I finally got to see the movie Argo, winner of the 2012 Academy Award for best film. The movie is based on a little-known success in the otherwise disastrous 1979 seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran by Iranian militants. Six Americans slipped out of the embassy while it was being overrun and were sheltered by the Canadian ambassador at this residence for several months. In a race against the clock, the American government struggled to find an escape route for the six before Iranian security realized they had not captured all of the embassy staff.
The movie was excellent and certainly deserving of the various awards it received. I was a senior in college at the time the embassy was taken and the set and costume design of the movie transported me back to a day of classic cars, polyester suits, bushy sideburns, and oversize eye-glasses. More importantly, it was a reminder of a very tense time in our nation’s history: the embassy was seized in November 1979 and the Soviets invaded Afghanistan the following month. It was those and other world events more than high interest rates and high unemployment that guaranteed the election of Ronald Reagen to the presidency the following fall.
As entertainment and as a “based on true events” account of an important incident that still influences events today, Argo is well worth seeing.