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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 exaggerated true story. See more »


Certificate:

12 | 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:

8 November 2012 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Арго 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

While John Chambers, Tony Mendez, and Lester Siegel are trying to figure out how to make their fake movie project look plausible, Siegel recalls that he made a movie once with Rock Hudson, and from that, draws the conclusion that if you want people to believe a lie, you should have the media disseminate it for you. This seeming non sequitur is a reference to the fact that Hudson, one of the biggest Hollywood stars and sex symbols of the 1950s, was secretly gay, and his agent, Henry Wilson, actively fed misinformation about Hudson's "girlfriends" (really studio-arranged dates for publicity only) to the mainstream media. When the gossip tabloid "Confidential" threatened to expose Hudson's homosexuality, Wilson instead fed them then-scandalous information about two of the less-famous stars on his roster (Rory Calhoun and Tab Hunter) and arranged a sham marriage between his secretary and Hudson. Hudson's homosexuality was not widely known outside of Hollywood until his death in 1985. See more »

Goofs

When Sahar crosses the border into Iraq, the flag at the border station has "Allahu Akbar" in traditional kufic Arabic script between the three black stars. Saddam Hussein added this phrase in 1991 in what was supposed to be his handwriting. The kufic variant was added in 2004 following the American invasion. The flag in 1978 would have just displayed the stars. 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

References Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance the Night Away
Written by Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, and David Lee Roth
Performed by Van Halen
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Intense Film Packed With Emotion
24 February 2013 | by CalRhysSee all my reviews

Argo is the political thriller based on the 1979 Iranian hostage situation in which 6 Americans were left to fend for themselves in the centre of Tehran. CIA Operative Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck) is sent into Iran to evacuate the Americans out safely under the cover of being a film production crew working on a picture called 'Argo'.

The film is absolutely amazing and definitely one of the best films I've seen in a long time, throughout 2012 and 2013 so far we have been treated with some great films such as Skyfall, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty and more, but in my own personal opinion Argo takes the bait as the best of them all. Proof is present as it won 3 BAFTA's for best picture, best director and best editing, also nominated for a further 8 Oscars in 85th Academy Awards.

The film is packed with a sense of threat, peril and intensity all portrayed exceptionally well through the ensemble cast including Ben Affleck (The Town), John Goodman (Big Lebowski), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Alan Arkin (Edward Scissorhands) and Victor Garber (Titanic). The ending is by far the most intense ending I have seen in a long time, visually presented in such an astounding way.

Director Ben Affleck started out his auteur career after his directional debut Gone Baby Gone became critically acclaimed, three years later The Town came out with an Oscar nomination. Now 2 years on we have Argo, Affleck's best film by far.


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