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Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper (1981)

A dramatized account of how the staff of the Canadian Embassy helped a group of American diplomats escape from Iran during the Iranian Revolution.


Lamont Johnson


Lionel Chetwynd (screenplay), Lionel Chetwynd (story) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gordon Pinsent ... Ambassador Ken Taylor
Chris Wiggins Chris Wiggins ... John Sheardown
Diana Barrington ... Zena Sheardown
Robert Joy ... Mark Lijek
James B. Douglas James B. Douglas ... Bob Anders
Tisa Chang Tisa Chang ... Pat Taylor
Larry Aubrey Larry Aubrey ... Joe Stafford
Matsu Anderson Matsu Anderson ... Cora Lijek
Julie Khaner ... Kathy Stafford
Robert Lalonde ... Jean Pelletier
R.H. Thomson ... Lee Schatz
Carl Marotte ... Marine Sergeant Lopez
Jason Dean Jason Dean ... Sergeant Gauthier
Jonathan Welsh Jonathan Welsh ... Michael Howland
J.P. Linton J.P. Linton ... Victor Tomseth (as John-Peter Linton)


This film tells a combination of how Ken Taylor and his Canadian Embassy staff in Teheran during the Iranian hostage crisis hid half a dozen American embassy staffers at great personal risk. It furthermore tells the story, which was revealed much later to the cover story for the joint CIA/Canadian rescue operation, of how Ken Taylor successfully smuggled those Americans out of Iran safely under the noses of the internal security forces. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




USA | Canada



Release Date:

17 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desert Blades See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Near the end of the movie, the newspaper clipping that Jean Pelletier pins to a bulletin board is a reconstruction of the actual front page of Montreal's La Presse newspaper of Tuesday, January 29, 1980. It has the same headline and layout as the original, except that the pictures of Ken Taylor and Jean Pelletier were replaced by those of their respective actors. It reads "Audacieux coup du Canada en Iran: Américains cachés à l'ambassade, sauvés" ("Daring operation by Canada in Iran: Americans hide in Embassy and are rescued"). See more »


Followed by 444 Days to Freedom: What Really Happened in Iran (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Proud of my dad "Escape from Iran"
8 November 2004 | by jthunterSee all my reviews

Just watched the documentary on Escape from Iran. I just have to say how proud my brothers and myself are of what our Dad John Sheardown did for the American Hostages. He is the best Dad a daughter could ever have. I was up in Ottawa for the Canada awards and met a few of the hostages over the years. I have heard so many stories about the 3 months they all spent as house guests. Chris Wiggins played my Dad to a tee... Just wanted to say how much I enjoy seeing the movie when it comes on. I am very proud of my father he is a great man . Thankyou for allowing me to send this message. How proud I am of being Canadian .Sincerely Jacqueline Sheardown Hunter

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