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Filming Locations: Argo (2012)

The following movie posters are from the original "fake" movie in 1980:

Argo is a 2012 historical drama thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. This dramatization is adapted from the book The Master of Disguise by CIA operative Tony Mendez, and Joshuah Berman's 2007 Wired article "The Great Escape" about the "Canadian Caper", in which Mendez led the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran, during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
The film stars Affleck as Mendez with Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, and John Goodman (previous Encino resident now owned by David Hasselhoff) in supporting roles, and was released in North America to critical and commercial success on October 12, 2012. The film was produced by Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, and George Clooney (Studio City resident). The story of this rescue was also told in the 1981 television movie Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper, directed by Lamont Johnson.
Upon release, Argo received widespread acclaim and also received seven nominations for the 85th Academy Awards and won three, for Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. The film also earned five Golden Globe nominations, winning Best Picture – Drama and Best Director, while being nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Arkin. It won the award for the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards with Alan Arkin being nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. It also won Best Film, Best Editing, and Best Director at the 66th British Academy Film Awards (Wikipedia).
On a side note, Argo, is "based on a true story and is not a true story" according to Ben Affleck. What this means is that drama and Hollywood flair was added to make this story more interesting and worth 2 hours of your time watching. There are many fictionalized events shown in this movie that if you wanted to experience the true story, you are better off reading the book. Wikipedia does a good job of listing the historical inaccuracies if you are interested in knowing the truth. 
One last thing, this film is a good example of US Military and War propaganda glorifying and validating the efforts to fight various wars, occupy other countries, etc. The fact that this film won an Oscar Best Picture and was also presented by First Lady Michelle Obama to Ben Affleck at the awards ceremony seems highly suspect. At any rate, the movie is obviously well directed and still worth watching. I just wanted to share some personal opinions. And now for the filming locations.
Argo was mostly filmed in LA and not in Iran. To discover the other locations, I recommend visiting the following sites:
  1. LA Times
  2. Discover Los Angeles
  4. The Location Guide
  5. LA Curbed
  6. Central Intelligence Agency (allow for viewing the actual documents from 1980 available on their site)
The American Embassy in Tehran, Iran actually used the VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center 16111 Plummer St., North Hills, CA 91343. The VA hospital is rather large with 18 similar looking buildings. This facility bore resemblance to the American Embassy in Tehran with the red brick institutional look which is why it was chosen.  The producers of the film made did an excellent job of blending in "70's Iran" with the VA hospital using exterior shots from buildings in Turkey as you cant even tell that this was actually filmed in North Hills. According to IAMNOTASTALKER (also check out the link for other shows and movies filmed there), Building 4 was used for this film including some of the interior shots.  

Tony Mendez and John Chambers discuss their plans for producing a fake movie to rescue the hostages at the Smokehouse Restaurant 4420 W. Lakeside Dr., Burbank, CA 91505 which is actually located across from the Warner Bros Studios which was also used in the film (see below). Its not known if in the true story, these guys met at the Smokehouse but its highly plausible considering many movie stars and Warner Brothers personnel eat lunch at the Smokehouse.

The Warner Bros. Studios 3400 W Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91522 was used as the backdrop for where the fake movie company, Studio Six Productions was created. Additionally, the studio was called "The Burbank Studios" at that time during the 70's and 80's when it was shared with Columbia Pictures before it was later changed to the infamous WB logo for Warner Brothers as it shows today. 

You can view more SFV Filming Locations here.

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

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