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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 1979.



(screenplay by), (based on a selection from "The Master of Disguise" by) (as Antonio J. Mendez) | 1 more credit »
654 ( 41)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 94 wins & 152 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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

12 October 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape from Tehran  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$44,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Extended Version)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lester Siegel (played by Alan Arkin) is said to be a composite character. However, in real-life, Make-up Artist Robert Sidell, a friend of John Chambers, posed as the fake film's Producer. Sidell's wife, Andi, was the fake production company's receptionist. Ben Affleck assumed that Sidell, like Chambers, had passed away, but he was informed just before the film's release, that he was still alive and well. Affleck had Robert Sidell flown to the film's premiere in Los Angeles, and in his opening remarks, he gave recognition to Sidell for his part in the mission. See more »


In the opening scene a W.P.A. National Park poster of the Grand Canyon is seen hanging in the embassy. This poster was unknown at that time, and it was not reproduced until the 1990s. 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 ...
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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 »


References Network (1976) See more »


Concrete Jungle
Written by Roddy Byers (as Rod Byers)
Performed by The Specials
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Yet another inaccurate historical film
19 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

This film spends half its time calling Hollywood a bunch of phonies and liars, then makes a phony film that tells a lie. The true story is amazing. This one completely misleads on the actual events, and leaves out some of its greatest heroes. I've seen Ben Affleck on multiple talk shows talking about politics. This film had a chance to tell an amazing story of diplomacy, cooperation and bravery, but failed to tell the story.

I know it's not a documentary, and I know that a director needs to add in dialog that no one could know, but even Titanic, a story about two people who never existed, got the facts right. I'd put this film in the same category as Inglorious Basterds. Entertaining, but insultingly misleading.

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