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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 1980.

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(screenplay by), (based on a selection from "The Master of Disguise" by) (as Antonio J. Mendez) | 1 more credit »
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962 ( 65)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 94 wins & 152 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

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Details

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Release Date:

12 October 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape from Tehran  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,458,109 (USA) (14 October 2012)

Gross:

$136,025,503 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Version)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Best Picture Academy Award win was announced live via satellite from the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama. See more »

Goofs

Immediately after the opening scene of the embassy takeover, the screen shows panning shots of Washington, D.C., with wording showing "69 days later", mid-January. The extensive amount of autumn color in the tree leaves clearly would not still be evident in the dead of a Washington winter. 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 ...
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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 »


Soundtracks

Do You Miss London
from Spy Game (2001)
Written by Harry Gregson-Williams
Courtesy of Beacon Pictures
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not best-picture worthy.
22 September 2017 | by See all my reviews

I don't like to believe the myth that Hollywood loves movies about itself, but this movie proves that myth true better than any other I've seen. It's a cool story for sure, but it gets too wrapped up in the premise of making a fake movie. There is a lot of time spent shooting down other ideas and going through the process of publicizing a fake movie. It was necessary and sometimes entertaining to see, but it could have taken up less time. Even the "Argo f--- yourself" line adds to sense that the movie is rather full of itself.

What I found more interesting was the details of the plan to rescue the six Canadians. Ben Affleck's character Tony is at his best when he's trying to get the hostages to buy into his plan and working to get them home. There was a much more human element to it, and they were more in line with what I think is more of the purpose of movies that are based on real events. When events are described in the news or in many historical books, it is easy to forget that they are about real people with real stakes, and dramatizations of such events help to put those sorts of things into better perspective. Argo is paced much faster and made a bit more entertaining than most non-fictional movies, but it neglects its characters for the most part.

For these reasons, I don't agree with it winning the Best Picture Oscar. There was too much that could have been better, and a little too much narcissism laced into it. Perhaps someone who really enjoyed it could convince me of its value and quality, but I find it to be overrated and not true to itself. Overall Rating: 7.2/10.


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