Based on the strange but true story of an audacious CIA rescue mission during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis that involved six State Department employees in Tehran posing as a Hollywood film crew to escape the country, the film "Argo" hopscotches across the globe and among different genres. It goes from Hollywood satire to Beltway thriller to geopolitical drama, and back.
In this installment of the Envelope Screening Series with The Times' John Horn, "Argo" screenwriter Chris Terrio and director-star Ben Affleck discuss how they managed to weave those narrative strands together.
"The question was, 'How do we find a tone in which all of those things can coexist, as they did in real life?' " Terrio says.
One of the crucial sequences, he adds, was a three-way montage: "If you could create a sequence in which you could unabashedly cut between these three worlds — which is to say, the D.C. world, the Hollywood world and the world of Tehran — and still feel like you're in the same movie, then we could get away with this."