“Argo” is a 2012 thriller film produced by Ben Affleck which tells the story of the adventurous CIA mission to rescue the lives of six American diplomats in Tehran, Iraq, during the hostage crisis. CIA expert in exfiltration Tony Mendez (Affleck) formulates the plan to disguise himself as a Hollywood film crew to complete the mission.
The captivating film is filled with high stakes and includes many references to the actual political situation in Iran in the late 1970s. Thus, audiences must be curious to learn what the Academy Award-winning movie is based on real historical events or actual stories. In this case, here is all you must be aware of the source for “Argo.’ Is Argo Based on a True Story?
Is Argo Based on a True Story?
Yes, ‘Argo’ is inspired by a real story. It is an adaptation of the real-life CIA operation called the “Canadian Caper,” an operation that was a joint secret by both the CIA and the Canadian Government in 1979. Many of the characters, such as Antonio “Tony” Mendez, are based on real-life characters who were part of the mission.
Mendez’s memoir is titled ‘The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life with the CIA and the essay ‘ The Great Escape The Story of The Story of How the CIA employed a fake Sci-Fi Film to Recover Americans from Tehran The Great Escape’ Written by Joshuah Bearman served as the main source material used by the writer Chris Terrio.
In this film, in 1979, the militarized Iranian team of young people took 52 US diplomats hostage during what is now referred to as the Iran hostage crisis. Six diplomatssix – Robert Anders, Cora Amburn-Lijek, Mark Lijek, Joseph Stafford, Kathleen Stafford, and Lee Schatz — managed to escape capture and were sheltered at the hands of Canadian diplomatic officials Ken Taylor and John Sheardown. The CIA, as well as the Canadian Government, devised a strategy to save diplomats from Iran.
CIA Exfiltration specialist and Agent Tony Mendez came up with the idea of having six diplomats disguise themselves as part of a movie crew who were scouting areas in Tehran. Mendez collaborated with Hollywood makeup creator John Chambers to make a plausible fake story. They set up a fake production company with an operational office dubbed Studio Six Productions. They used a screenplay that was not produced based on the Roger Zelazny sci-fi novel ‘Lord Of Light.’ They even printed full-page ads in the newspapers to make the film appear legitimate.
While the film’s adaptation is based on reality, it also dramatizes specific instances and makes important modifications to the source material. One of the most significant critiques of the movie is that it overstates the importance of The Canadian Government in operation as well as their efforts. Ken Taylor and John Sheardown.
The film’s pulsating finale shows the mission being canceled just a few hours before the diplomats are scheduled to depart; the last-minute ticket approval, and the security delays are all elements that are fictional. In actuality, the last part of the mission was completed nearly without a hitch, with just a few minor issues caused by a mechanical issue on the plane.
Another significant difference between the real film and the true story is the inclusion that of Lester Siegel. The character isn’t created from a single person from the real world but rather made up of various individuals. However, the actor Alan Arkin who essays the character, has said that the character was inspired by Jack Warner, the former president at Warner Bros. Studios.
Additionally, the scenes that show Tony and the six diplomats who are forced to sit down with two representatives who work at the Iranian film office are fictional. One of the major differences between the film and the real world is that, in contrast to the film, Mendez did not meet the diplomats in a single meeting, and not all of them lived together.
In all honesty, ‘Argo is based on an amazing true story that highlights the determination and strength of Tony Mendez and countless others who worked hard to bring home those six diplomatic diplomats. Although the story’s premise seems a bit absurd, the movie illustrates how the reality of life can be more interesting than fiction. It is important to remember it is an intensely stylized retelling of incidents, and some of the details must be taken with a pinch of salt.