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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
964 ( 5)
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 Declassified 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, Wide Release

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

With John Goodman's performance as John Chambers, this is the only time that a real-life Oscar winner is portrayed in a film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. See more »

Goofs

When Tony Mendez first arrives in Tehran, there is a significant shot of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Although K.F.C. was present in Iran during the 1970s, the restaurants were closed permanently during the Islamic Revolution in 1979, thus they wouldn't have existed there in 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 ...
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

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.11 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

When the Levee Breaks
Written by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham
Performed by Led Zeppelin
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Quite suspenseful!
12 October 2012 | by macktan894See 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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