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Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.



(screenplay), (based on a selection from "The Master of Disguise" by) (as Antonio J. Mendez) | 1 more credit »
678 ( 56)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 92 wins & 150 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


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 ordered to get them out of the country. With few options, exfiltration expert Tony Mendez devised a daring plan: 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 proceeded 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 (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on the Declassified True Story See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

12 October 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape from Tehran  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$44,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,458,109 (USA) (12 October 2012)


$136,019,448 (USA) (19 April 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both Hamilton Jordan and Kyle Chandler, who plays him in the film, graduated from the University of Georgia. See more »


In a shot in Istanbul, there is a big Turkish flag on a column. These flags appeared first in the 21st century. See more »


[first lines]
Sahar: [narration] This is the Persian Empire known today as Iran. For 2,500 years, this land was ruled by a series of kings, known as shahs. In 1950, the people of Iran elected Mohammad Mossadeqh, a secular democrat, as Prime Minister. He nationalized British and U.S. petroleum holdings, returning Iran's oil to it's people. But in 1953, the U.S. and Great Britain engineered a coup d'etat that deposed Mossadeqh and installed Reza Pahlavi as shah. The young Shah was known for opulence and ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Featured in Argo: The CIA and Hollywood Connection (2013) See more »


Al Adhan
Traditional, Arranged by Pat Jabbar
Performed by Youssef El Mejjad
Courtesy of Barraka Productions
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Well done Ben
9 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

Honestly, I came into this movie with so-so expectations as the trailer I saw in a different movie made me give myself a 50% chance to watch it, up in the air if you will. But from the moment the movie began up until the end, I was gripping for the characters the whole way, the way movies should be.

The opening of the movie played a huge part in setting the tone of the rest of the film. As I had no history or prior knowledge to the events that transpired in Iran in the 1980s, the brief amount of a history lesson was just enough to maintain my interest. Throughout the film, there are times when I might have started to wander through long bouts of dialog, but witty comments by the characters kept me entertained. By the time the climax was about to hit, I was sitting on the edge of my seat, biting at my fingers, awaiting their next move.

Well done Ben, well done.

342 of 594 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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