Archive | 3:30 pm

The Best Bad Idea They’ve Got

12 Oct

There are few things the folks in Hollywood like more than making movies about making movies.

And if the movie puts the filmmakers in the role of hero, then that’s even better.

So no wonder everyone — on both coasts — is going gaga over Argo, Ben Affleck’s excellent new film about a rescue mission disguised as a movie-location-scouting mission.

True story: In 1979, during the early days of the Iran hostage crisis, a group of six American officials escaped the U.S. embassy and hid in the home of the Canadian ambassador. But they couldn’t stay there forever; if they were found by the Iranians, they’d be executed in the street.

Enter Tony Mendez (played in the film by Affleck himself), a CIA operative who comes up with the hair-brained idea to “send in a Moses” who will dupe the Iranians into thinking he and the other Americans are part of a Canadian movie production crew. That way, he’ll not only extricate the six and bring them home, he’ll be able to do it partly with the Iranians’ cooperation.

Will it work? Who knows. But it’s just crazy enough that it might. And besides, the CIA has run out of plausible schemes. This is the best bad idea they’ve got. Continue reading