Rushville Republican

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April 15, 2014

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So we’ll have to move on to the second stock scene: Briggs sorting through a bunch of dossiers to choose the agents needed for that week’s mission. The dossiers were kept in a super-secret attaché case, etched with the super-secret words “Impossible Missions Force” in subtle eight-inch high letters. But there was no danger of detection by nosy visitors or housekeepers; Briggs always hid the case in his super-secret sock drawer.

The standard “M:I” team featured the same players: femme fatale Cinnamon (played by Barbara Bain), electronics expert Barney Collier (Greg Morris), muscleman Willy Armitage (Peter Lupus) and impersonator extraordinaire Rollin Hand (Martin Landau).

As Briggs selected their dossiers, something always puzzled me: Cinnamon’s contained the cover of “Elite” magazine, featuring her picture and the headline “Model of the Year”; Willy’s featured the cover of some sports magazine, and noted some weightlifting world-record he’d just set; and Rollin’s included a piece of promotional literature touting his world-famous impersonation and magic act. So, if all these people led such high-profile “real” lives, how come not one single person they encountered during their impossible missions EVER recognized them?

Sometimes I secretly hoped someone WOULD recognize Rollin, and imprison him. This was due to my big crush on Bain, who was Landau’s real-life wife. They starred together in other shows besides “M:I,” but they eventually divorced. Most Hollywood insiders trace their breakup to low self-esteem issues they faced after appearing together in the 1981 film, “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.”

I eventually “dumped” Cinnamon to devote myself exclusively to Doris Day, and even started hoping that Cinnamon and Rollin would develop an on-screen romance; the other team members could’ve referred to the duo as “Cinnamon-Roll.”

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