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The Formula (1980)

5.6
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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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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

This film represents an instance where a movie's MacGuffin (a formula) is also its title. 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: [Barney Caine to Adam Stieffel, Chairman, Titan Oil] What do you know about this nation? Don't 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 business! You're an ivory-tower hoodlum-a common street killer. I wish to Christ there was some way I could nail ya'.
See more »

Connections

References Little Caesar (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Synthetic fuel, anyone?
1 September 2008 | by (canton, ohio) – See all my reviews

This film may have even more relevance today than in 1980, when it was released. Most in this country would love to be left to their own devices by marketing/consuming fuel based on American coal derivatives like those delineated in the "Genesis" formula instead of depending upon foreign petroleum. The parallels outlined here are close to today's, especially the popular theories these days that big oil is suppressing valid fuel alternative projects that would undercut their energy dominance, hence, their financial status.

Unlke some other reviewers, I thought the film moved along at a nicely orchestrated pace, making it, perhaps, a more analytical movie than a Hollywood flash-and-dash melodrama. The film follows a logical progression of events that lets the viewer absorb the contents in easy to swallow doses, that is, as long as he/she pays attention to the plot development.

I was impressed by mostly all the actors, especially Marthe Keller, who acquitted herself very well in her portrayal by staying well within her character and by her impeccable timing and fluid delivery. Mr. Brando's rather short stint in the film was punctuated by terse, cynical and penetrating dialog, playing the enterprising villain who continually cuts to the chase with large doses of street-wise metaphors. George C., as usual, is a no-nonsense good cop who only wants to see justice prevail, regardless of who gets burnt. Yet inside him, demons from the past lurk and can't help but surface from time to time: you can see it in the non-verbal communication that Mr. Scott so characteristically exudes.

Thanks to TCM for showing these kinds of films that are usually omitted on other movie channels.


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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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