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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
896 ( 28)
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

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

The script originally began by jumping directly into the protests outside the U.S. Embassy. However, Director Ben Affleck and Screenwriter Chris Terrio did not want the film to simply be a portrayal of irrationally crazy Middle Easterners. The opening credits and prologue, which details how the U.S. helped install the Shah in power, and the Shah's subsequent corruption and brutality, was created, so as to make the anger after the Iranian Revolution understandable, while not supporting the grossly illegal and immoral hostage taking at the embassy. See more »

Goofs

While driving up to Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C., the terminal building was not shown accurately. One can see additions to the terminal that were not built until 1996. In 1979-80, the terminal was about half the size that it is now. 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

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 »

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 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.13 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

March to the Dead City
from Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
Written by Leonard Rosenman
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Stop with the "Reality" Cinema already...
19 January 2013 | by lhhung_himselfSee all my reviews

Six American embassy staff are sheltered and smuggled out of the Iran, quietly, safely and without any fuss. It just gets done as it should, with the help of the western diplomatic community including Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Britain and New Zealand.

You could make a film out of it - but it would be a documentary and probably boring as simple competency and decency make for poor cinema these days.

You can also make a Die-hard/RAMBO type film with one man against the system, lots of car chases, explosions, improbable plot twists and cliffhanger type of escapes. These can be a lot of fun to watch when done right.

Or you can make a film that is something in between, where you intersperse actual events and people to trick viewers into taking the pulp fiction seriously. It is important to make sure that most of the audience was not alive when the events occurred - just stress the few cultural references that they know and give a slide show at the end to convince them how real it all was. And add a one sentence disclaimer so that all those friends that did help aren't too offended.

I personally prefer the first two types of film that either give credit to the very real people who actually did risk their very real lives or be honest with the audience that this is make-believe.

Or at the very least - make something that can stand on its own without having to pretend that most of it actually happened.


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