt. Enough is enough. You have bribed, cajoled, and killed, and you have done it using loyalties on the inside. You want to shake hands with the devil, that's fine with me. I just want to make sure that you do it in hell!
[Ethan throws explosive gum on a large aquarium in the middle of the restaurant, shattering it and the windows and allowing him to escape]

Ethan Hunt: [face covered by hood] I thought I was going to see Max.
Matthias: You misunderstood. No one sees Max.
Ethan Hunt: Then what am I doing here?
Matthias: Allowing Max to see you and hear what you've got to say.
Ethan Hunt: I don't communicate very well through a shroud.
Matthias: If Max doesn't like what you have to say, you will be wearing that shroud indefinitely.
Ethan Hunt: [thinks a second] I'm willing to take the chance.
Matthias: Very well.
[Uncovers Ethan's face]
Max: Who are you and what are you doing here?
Ethan Hunt: I need $150,000.
Max: [Laughing] Oh, really?....And you thought if you simply showed up, I might give it to you?
Ethan Hunt: Why not? You gave Job 125.
Max: Hmmm..The penny drops. You are not Job...Job is not given to quoting scripture in his communications...Then there was it's tone, aggressive but playful. Job is not playful...So you are something of a paradox.
Ethan Hunt: Well, that depends.
Max: On what?
Ethan Hunt: Whether you like a paradox...I want $150,000 today.
Max: Ah Nah. That is quite out of the question.
Ethan Hunt: The disk Job sold you, it's worthless...It's bait, part of an internal mole hunt.
Max: And how might you know that?...Are you another Company man?
Ethan Hunt: Like Job?
Max: We're asking about you.
Ethan Hunt: I'm NOC...Was...Now, Disavowed.
Max: Why, may I ask?
Ethan Hunt: That is the question I want to ask Job.
Max: I don't know Job anymore than Job knows me.
Ethan Hunt: Even so...I'm sure you could arrange an introduction.
Max: Why should I?
Ethan Hunt: Because I can deliver the actual NOC list. The one you have is not only worthless, it's certain to be equipped with a homing device to pinpoint your exact location.
Max: Um Hmm.
Ethan Hunt: Boot it up. In anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, you'll have Virginia farm boys hopping around you like jackrabbits.
Max: It's easy to say the disk is worthless when you say I can't look at the information and see if it's worthless. Not a tenable position, sir.
Ethan Hunt: Okay. Use it. But...I'd suggest you pack first.
[Matthias boots up a laptop and inserts the disk]
Matthias: 26, 27. So far so good.
Max: Not so good for you, my friend.
Ethan Hunt: I'd say you've got about...two minutes.
Matthias: 32 and 33.
Max: Doesn't mean it's a signal. Could just be the hard drive heating up.
Matthias: 44 and 45.
[Kittridge and a team of agents raid the apartment but find nothing, while Max and her agents escape out a back door and take Ethan with them.]

[Ethan and Claire are recruiting for the mission]
Ethan Hunt: Simple game. Four players. Exfil opens the pocket, Cyber Ops lifts the wallet.
Franz Krieger: Bank?
Ethan Hunt: [shakes his head] IMF mainframe.
Franz Krieger: Where exactly is it?
Ethan Hunt: In Langley.
Luther Stickell: In Langley? The-one-in-Virginia Langley?
Franz Krieger: Inside CIA headquarters at Langley? [to Claire] Is he serious?
Claire Phelps: Always.
Franz Krieger: [scoffs] If we're going to Virginia, why don't we drop by Fort Knox? I can fly a helicopter right in through the lobby and set it down inside the vault. And it would be a hell of a lot easier than breaking into the goddamn CIA.
Luther Stickell: What are we downloading?
Ethan Hunt: Information.
Luther Stickell: What kind?
Ethan Hunt: Profitable.
Claire Phelps: Payment on delivery.
Luther Stickell: [doubtfully] I don't know. I just don't know.
Ethan Hunt: Well, this doesn't sound like the Luther Stickell I heard of. What'd they used to call you? The Net Ranger? Phineas Phreak? The only man alive who actually hacked NATO Ghost Com.
Luther Stickell: There was never any physical evidence that I had anything to do with that... with that... [smiles] ...that exceptional piece of work.
Ethan Hunt: You don't know what you're missing. This is the Mount Everest of hacks.
Luther Stickell: You're all kidding yourselves. Even with top-of-the-line crypto, Cray access, STU-3's...
Claire Phelps: [cuts him off] Krieger can get it. [to Krieger] Right?
Franz Krieger: It may take a little time.
Ethan Hunt: What the hell do you mean, a little time? That's not what Claire tells me about you.
[Krieger hesitates]
Luther Stickell: [to Krieger] Thinking Machine laptops? I'm talking about the 686 prototypes, with the artificial intelligence RISC chip.
Franz Krieger: Twenty-four hours.
Luther Stickell: [laughs] And, uh, I get to keep the equipment when we're done.
Ethan Hunt: Well, Luther, I guess you're all out of excuses.
Luther Stickell: [laughs] Hmm. Look, uh, I just can't hack my way inside. See, there's no modem access to the mainframe. It's in what we call a standalone, which means I'd have to be physically at the terminal.
Ethan Hunt: Relax, Luther. It's much worse than you think. The terminal is in a black-vault lockdown. [voice-over, the scene goes to William Donloe approaching the door to the computer vault] The only person allowed in the room has to pass through a series of security checks.
CIA Analyst William Donloe: [to keypad microphone] William Donloe.
Ethan Hunt: [voice-over] The first is a voice-print identification, and a six-digit access code. [Donloe enters a code; the door opens and he enters an office] This only gets him into the outer room. Next he has to pass a retinal scan. [Donloe removes his glasses and looks into a retinal scanner] And finally, the intrusion countermeasures are only deactivated by a double electronic key card... [Donloe inserts his ID card into a reader; cut to Hunt on the train] ...which we won't have. [Donloe then enters the vault and logs in at the terminal] Now, inside the black vault, there are three systems operating whenever the technician is out of the room. The first is sound-sensitive. Anything above a whisper sets it off. The second system detects any increase in temperature. Even the body heat of an unauthorized person in the room will trigger it if the temperature rises just a single degree. Now, that temperature is controlled by the air conditioning coming in through an overhead duct, 30 feet above the floor. That vent is guarded by a laser net.
[Stickell and Krieger trade uneasy looks; Donloe leaves the vault]
Ethan Hunt: [voice-over] The third system's on the floor and is pressure-sensitive. [Donloe shuts the door, activating the security systems] The slightest increase in weight will trigger the alarm. And any one of these systems, if set off, will activate an automatic lockdown. Now, believe me when I tell you, gentlemen, all three systems are state-of-the-art.
[A drop of condensation from Donloe's soda cup falls on the floor, triggering the alarm. Cut to the train.]
Luther Stickell: [After a stunned silence] And you really think we can do this?
Ethan Hunt: We're going to do it.

[discussing the theft of the NOC list and the technician who was on duty at the time]
Eugene Kittridge: You and I know about this. That's where it stops, understand? It never happened.
Frank Barnes: What about him?
Eugene Kittridge: I want him manning a radar tower in Alaska by the end of the day. Just mail him his clothes.

[stops Krueger from stabbing a CIA man]
Ethan Hunt: Zero bodycount.
Franz Krieger: We'll see.

Eugene Kittridge: Hello, Max.
Max: My lawyers are going to have a field day with this. Entrapment, jurisdictional conflict...
Eugene Kittridge: Well, maybe we'll just leave the courts out of this one.
Max: I'm sure we can find something I have that you need.

Luther Stickell: Reach your folks? [Ethan nods] How do they feel?
Ethan Hunt: About what?
Luther Stickell: The apology from the Justice Department, VIP treatment. You know, the whole nine yards.
Ethan Hunt: Well, my mom was a little confused how the DEA could mistake her and Uncle Donald for a couple of dope smugglers in the Florida Keys. [holds up a glass of beer]
Luther Stickell: [holds up his glass] Cheers.
Ethan Hunt: To you, Luther. And being off the disavowed list.
Luther Stickell: Hey, I'm the flavour of the month. Why don't you come back with me?
Ethan Hunt: I just...don't know why I'd be doing it. Better go catch my flight. So, how does it feel to be a solid citizen again?
Luther Stickell: Man, I don't know. I'm gonna miss bein' disreputable.
Ethan Hunt: Well, Luther, if it makes you feel any better, I'll always think of you that way.

[last lines]
Flight Attendant: Excuse me. Mr. Hunt? Would you like to watch a movie?
Ethan Hunt: Oh, uh, no thank you.
Flight Attendant: Would you consider the cinema of the Caribbean? Aruba, perhaps?



See also

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