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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

Taglines:

Based on the exaggerated true story. 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:

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

Gross:

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

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Affleck met the former CIA operative Tony Mendez for the first time in March 2011 to discuss his role. The meeting took place at the Washington, D.C., Chadwicks Bar on K Street where the infamous spy Aldrich Ames had passed classified American documents to the KGB. In the movie, however, the initial meeting place where the pivotal scheme was hatched was staged at the Smoke House restaurant in Burbank, California, a real-life haunt for many movie celebrities. George Clooney and Grant Heslov's company, SmokeHouse Productions, is named for this restaurant. See more »

Goofs

Most of the glasses worn by the characters have an antireflective coating that looks blueish-purple in color to those looking at the front of the glasses. This type of coating was not be used in 1979-1980. 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

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 »

Connections

Featured in Half in the Bag: Django Unchained and 2012 Recap (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Adhan - Call to Prayer
Traditional, Arranged and Performed by Shaam
Courtesy of Meem Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good movie but took a lot of liberties
12 October 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is a great movie. The story, acting, pacing, editing, etc. was just fantastic. Affleck's directing was solid, and the suspense will keep you entertained right through to the last seconds. I loved it.

It did have one irritating thing, though, kind of a big one. It pointed most of the accolades to Affleck's character and the CIA. This really was not true. It was Ken Taylor and the Canadians who really pulled 'the Canadian Caper' off so successfully.

"When Taylor heard a few years ago that Mendez had sold movie rights to his book (which, to be fair, is much more generous than the movie about Canada's role), "I said, 'Well, that's going to be interesting.'...."The movie's fun, it's thrilling, it's pertinent, it's timely," he said. "But look, Canada was not merely standing around watching events take place. The CIA was a junior partner."

"The old postscript sent the message that, for political reasons, Canada took the credit. A sarcastic kicker noted that Taylor received 112 citations. The clear implication was that he did not deserve them."(Sept/Oct., 2012, thestar.com)".

So the USA does another revision on history here. I believe 'Argo' goes this far. Yes, it's based on a true story - the movie does it's best to allude that it sticks to technical accuracy. And it really does, in some ways. Historical pictures of flag burners, rioters, gate climbers, etc.. up against Argo film stills run by during the credits make it seem that the facts were adhered to down to the tiniest detail. In reality, it wasn't Tony Mendez or the CIA who were responsible for the success of this operation; actually they were barely there.

Since the movie premiered, Ben Affleck has added emphasis on the movie postscripts since then that gives kudos to the Canadians' role. This was after Ken Taylor politely complained, as a Canadian would tactfully do. But Affleck did this only after pressure from Taylor himself.

I can understand the need to spice up events to make them as exciting and entertaining as possible, don't get me wrong. But this film needs to let the audience know that more explicitly than it does, even after the changed postscripts.

Still, a really entertaining and riveting film, very well done, and easily worth seeing. As a matter of fact, don't miss it.


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