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Ben Affleck's 'Argo' Wows at Academy Screening

Alan Arkin Argo - H 2012
Warner Bros. Pictures

The awards hopeful attracted an overflow audience and lots of spontaneous applause.

Ben Affleck's Argo drew an overflow crowd and lots of spontaneous applause as it screened Saturday night for members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

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The first measure of the Academy's interest in the thriller about the rescue of six members of the U.S. Embassy during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis was the fact that it drew a rare, overflow crowd.

The audience applauded at a number of the movie's Hollywood references and at the conclusion of its suspenseful escape. And instead of beating a hasty exit, most of the crowd stayed in its seats for a Q&A with Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio.

The screening bodes well for the Warner Bros. release's Oscar quest.

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"The audience loved Ben," said one of the attendees, "and the fact that the movie's produced by George Clooney makes it an irresistible combo."