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The Real Story of "Argo" Is Way More Insane Than You Know

Nominated for seven Oscars, it's one of the year's awesomest flicks. Now learn what really went down.



Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures



OK, so poor Ben Affleck might have gotten stiffed out of a Best Director nomination. That's fine, cause Argo—the true story of a CIA operative who invents a fake movie as a means to remove a group of Americans from post-revolutionary Iran—is still the odds-on favorite to win Best Picture at Sunday's ceremony. But what actually went down over there, and what was creative Hollywood fiction? Thanks to a documentary airing on the Discovery Channel, you can learn the truth. Argo: The Inside Story features interviews with many of the top players involved in the situation, including the CIA's "chief of disguise" Tony Mendez, upon whom Ben Affleck's character is based. Narrated by Bryan Cranston, who plays CIA manager Jack O'Donnell in the movie (not a power-mad meth dealer, the doc gives an insider's look at the deception and dramatic escape. For example, Mendez, who had limited access to materials once inside Iran, talks about how he forged official documents in the office of the Canadian Ambassador using a bottle of scotch. “One of the stamp pads had dried out and I had to mix the right ink color,” he recalls, “so I went over to the Canadian Ambassador’s liquor cabinet and got a bottle of Scotch and poured some on the pad.” This is the only instance in recorded history we can support the spilling of Scotch. 

So check it out, and you can be the really annoying guy at your Oscar party: "Uh, you guys know it didn’t really go down like that, right?"

Argo: The Inside Story airs Saturday, February 23, at 10pm and Sunday, February 24, at 12pm on Discovery Channel.

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