Tuesday, August 2, 2016

TV Guide: Mission Impossible (May 4, 1968)

My wife loves to go antique shopping. I usually go with her, only because while she is looking for Fire King kitchenware, I am looking for forgotten (or heretofore unknown) popular culture treasures.

One of the great things I have happened upon are old issues of TV Guide. Besides the weekly TV show listings (which are a fun time-capsule in and of themselves), every issue features profiles or interviews with television celebrities.

My heart jumped into my throat when I saw the above issue. I think I bought it for three or four bucks? I don't remember, but it was certainly worth every penny!

First of all, there is the great cover shot by Phillippe Halsman. It's impossible to tell how he staged this, but Martin Landau (at the bottom) is probably kneeling, his wife Barbara Bain is leaning over him, and then Peter Graves and Greg Morris are possibly on different steps, or on blocks, behind her. Anyway they managed this, it's still a great shot. The only complaint I have is that they didn't include co-star Peter Lupus. Poor Willy!

When I bought it the book was wrapped in plastic, so I had no idea what I would find inside. After I bought it I pulled the tape off and found this wonderful interview with Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, conducted by Dick Hobson. It's a hoot.

Here it is for your enjoyment.

Interesting, right? Just the kind of cool people you imagine the Landaus would be! So sad that they felt that they had to leave the series a year after this interview was published.

Not quite sure what to make of the criticism of then-current Hollywood people, the man at Wells Fargo is left nameless, but then he openly criticizes actor Jim Arness. (Wells Fargo was a Western drama on NBC-TV between 1957-1962). Of course, Arness is famous for playing Marshall Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke for twenty years (1955-1975). I was never a real fan of the show, so I'm not sure....was Arness traditionally stoic? By the way, although Jim Arness is famous for his TV role, coincidentally (?) he is also the brother of the Landaus' co-star on Mission:Impossible, Peter Graves! Maybe they knew him personally and he was one of the actors they had "permission" to talk about...? Nearly fifty years later, it certainly does read somewhat shockingly.

So I was more than satisfied with my purchase after reading this. Then I glanced through the rest of the issue and found what could only be considered hidden treasure! We'll talk about *that* next week...!

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