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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.

Director:

Ben Affleck

Writers:

Chris Terrio (screenplay by), Tony Mendez (based on a selection from "The Master of Disguise" by) (as Antonio J. Mendez) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
917 ( 1)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 94 wins & 152 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Affleck ... Tony Mendez
Bryan Cranston ... Jack O'Donnell
Alan Arkin ... Lester Siegel
John Goodman ... John Chambers
Victor Garber ... Ken Taylor
Tate Donovan ... Bob Anders
Clea DuVall ... Cora Lijek
Scoot McNairy ... Joe Stafford
Rory Cochrane ... Lee Schatz
Christopher Denham ... Mark Lijek
Kerry Bishé ... Kathy Stafford
Kyle Chandler ... Hamilton Jordan
Chris Messina ... Malinov
Zeljko Ivanek ... Robert Pender
Titus Welliver ... Bates
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Persian | Arabic

Release Date:

12 October 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape from Tehran See more »

Filming Locations:

McLean, Virginia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,458,109, 14 October 2012

Gross USA:

$136,025,503

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$232,325,503
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In keeping with the period in which the film is set (around 1979), Warner Brothers used their "Big W" logo, which was utilized on their releases around that time, and painted the Burbank Studios logo onto their water tower. It was the name of the building from 1972 until 1990, when Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures were sharing the same facilities. See more »

Goofs

Noticeable on the uniforms and caps of immigration officials working at Tehran's airport passport control, is the former coat-of-arms of Iran used during the Shah's reign. After the 1979 revolution, the coat of arm featuring a lion holding a sword surrounded by olive leaves and a crown (symbolizing the Shah) above the lion was immediately replaced by the new theocratic government with a Persian-inspired script symbolizing "Allah" ("God"). The new coat of arms (which appears in the center of Iran's flag today) contains no imagery or symbols relating to the Shah and the Pahlavi dynasty. 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 ...
See more »

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 »

Alternate Versions

After it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival the postscript at the end credits was changed because it was felt that it slighted the Canada's involvement in the rescue of the American hostages. See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Dad!: CIAPOW (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Escape from the Ovions
Written by Stu Phillips
Performed by Stu Phillips
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Affleck Brings Back 70's Cinema.
13 October 2012 | by Matt_LaydenSee all my reviews

As the Iranian revolution nears a climax, a CIA specialist comes up with a risky plan to rescue six Americans who are hiding at the home of the Canadian Ambassador. The plan? A fake movie.

With two good films under his belt Ben Affleck has already solidified himself as a competent director. With Argo he ventures into the must see category. Argo is easily one of the best films of the year and reminds us of the films we use to love back in the 70's. Not only does the film look like it takes place in the 70's, but it feels like it too. Blowing the picture up to give it the grainy feel, greatly adds to the overall experience.

Multiple times I got the feeling that Affleck was trying to pull off an All The Presidents Men vibe, especially in the CIA offices and it works. While I'm sure Affleck took some liberties with the events, it never feels like any of this couldn't have happened. Affleck is a CIA operative and not once does he fire a gun, fight the bad guys or be 007. This film is 100% talking, yet is one of the most suspenseful films of the year. Where does the suspense come from? If their cover is blown, they are all dead. Can these people fake being a film crew? Does everyone make it out alive? Even if you know how the real story turns out, Affleck manages to keep the tension throughout the entire third act intact.

I do wish that Affleck would have given Canadians more credit though. They did most of the work, took most of the risk and in the film it feels as if they were babysitters while Mendez comes up with this Hollywood Option and does everything to get them out. So it does feel like Hollywood trying to take credit for something they were let in on, but that's a small gripe in a fantastic film.

Boasting an impressive cast: Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Tate Donovan, Victor Garber, Clea DuVall, Rory Cochrane, Kyle Chandler and Ben Affleck staple Titus Welliver, everyone brings their A-game, no matter how small the role. Of course Affleck has to have his obligatory shirt off shot.

Argo is everything a movie should be, a great story, compelling drama and light hearted humour. Like I said earlier, it brings back the days of 70's cinema, complete with thick glasses, dorky haircuts and goofy moustaches. The film's credits put up the actors with their real person counterparts. Plus images from the film are literally taken from pictures taken during the events. It's a scary situation to be in and Affleck puts that front and centre.

Go see Argo


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