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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.

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(screenplay by), (based on a selection from "The Master of Disguise" by) (as Antonio J. Mendez) | 1 more credit »
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 94 wins & 152 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The movie was fake. The mission was real. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

12 October 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape from Tehran  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,458,109, 14 October 2012, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$136,025,503

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$232,325,503
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Version)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Affleck and Screenwriter Chris Terrio reunited in the DC Extended Universe. Scoot McNairy appears in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 ...
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Crazy Credits

As the end credits begin, a picture of the actual passport of each fake film crew member is displayed next to picture of the actor in the film, showing the similarities between the two faces. Then archive photos from the period are displayed next to pictures shot for the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 7 June 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance the Night Away
Written by Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, and David Lee Roth
Performed by Van Halen
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Vomit inducing propaganda
17 February 2013 | by See all my reviews

Few films have angered me more than this entirely predictable, utterly facile and dreadfully formulaic piece of Hollywood excrement. The only advantage gained from wasting an evening witnessing it was a fuller appreciation of the systemic corruption within the media industry that threatens to award it several Oscars.

The faults are obvious and well documented. The events concerned are ridiculously exaggerated as the most exciting incident actually occurring was the provision of wrongly dated visas by the CIA who didn't appreciate that Iran had a different calendar to the West. Otherwise the whole operation was largely mundane. The main contribution by the CIA had been the provision of fake passports and visas whilst it was the Canadians who were most pivotal in the execution of the project. Naturally Hollywood did not wish to publicize this inconvenient truth about the matter.

But the film itself is equally mundane. Ben Affleck is arrogantly wooden and the hostages appear to be more cartoon stereotypes than actual people in that situation. All suspense is lost as we know from the outset what the outcome will be and to be frank I found it difficult to remain awake for the duration. It was just another round of backslapping pro-American hero worshiping masquerading as a historical thriller. Avoid at all costs.


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