British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
In 1979, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and several Americans were taken hostage. However, six managed to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador and the CIA was eventually ordered to get them out of the country. With few options, exfiltration expert Tony Mendez devised a daring plan: to create a phony Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran and smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. With the help of some trusted Hollywood contacts, Mendez created the ruse and proceed to Iran as its associate producer. However, time was running out with the Iranian security forces closing in on the truth while both his charges and the White House had grave doubts about the operation themselves. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As shown in this movie, by the late 1970s, the Hollywood sign (which had first been erected in 1923 as "HOLLYWOODLAND" to advertise an upcoming real estate development) had fallen into severe disrepair. In 1978, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce had a fund-raising campaign in which they solicited nine prominent people to give about $28,000 each (one donor for each letter) for the restoration. Some of these benefactors included: Playboy Magazine founder Hugh M. Hefner, who gave the Y; singers Gene Autry and Andy Williams (the second L and the W, respectively), and heavy metal/shock rock star Alice Cooper, who replaced the third O (by far the most damaged of the letters) in memory of Groucho Marx. Warner Bros. Records, a division of the company that later released Argo, donated the second O. However, unlike the movie's depiction, this renovation was completed by the end of November 1978 -- a year before the hostages in Iran were even taken. See more »
When Mendez first finds the "Argo" script, it has a black vinyl cover with gold embossed lettering. When he walks out to the patio, the cover is gone. See more »
[to Tony Mendez]
You need somebody who's a somebody to put their name on it. Somebody respectable. With credits. Who you can trust with classified information. Who will produce a fake movie. For free.
See more »
The movie opens with the 1970s-era Warner Bros. slash logo that eventually became the logo of Warner Music, which was designed by Saul Bass, instead of the traditional shield logo. However, the corporate copy below the logo refers to Time Warner, the current incarnation of Warner Communications since 1990, in the same typeface that was used decades ago. See more »
Six American embassy staff are sheltered and smuggled out of the Iran, quietly, safely and without any fuss. It just gets done as it should, with the help of the western diplomatic community including Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Britain and New Zealand.
You could make a film out of it - but it would be a documentary and probably boring as simple competency and decency make for poor cinema these days.
You can also make a Die-hard/RAMBO type film with one man against the system, lots of car chases, explosions, improbable plot twists and cliffhanger type of escapes. These can be a lot of fun to watch when done right.
Or you can make a film that is something in between, where you intersperse actual events and people to trick viewers into taking the pulp fiction seriously. It is important to make sure that most of the audience was not alive when the events occurred - just stress the few cultural references that they know and give a slide show at the end to convince them how real it all was. And add a one sentence disclaimer so that all those friends that did help aren't too offended.
I personally prefer the first two types of film that either give credit to the very real people who actually did risk their very real lives or be honest with the audience that this is make-believe.
Or at the very least - make something that can stand on its own without having to pretend that most of it actually happened.
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