In November 1979, militants stormed the US embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran. During the attack, 52 American citizens were captured and held hostage, their lives hanging in the balance.
Only six people managed to evade capture, fleeing to the nearby Canadian embassy. Every day, they faced the possibility of being discovered and very publicly executed by US-hating militants.
The American response? To come up with "the best bad idea” in CIA history: an audacious and incredibly dangerous rescue mission.
The story – now turned into a film by Ben Affleck – is almost too preposterous to be believed. Which makes for what has got to be one of the most thrilling, compelling and downright amusing movies of the year so far.
An all-star cast made up of Affleck, as CIA agent Tony Mendez, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and the hilarious John Goodman, manages to do what is an incredible true story justice.
Argo is proof, if ever any was needed, that truth is far, far stranger than fiction.
Argo is out in cinemas on November 7