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The Formula (1980)

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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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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 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:

From the best-selling mystery thriller that rips the truth from behind today's headlines 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

George C. Scott received top billing, Marlon Brando received second billing for this movie but Brando received the highest salary on this picture and was paid more than Scott. See more »

Goofs

When Barney and John leave a room, close the door and enter the corridor, we can read the shadow of the text on the door window on the opposite wall, "453 PRECINCT COORDINATES". However, the text should be mirrored since the door is illuminated from the inside of the room. See more »

Quotes

Barney Caine: You trade lives and human dignity for profit.
Adam Steiffel, Chairman Titan Oil: "Money, not morality, is the principal commerce of civilized nations." Thomas Jefferson, 200 years ago. That is the philosophy that built this nation.
Barney Caine: What do you know about this nation? When did you ever give a second thought to American citizens? You're the reason their money's worthless. You're the reason old people are eating out of garbage cans, and kids get killed in bullshit wars. You're not in the oil business, you're in the oil shortage ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Little Caesar (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I actually liked this movie
19 July 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The reviews for this movie have been rather consistently poor--both when it was released and on IMDb. For some reason, I actually liked this film--maybe I have bad taste, but I found it to be a very pleasant surprise! Maybe some of my positive regard for this is because I like George C. Scott so much and because I like paranoid and depressing movies (and this one has all these elements). In fact, I am guessing that the depressing nature of the film is much of the reason why others dislike it (there are a lot of murders in the movie). But I liked it for the odd plot--about the evil oil producers trying to suppress a secret for a cheaper fuel through murders and payoffs. But, if you do decide to watch this film, please try to remember that it's only a film. This is not a piece of non-fiction!

UPDATE--8/08. I re-watched this film (something I rarely do) and was surprised how dull I found it a second time. While I still liked the paranoid plot involving a worldwide oil conspiracy, this time I noticed that the film was a bit too talky and the plot a bit too convoluted. Plus, and I know Brando fans will hate me for saying this, but his acting seemed a tad over-done. Still, it's a decent film even if I did knock my original score from 8 to 6.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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