It’s 1979 and the Shah of Iran has been overthrown. The Ayatollah Khomeini has assumed control and is back from France where he has lived in exile. The United States has taken on the roll of the great Satan as we have allowed the Shah to come to the U.S. The Iranian people have taken to the streets outside the American Embassy wanting the return of the Shah so he may be put on trial and executed.
The American Embassy did its best but was eventually overtaken by students and radicals. Six American Embassy workers are able to escape to the Canadian Embassy. They are Bob Anders (Tate Donovan), Cora Lijek (Clea Duvall), Joe Stafford (Scott McNairy), Mark Lijek (Christopher Denham), Kathy Stafford (Kerry Rishe) and Lee Schatz (Rory Cochrane). It is here they will stay for the next couple of months.
Back in the U.S. our government is at a standstill as to what to do. The CIA and all the intelligence agencies are stumped as to what to do. They want to get the large contingent of Embassy workers who were captured out but that would take an armed assault. They become aware of the Americans in the Canadian Embassy so they decide to try and get these people. They just don’t really know how to do it. Finally a CIA agent named Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a plan to get them out as a film production crew. Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston) is behind the plan and tries to push it through for confirmation.
They get in contact with Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) to get a production company together. He gets in contact with John Chambers (John Goodman) and the ball is rolling. They come up with a movie called Argo which is a low budget Star Wars.
They have publicity and they get it out there that there is really a movie being made. The final go ahead is given and Mendez is on his way to Iran.
One must give credit to Ken Taylor (Victor Garber) who was the Canadian Ambassador. This man put his family and his life out there in harms way for people he didn’t even know.
Look to go on telling this story would be wrong. This is one of those stories that you really need to see for yourself. Having been around during the Hostage Crisis, I can tell you that for most Americans we were looking for information day by day to see what was happening. We became glued to Nightline every night for the entire time that the Embassy workers were held.
Director Ben Affleck did a wonderful job on this tribute to the all the people involved in this story. Though the Canadians took credit for the entire operation, we really didn’t care. We just wanted our people to come home. So sit back and learn some history and enjoy a dam good movie.