Argo

Argo

2012 American political thriller film directed by Ben Affleck
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Argo
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Argo is a 2012 American historical drama thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. Screenwriter Chris Terrio adapted the screenplay from the 1999 book by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez, The Master of Disguise, and the 2007 Wired article by Joshuah Bearman, "The Great Escape: How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran". The latter deals with the "Canadian Caper", in which Mendez led the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran, under the guise of filming a science fiction film during the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis.

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Release date
  • August 31, 2012 (2012-08-31) (Telluride)
  • October 12, 2012 (2012-10-12) (United States)
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Running time
120 minutes
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Country
United States
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Budget
$44.5 million
Box office
$232.3 million

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

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Language
English
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ALBUM CHRONOLOGY

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ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Theme add_black theme
Lester Siegel: We made history today. "History starts out as farce and ends up as tragedy."
John Chambers: Quote's the other way around.
Lester Siegel: Yeah? Who said it?
John Chambers: Marx.
Lester Siegel: Groucho said that?
  • As shown in this movie, by the late 1970s, the Hollywood sign (which had first been erected in 1923 as "HOLLYWOODLAND" to advertise an upcoming real estate development) had fallen into severe disrepair. In 1978, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce had a fund-raising campaign in which they solicited nine prominent people to give about $28,000.00 each (one donor for each letter) for the restoration. Some of these benefactors included: Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner, who gave the Y; singers Gene Autry and Andy Williams (the second L and the W, respectively), and heavy metal/shock rock star Alice Cooper, who replaced the third O (by far the most damaged of the letters) in memory of Groucho Marx. Warner Bros. Records, a division of the company that later released Argo, donated the second O. However, this restoration was completed before the events depicted in this movie started.
  • In addition to playing Sahar, the Canadian ambassador's housekeeper, Sheila Vand also narrates the prologue.
  • In order to make the movie feel like the 1970s, Ben Affleck shot it on regular film, cut the frames in half, and blew those images up 200% to increase their graininess. He also copied camera movements and bustling office scenes from All the President's Men (1976) for sequences depicting CIA headquarters; for L.A. exteriors, he borrowed from The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976).
  • 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 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.
  • Several family members of the real Tony Mendez appear as bus passenger extras after the group is allowed to board the plane.

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