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Central Intelligence ... Action!: The CIA on Film

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With the release of 'Argo,' we go undercover with these spook flicks By James Rocchi Special to MSN MoviesFounded in 1947 out of the remains of the World War II-era Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Central Intelligence Agency has a secret role in America's security ... and as such, has provided plots, backgrounds and settings for dozens of films since the post-war era. Ben Affleck's new film "Argo" depicts one of the agency's more successful — and, thanks to President Bill Clinton, declassified — operations. As an "exfiltration" specialist, Tony Mendez (Affleck) crafts a plan to get six Americans out of hiding at the Canadian embassy in Iran after the seizure of the American Embassy Nov. 4th, 1979, forced them to take shelter and hide. Mendez's plan? Fake a film, the science-fiction epic "Argo," and get the six embassy employees out of Iran by disguising them as his film crew for a location scout looking for the perfect place to create an exotic space opera in the deserts and marketplaces of Iran. Search:Watch a trailer for 'Argo'With its culture-clashes between Washington and Hollywood providing humor — and the real-life, real-world life-or-death stakes providing tension — it's poised to be one of the biggest hits of the year. It's also instantly one of the best films ever made about the CIA, either fact or fiction ... and it inspired us to look at the greatest films ever made about the CIA, whether they focus on the realities of pushing paper or the drama of dangerous deeds, with some treating the world of intelligence as the meat of tragedy and others using it as the fodder for farce; here's our list of picks for your viewing pleasure.Bing:Find out more about Ben Affleck For more movie news, follow MSN Movies on Facebook and Twitter.(Ben Affleck in 'Argo'/Warner Bros.)
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