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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:

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:

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

Gross:

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

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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 was criticized by some viewers for casting himself (a European-American) as Tony Mendez and not a Latino/Hispanic actor. Mendez (who is half-Mexican, half-European) however said he had "no problem" with being portrayed by Affleck, and approved of his performance. See more »

Goofs

In closing credits, they misspelled "Battlestar Gallactica" (sic) 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

Featured in The Oscars Red Carpet Live (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Quite suspenseful!
12 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ben Affleck continues hitting them out of the park. Based on a true story, Argo re-enacts the events that freed American foreign service employees from their hideout in the Canadian Embassy. The setup involves Affleck's character, Mendes, putting together the cover story of a Canadian film crew scouting locations in the Mideast for a sci-fi movie. Alan Arkin & John Goodman are hilarious as Hollywood hotshots producing this surefire scifi hit. The process follows Mendes as he enters Iran and has to BS his way to some skeptical and hostile Iranian theocrats who almost don't know how to respond to the possibility of a scifi movie set in Iran. Mendes must also deal with frightened and reluctant Americans who are being forced out in the open to pose as a movie crew. Affleck does a good job of injecting suspense and dread all through this section.

But the real nail biter is their exit from Iran. As in other movies of this ilk, the chase heats up with the Iranians on the heels of the Americans. Affleck throws into this chase a huge boulder of an obstacle when President Carter pulls the plug on the film crew ex-filtration & decides to go with Delta soldiers instead. If you want to know what happens, I advise you to see the movie or read the news accounts.

This just goes to show you that not all CIA covert actions are led by armed fighters like Jason Bourne and launched by the Treadstone department. Affleck's character doesn't even carry a gun--he carries a script instead.


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