Former President Jimmy Carter weighs in on 'Argo': Film based on events during Carter's presidency

'Argo' up for best picture Oscar

CORONADO, Calif. - Former President Jimmy Carter, the man in the White House during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 and 1980, gave his assessment of the Oscar-nominated film "Argo."

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The former president and his wife, Rosalynn, were guests of honor at a charity fund-raiser at the Hotel del Coronado on Friday night. Their Carter Center foundation promotes peace and world health.

Carter also played a starring role in the real-life drama 33 years ago that was the basis for the film "Argo."

"Argo" features newsreel footage from 1979 when the bloody revolution in Iran led to a hostage crisis for Americans trapped there.

Six diplomats escaped the violent takeover of the American embassy, hiding at the home of the Canadian ambassador and fearing execution if captured.

The film retraces the rescue, led by the character played by actor Ben Affleck. In the film, his cover is that he was scouting exotic locations for a movie in production.

Carter was president then and he remembers that tense time in history well. He spoke with CNN's Piers Morgan about its Hollywood portrayal in "Argo."

"Let me say first of all, it's a great drama and I hope it gets the Academy Award for best film.  I think it deserves it," Carter said.

Accuracy, though, is a bit off.

"Ninety percent of the contribution to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian and the movie gives almost full credit to the American CIA," he said.

Carter said the true hero was the Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor.

"Argo" is up for an Oscar for best picture at the Academy Awards.

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