Argo (2012): Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman

The year is 1979 and the President is Jimmy Carter.  On November 4, 1979, an angry mob overtook the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 60 Americans hostage and holding them for 444 days.   Within minutes of  President Ronald Reagan, being sworn into office, the hostages were finally released. 

Argo is a film based on a true event during the Iranian crisis, in which six Americans on this terrifying day escaped to the Canadian ambassador's home.   In 1980, CIA and Canada, knowing that it was a matter of time before the six are found and killed choreographed a mission to remove them under the guise of making a "fake" film.  Tony Mendez, Ben Affleck, CIA extraction specialist, leads the charge in orchestrating the mission. The six are frightened of leaving since outside the screaming mob reigns terror with hangings, killing and rampant chaos. Under Mendez persuasive skills, these six Americans obtain new identities with roles in a movie production such as camera man, director etc. Bryan Cranston as Jack O'Donnell is eerily like his tough character on  AMC's Breaking Bad.

Argo from beginning to end is a gut wrenching, nail biting and edge of the seat ordeal.  The heart will race with fear and the mind will fill with outright indignation and sheer outrage of this horrific situation.   The comic relief is Lester Siegel, Alan Arkin and John Chambers, John Goodman in ritzy Hollywood developing a fake office, fake movie releases, story boards and posters supporting the CIA mission. 

Ben Affleck, directed the film.  Argo, while dark and suspenseful reminds us of the frailty of the human condition and how irrational hatred can force man to the tipping point of insanity.  If there is one film to see this year - Argo is this movie. It is aptly fitting.

Sit through the movie credits to see the actual six Americans and the key players in this CIA operation.

Historian Gaddis Smith, "the crisis absorbed more concentrated effort by American officials and had more extensive coverage on television and in the press than any other event since World War II."



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