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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), (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 91 wins & 150 nominations. See more awards »

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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

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Based on the Declassified True Story See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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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:

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

Gross:

$136,019,448 (USA) (19 April 2013)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Iranian official seen on archive footage at the end of the film issuing dire threats against Canada for their role in the rescue was later executed by the regime he served. See more »

Goofs

During the table read scene, the robot who speaks has blue LED's for eyes. Blue LEDs were not invented until 1993. 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

Past the photos of cast members and the real people they play, there's audio from an interview with then-President Jimmy Carter talking about the crisis. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alan Arkin: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Escape from the Ovions
Written by Stu Phillips
Performed by Stu Phillips
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Stop with the "Reality" Cinema already...
19 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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