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The Formula (1980)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 1,643 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 14 critic

A detective uncovers a formula that was devised by the Nazis in WW II to make gasoline from synthetic products, thereby eliminating the necessity for oil--and oil companies. A major oil ... See full summary »

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Title: The Formula (1980)

The Formula (1980) on IMDb 5.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Barney Caine LAPD
...
Adam Steiffel, Chairman Titan Oil
...
Lisa Spangler
...
Dr. Abraham Esau, Director Reich Energy
...
Arthur Clements
...
Kay Neeley
...
General Helmut Kladen / Frank Tedesco
John Van Dreelen ...
Hans Lehman, Prefect of Police Berlin
Robin Clarke ...
Major Tom Neeley
...
Tony
...
Geologist #1
Dieter Schidor ...
Assassin
Werner Kreindl ...
Schellenberg
...
Gestapo Captain
...
Franz Tauber, Swiss businessman
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Storyline

A detective uncovers a formula that was devised by the Nazis in WW II to make gasoline from synthetic products, thereby eliminating the necessity for oil--and oil companies. A major oil company finds out about it and tries to destroy the formula and anyone who knows about it. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Big Oil. Big Money. Big Mystery. Everyone's out to make a killing. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La fórmula  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marlon Brando told Lawrence Grobel ("Conversations with Brando") that this film, which he only made for the money as he was broke, was ruined in the editing room, with the humor of his scenes cut out. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of The Formula, a Nazi General is given the task of driving a truck to the Swiss border. In the next scene the truck has been captured by the US Army. The scene is shot in the snow. This is supposed to take place in the first week of May 1945. There is nowhere that would be covered in snow between Berlin and the Swiss border in May, even if he went the long way i.e. via Austria. See more »

Quotes

Adam Steiffel, Chairman Titan Oil: Human beings, my friend, are a very complex paradox. Very, very dangerous. They don't wanna' be leaders, they wanna' be followers. I mean, they... they can't wait to find some nut, who they think is just wonderful, to tell them what to do. And they all wanna' be brought under control. And some of that awesome burden has fallen on my sagging shoulders. I didn't ask for it, and I don't enjoy it, but I accept it... because I have a strong sense of duty.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Box: The Body Shop (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Formula for tedium
21 January 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Pitched as 'the movie the oil companies don't want you to see' but instead proving to be the movie nobody wanted to see, The Formula is a classic example of how blockbuster novels so often turn into mundane films. It has a solid cast, a solid script, solid production values – everything, in fact, but a reason to watch it. It's one of those lethargic thrillers where cardboard characters constantly talk to each other about things that happened offscreen and which the film would have been far better showing us as George C. Scott's LA cop uncovers a conspiracy involving a Nazi formula for synthetic fuel that Marlon Brando's eccentric oilman wants kept under lock and key so he can artificially inflate the price of oil. The teaming of Oscar's two most famous refusniks sadly provides no sparks – indeed, there seemed to be more drama offscreen between director John G. Avildsen and writer/producer Steve Shagan over the re-editing of the film, resulting in a compromise cut that probably satisfied no-one (it's a genuine surprise to find them jovially sharing the audio commentary on Warners' new DVD). Not that it seems that anyone else was so passionate about the film: there's no shortage of class talent here (John Gielgud and Beatrice Straight also turn up), but it's clear that the paycheck is of more interest to them than the script and they're just slumming it. Not a terrible movie, just a rather flat, uneventful and predictable one.


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Totally Underrated..... concord_trimming
Strip Club Scene nygfan
Formula no secret SeldonRL
Technical first? tcliffton
Brando's teeth... kegan-3
If you liked 'The Formula', see '3 Days of the Condor'. tcliffton
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