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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
956 ( 54)
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:

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:

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

First movie in seven years to win the Oscar for Best Picture, without winning the Oscar for Best Director (the previous movie was Crash (2004)). It is also the first movie in twenty-three years to win the Oscar for Best Picture, without being nominated for Best Director (the previous one was Driving Miss Daisy (1989)). See more »

Goofs

The design of the Swissair Boeing 747 as shown in the film was not used until 1981, when the appearance dating from the mid-1950s was overhauled for the 50th birthday of the airline. Until then, the 747's design sported a red stripe around the body on white ground with a grey belly and the name in a different font in black. 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

Past the photos of cast members and the real people they play, there's audio from an interview with then-President Jimmy Carter talking about the crisis. See more »

Alternate Versions

An extended version of the film was released on Blu-Ray in 2013 with 9 minutes worth of alternate or extended footage. Many of the new scenes explored Tony Mendez's family background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Face Off: Sounding Off (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Little T&A
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Performed by The Rolling Stones
Courtesy of Promotone B.V.
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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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