- 0:11:05 “It’ll be over in 24 hours.”
- Man 1: They are claiming the embassy was a den of espionage.
Hamilton Jordan: They wish it was a f*cking den of espionage. The CIA's got three people over there, they don't see a revolution coming? Call it something other than intelligence.
Secretary: Hold for the Chief of Staff. Bodden.
Hamilton Jordan: I'll call him back.
Man 1: He's sticking to it; no release ‘til we expel the Shah.
Man 2: Well, put him on a plane then. F*ck him.
Hamilton Jordan: He's half dead and he's in chemo.
Man 1: Well we took him in, he's ours now.
Man 2: Right. So we'll take in any prick as long as they've got cancer?
Hamilton Jordan: It's just the prick's on our side. So all of our other pricks on their prick thrones and know that when they get thrown out on a rail they won't get their f*cking spleens taken out by some (xxx) and cyanide.
Man 2: What about the six who are with the Canadians?
Hamilton Jordan: We've got sixty in the embassy with guns to their heads right now.
Man 2: The whole world is watching the embassy. That makes them safer than the six on the street.
Man 3: Bonnie Cider is saying it will be over in 24 hours.
Hamilton Jordan: We leave the six where they are. (xxx)
- 0:16:43 Six short of a full deck
- Bates: They've been hiding at the Canadian ambassador's residence. Fortunately, we do not believe the Iranians are aware that the six have escaped.
Pender: So, what we'd like for this are bicycles. We can identify back roads from the Zhengang district, a couple of rat lines through the mountains ‘til the crossing near Tabrize. Cars are off the table because of the roadblocks.
Bates: We'll wait until the weather clears up then deliver the six bikes, provide them with maps to the Turkish border.
Pender: We have intelligence they can ride bicycles, or we're prepared to send in somebody to teach ‘em.
Mendez: Or you could just send in training wheels and meet them at the border with Gatorade.
Jack O'Donnell: Tony.
Mendez: It's 300 miles to the Turkish border. They'd need a support team following them with a tire pump.
Skeptic 1: You were just asked to sharp shoot this. State is handling the op.
Pender: I'm sorry, who is this?
Jack O'Donnell: Tony's an exfil-spec. He got a lot of the Shah's people out after the fall.
Mendez: Sir, if these people can read or add, pretty soon they're going to figure out they are six short of a full deck. It's winter. You can't afford to wait around ‘til spring so it's nice enough to take a bike ride. The only way out of that city is the airport. We build new cover identities for ‘em, we send in a Moses, and he takes them out on a commercial flight.
Pender: We've explored those options…
Skeptic 1: They're never going to get past airport control. (xxx) own the place.
Bates: They could pose as reporters with government issued sevety-somethings…
Gentleman 1: Seventy-four.
Bates: …Visas. For American journalists.
Gentleman 1: And the revolutionary guards keep them on 74 leashes.
Mendez: If they're caught with fake journalist creds, it's Peter (Jane's) head in a noose.
Bates: Look, North American accents gives us limited options. So we get the Canadian's to issue them passports.
Gentleman 2: What about English teachers at the international school?
Mendez: It's a good idea but that school's been closed for 8 months.
Bates: Ok, so how about the do-gooders? Six can have been over there inspecting crops making sure the kids get enough to eat. We give them creds, makes ‘em look like Ag-NGOs. It's a feed the kids thing. Right?
Gentleman 1: Those kids are black. There are African kids.
Gentleman 2: We can get ethnically appropriate kids.
Unknown: Are there starving kids in Iran?
Pender: I'm sure there are some skinny kids in (xxx).
Mendez: Hold on. Sir, do you have the newspaper in front of you? Would you mind taking a look at it? What's in this picture?
Mendez: Right. What's on the ground?
Mendez: Right, so what crops are the do-gooders inspecting under frost? Sir, exfils are like abortions. You don't want to need one but when you do, you don't do it yourself.
Skeptic 1: Do you have a better plan?
Mendez: No, sir.
- 0:19:16 Female Iranian translator
- The United States claims to protect human rights, it not only does not defend them, it violates them for all nations. We demand extradition of a man who for more than 37 years, with the United States support, has killed months old babies in the arms of their mothers.
- 0:22:42 Argo proposal to the CIA
- Mendez: Ok, you know those science fiction movies: Star Trek, Star Wars, they need an exotic location to shoot. Landscape, Mars, desert. Now imagine this. We're a Canadian film crew on a location scout for a science fiction movie. We put it out there. The Canadian producers put it out there that we're looking at Egypt, Istanbul. Then, we go to the consulate and say "Hey, we want to look at Iran too." I fly into Tehran, we all fly out of together as a film crew. Done.
- 0:26:19 Chambers’ trailer
- Chambers: Watch your head.
Mendez: Whatcha shooting?
Chambers: Monster movie.
Mendez: Yeah? Any good?
Chambers: Target audience will hate it.
Mendez: Who's the target audience?
Chambers: People with eyes. Talk to me.
Mendez: It's an exfil.
Chambers: From where?
Mendez: Worst place you can think of.
Chambers: Universal City.
[Mendez hands Chambers the magazine with Tehran on the cover.]
Chambers: How you are gonna get in the embassy?
Mendez: They're not in the embassy. They're in the (xxx) and six people escaped. They're hiding out in Tehran. And that's where I'm going to go get them.
Chambers: What am I making?
Mendez: I need you to help me make a fake movie.
Chambers: You came to the right place.
Mendez: I want to set up a production company, build a cover around making a movie.
Chambers: ..for a film we're not going to make. So you want to come to Hollywood, act like a big shot…
Chambers: …without actually doing anything…
Chambers: You'll fit right in.
- 0:28:24 Convincing Hollywood
- Siegel: Okay, you got six people hiding out in a town with, what, four million people all of whom chant death to America all the live long day, you want to set up a movie in a week, you want to lie to Hollywood, a town where everyone lies for a living. Then you're going to sneak 007 here into a country that wants CIA blood on their breakfast cereal, and then you want to walk the Brady Bunch out of the most watched city in the world.
Mendez: There's about 100 militia at the airport. That's right.
Right. Look, I, I gotta tell you, we did suicide missions in the army that had better odds than this.
Housekeeper: Sir, the car is here.
[Lester, Chambers and Siegel stand up briefly and catch a news report on television.]
Chambers: You ever think Lester that this is all for the cameras?
Siegel: Well, they're getting the ratings, that's for sure.
[After a few moments…]
Siegel: We're going to need a script.
- 0:32:00 Mendez finds Argo
- Mendez: Fade in on a starship landing, an exotic, Middle-Eastern vibe. Women gather offering ecstatic libations to the sky gods. Argo: Science Fantasy Adventure.
Siegel: It's in turnaround. It's dog shit.
Mendez: It's a space movie in the Middle East. Does it matter?
Chambers: Can we get the option?
Mendez: Why do you need the option?
Siegel: You're worried about the Ayatollah? Try the WGA.
- 0:42:12 The Muppets
- Jack O'Donnell: Brace yourself. It's like talking to those two old f*cks from the Muppets.
Gentleman 1: Aliens and robots?
Jack O'Donnell: Yes sir.
Gentleman 1: You're telling me that there is a movie company in Hollywood, right now, that is funded by the CIA?
Jack O'Donnell: Yes sir.
Gentleman 2: What's wrong with the bikes again?
Jack O'Donnell: We tried to get the message upstairs..
Gentleman 1: You think, you think this is more plausible than teachers?
Jack O'Donnell: Yes, yes we do. One, there are no more foreign teachers in Iran.
Mendez: And we think everyone knows Hollywood people. We think everyone knows they shoot and stun people. They'd have Pol Pot directing if they could sell tickets. There are only bad options. It's about finding the best one.
Gentleman 1: You don't have a better bad idea than this?
Jack O'Donnell: This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far.
Gentleman 1: The United States government has just sanctioned your science fiction movie.
- 1:05:13 “I will get you out.”
- Mendez: These covers identities were created specifically for each one of you. What you need to do is memorize each one of them. Who you are, what you are, where you've been. Complete bio. And then add to that. Where do you vacation? What are your allergies? Who did you have an affair with? The only way this works is if you believe that you are these people so much that you dream like them. Get started tonight; I'll be back tomorrow. Good luck.
Joe Stafford: It's suicide.
Mendez: I'm asking you to trust me.
Joe Stafford: I don't trust you.
Bob Anders: This is the game, Joe. What world are you living in?
Joe Stafford: What world? What world? The world where they're hanging people from construction cranes, Bob. It's too dangerous.
- 1:14:29 “Shoot him, he’s an American spy!”
- Mendez: Look, they're gonna to try to break you. They're going to try to get you agitated. You have to know your resume from back to front.
Joe Stafford: You really believe your little story's gonna make a difference when there's a gun to our heads?
Mendez: I think my story's the only thing between you and the gun to your head.
- 1:15:45 Argo’s off
- Jack O'Donnell: It all just changed.
Jack O'Donnell: They're calling the game. You gotta come back.
Jack O'Donnell: Joint chiefs are planning a military rescue of the hostages. Delta Force has started training to storm the grounds. If the six of them are brought down there, they won't be held for long.
Mendez: F*ck, God damnit! I never would have exposed them if I wasn't authorized to get them out.
Jack O'Donnell: It's over, Tony.
Mendez: If they stay here, they will be taken. Probably not alive.
Jack O'Donnell: Listen to me! The thinking has changed. Six Americans get pulled out of a Canadian diplomat's house and executed, it's a world outrage. Six Americans get caught playing movie make believe with the CIA at the airport and executed? It's a national embarrassment. They are calling the operation.
Mendez: We're responsible for these people.
Jack O'Donnell: What we are is required to follow orders. I'm sorry.
Gentleman 1: (xxx) nailed to the goddamn door. The CIA are the good guys.
Gentleman 2: The Canadians are the good guys.
Gentleman 1: (xxx)
Gentleman 2: How long will it take the (xxx) to retaliate against the hostages. Great Satan wasn't involved. No CIA.
Gentleman 1: Is that right, Jack?
Jack O'Donnell: Involved in what? We were just as surprised as anybody. Thank you, Canada.
- 1:45:58 Did you see what those Canadians pulled off?
- Siegel: So I'm sitting at Jerry's this morning having breakfast. The waitress comes over to me; she's waving a newspaper. You see what those Canadians pulled off? Why can't we do something like that? I said to her … do you know what I said?
Mendez: No, what?
Siegel: Argo f*ck yourself!
- 1:46:54 Intelligence star
- O'Donnell: Well I left my autograph book at home. [Sigh.] His eminence called me. He wants to see you.
Mendez:Probably wants to fire me himself.
O'Donnell: He wants to give you the Intelligence Star. You're getting the highest award of merit of the clandestine services of these United States. Ceremony's on the 14th.
Mendez:We'll have to push it back a week. I have to bring Ian. (xxx)
O'Donnell: The op was classified. So, the ceremony's classified. He can't know about it. Nobody can know about it.
Mendez:So they're just going to give me an award and just take it back?
O'Donnell: That's right. If we wanted applause, we would have joined the service. (?) Well Carter said you were a great American.
Mendez: A great American what?
O'Donnell: He didn't say.
- 1:48:06 Argo’s in turnaround
- Gentleman 1: What happened to your picture?
Chambers: It's in turnaround.