Argo‘s story is so outlandish that it would make a totally implausible movie plot if it didn’t happen to be true. Six Americans escaped the U.S. Embassy in Tehran as it was overrun in 1979, and hid for months in the home of the Canadian ambassador. The film is about how they were rescued: the CIA created a fake film company to work on a fake science fiction film for which they faked a Canadian crew scouting potential film locations in Tehran. A dummy production company, press events, storyboards, a real script, and many other details went into building the background for this film, all designed to provide cover for taking the six Americans right out the front door, as it were. The operation remained classified until 1997.