Mission: Impossible (1966–1973)
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Old Man Out: Part 1 

An elderly cardinal has been taken prisoner by an Eastern European country because the clergyman is a leader of the political opposition. He is being held in a prison where no escape has ... See full summary »


Charles R. Rondeau


Bruce Geller (created by), Ellis Marcus




Episode cast overview:
Steven Hill ... Daniel Briggs
Barbara Bain ... Cinnamon Carter
Greg Morris ... Barney Collier
Peter Lupus ... Willy Armitage
Martin Landau ... Rollin Hand
Mary Ann Mobley ... Crystal Walker
Cyril Delevanti ... Cardinal Vossek
Joseph Ruskin ... Colonel Scutari
Oscar Beregi Jr. ... The Commandant (as Oscar Beregi)
William Wintersole ... The Captain
Monte Markham ... Tosk


An elderly cardinal has been taken prisoner by an Eastern European country because the clergyman is a leader of the political opposition. He is being held in a prison where no escape has ever occurred. Briggs recruits an old flame who is also a trapeze artist. She accompanies Briggs and the IMF, who pose as a small circus. The "circus" has set up in a park that is next to the prison. Rollin, posing as a member of the circus, is arrested after stealing the wallet of an audience member. Rollin is taken to the prison and manages to smuggle in a lock-pick that enables him to exit his cell. The IMF operative manages to get to the cardinal to warn him to expect an escape attempt, with the circus providing a distraction. But, as the escape attempt unfolds, the cardinal is gone from his cell -- he has been taken to solitary confinement and will be executed within a day or two. Written by Bill Koenig

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 October 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Desilu Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (168 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Cardinal Vossek is overtly based upon Hungarian Cardinal József Mindszenty (1892-1975) and his high-profile imprisonment by a totalitarian government in the Eastern Bloc. See more »


A calliope is actuated by steam. Never is there any sign of steam or vapor leaving the pipes. See more »


Barney Collier: Are we fixed for cash? I won't have time to pass the hat.
See more »


Edited into Mission: Impossible: The Short Tail Spy (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Part one....
20 January 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Mary Ann Mobley guest stars in this episode as Crystal and is needed for the mission because of her expertise. Crystal works in the circus and does an act where she spins while suspended by her teeth from great heights. She'll be the main attraction at a fake circus--one that will just happen to set up near a prison where an elderly Cardinal is incarcerated. It seems that Cardinal Vossek (Cyril Delevanti) is the voice of the opposition and he's being silenced. Their mission is to somehow get the man out of the prison and back to safety in the West.

The team needs a man inside the prison so Rollin (Martin Landau) gets the dubious honor. So, while Crystal is performing, he picks pockets using his skills in magic. But, he wants to get caught and soon is. What's next? See the show for yourself.

So is the show any good? Well, considering it's from season one and this was (in my humble opinion) the best in the series, then you can assume from the outset that it will be awfully good. The only question, then, is there enough material to sustain two episodes? This is because sometimes I've seen two-parters that just lagged because there really wasn't enough material for nearly two hours of show. Well, to know this, you might want to read my review of part two. Well written and interesting. Plus, fans of Peter Lupus will get to watch this well-muscled man lifting weights and other feats of strength in a skimpy outfit as part of the circus.

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