“We needed a script with ‘sci-fi’, Middle Eastern, and mythological elements,” said Mendez. When Affleck’s version of Mendez enters the situation, the hostages and diplomats have been respectively held and hidden for 69 days. Mendez slipped into revolutionary Iran in 1980 and brought out six American diplomats who were granted refuge by the Canadian Embassy. U.S. officials call it a major breakthrough. The hostages aren't released. 5. The Canadian flag was flown in many locations across the United States, and ads were taken out on "Thank You" billboards. American gratitude for the Canadians' actions was displayed widely and by numerous American television figures and ordinary citizens alike, who particularly recognized Taylor for gratitude. Several other news organizations also possessed some elements of the story. But critics would say that Argo is more problematic than crafty dramatic licence. received an honourary Oscar for his work on Planet of the Apes. Yet Ben Affleck's movie of the caper is pure science fiction. Day 224, June 14 - Khomeini announces a Cultural Revolution "to finish the enemies of God," wipe out remnants of Iranian life as it was under the shah and put Islamic clergymen in charge of education. But leaving Tehran wasn’t as simple. According to CIA man Antonio J. Mendez, the plot to smuggle six American diplomats from Tehran during the Iranian hostage crisis – as depicted in the film Argo – went as “smooth as silk”. On November 4, 1979, Iranian revolutionaries stormed the US embassy. The Anders group neared the British embassy, but saw a huge crowd staging a protest in their path. The final moments of Argo's airport escape are a film-making masterclass. Julio and Mendez had previously worked together in the CIA's Office of Technical Service (OTS) branch. “They were looking for evidence of the ways the intelligence officials under cover at the embassy had been monitoring them and their friends and putting them in torture cells.”. Day 71, Jan. 13, 1980 - Ten of 15 Security Council members vote in favor of economic sanctions against Iran but the Soviet Union, as a permanent member, vetoes the resolution. The script used was based on the 1967 Roger Zelazny science fiction novel Lord of Light, adapted and set on a planet with a Middle-Eastern feel, to justify their desire to scout filming locations in Iran. Robert Sidell, a friend of Chambers and also a makeup artist, posed as a film producer at related events, while his wife Joan performed as the receptionist at "Studio Six". , In 1981, a television movie about the Canadian Caper was made, Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper, directed by Lamont Johnson, with Kenneth D. Taylor played by Gordon Pinsent. They were Robert Anders, Joseph and Kathleen Stafford, and Mark and Cora Lijeks. Six American diplomats who evaded the capture of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran hid in the Canadian Embassy there for three months and then escaped from Iran last weekend by using Canadian … , To make the cover believable, Mendez enlisted the help of John Chambers, a veteran Hollywood make-up artist.  The provisional government fell shortly thereafter, when Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan and his cabinet resigned.. There’s an amusing irony to it. “But the Agency had done its homework and knew the Iranian border authorities habitually made no attempt to reconcile documents.”. Argo is both a taut espionage thriller and colourful satire on the façade and bluster of Hollywood. Day 288, Aug. 17 - Britain temporarily closes its embassy in Tehran "as a precautionary measure" because of tensions over the arrests of Iranian demonstrators in London. Day 14, Nov. 17 - Khomeini orders the militants to release all women and black hostages if they are absolved of espionage. But they give it up hours later. Mendez and Chambers set up 'Studio Six Productions' with a bag filled with $10,000 of CIA cash. Day 414, Dec. 21 - Iran announces the United States must deposit with the Algerians the equivalent of $24 billion in cash and gold representing its estimate of the shah's wealth and frozen Iranian assets - before the hostages are released. They really did call the script Argo, based on a knock-knock joke from Mendez's time in the Disguise division. That is true: the CIA's role wasn't revealed until 1997. Day 324, Sept. 22 - Iraq says the border hostilities have become a "full-scale war." Day 444, Jan. 20 - The financial complications are resolved and the hostages are released as Reagan takes office as president.