The new film trailer promoting “Argo”, actor / director Ben Affleck’s next screen project is now available to potential audiences. The story is based on real events that took place in the wake of the 1979 US Embassy hostage crisis in Iran.
“Argo” tells the amazing true story of the CIA rescue effort to save six Americans who managed to escape capture when Iranian militants and protesters stormed the U.S. embassy and took most of it’s occupants hostage. 52 embassy hostages, including three CIA operatives in Iran, would remain in captivity for over a year.
Meanwhile, the six Americans who escaped the U.S. embassy during the takeover found uneasy refuge by hiding in the care of Canadian diplomats. While Iranian militants increased their efforts to find the escaped Americans, the CIA tried to come up with a way to save them.
The stranger than fiction plan the CIA devised fell to Tony Mendez, a former head of the agency’s “disguise section” to put into action.
Mendez’ ultimate and intricate plan involved an elaborate ruse involving posing as a Hollywood producer making a fake science fiction movie to be filmed in Iran. However, to make the ruse actually work involved a great deal of planning and laying of an actual foundation to make the film project appear to be legitimate.
As part of the plan, the CIA found a would-be producer named Barry Geller who had purchased the rights to author Roger Zelazny’s “Lord of Light”. Geller began work to get the film made and even hired comic book legend Jack Kirby to work up concept drawings.
Eventually, due to a variety of problems, Geller’s film was never made. However, the CIA managed to get a copy of the script and Kirby’s drawings. The CIA’s Mendez changed the title of the script to Argo, and created a fake production company called “Studio Six”. The CIA operation even moved into office space at Columbia Pictures and took out ads for the fake film in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.
Finally, with the cover story firmly in place and armed with a portfolio containing Kirby’s drawings and the Argo script, Mendez flew to Iran on Jan 25, 1980 at great risk that the plan would fall apart. Would the Iranians fall for the elaborate scheme?
Three days later, Mendez flew out of Iran with the six Americans, disguised as a Hollywood production team, along with Canadian documentation provided by the Canadian ambassador to Iran. The story behind this incredible and dangerous rescue is the basis for this film.
Ben Affleck’s film Argo, which chronicles this amazing real life Hollywood caper with international intrigue, stars Affleck as the team leader, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman.
See the trailer for the film to the left of this column.
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