5.6/10
1,886
30 user 14 critic

The Formula (1980)

Trailer
2:29 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police ... See full summary »

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae
Free Money (1998)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Walrus-like warden, Sven "Swede" Sorenson, a cross between Bluto and Wimpy, runs the prison, murders convicts who escape, and has the FBI on his trail in the form of agent Karen Polarski, ... See full summary »

Director: Yves Simoneau
Stars: Marlon Brando, Donald Sutherland, Thomas Haden Church
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Prequel to the Henry James classic "Turn of the Screw" about the events leading up to the deaths of Peter Quint and Ms. Jessel, and the the slow corruption of the children in their care.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Marlon Brando, Stephanie Beacham, Thora Hird
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

Genoese navigator overcomes intrigue in the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain and gains financing for his expedition to the East Indies.

Director: John Glen
Stars: Marlon Brando, Tom Selleck, Georges Corraface
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two men kidnap a girl off the streets, take her to a beach house owned by a drug-addicted stewardess, and hold her for ransom.

Directors: Hubert Cornfield, Richard Boone
Stars: Marlon Brando, Richard Boone, Rita Moreno
The Appaloosa (1966)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Man tries to recover a horse stolen from him by a Mexican bandit.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Marlon Brando, Anjanette Comer, John Saxon
Burn! (1969)
Certificate: GP Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to... See full summary »

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Stars: Marlon Brando, Evaristo Márquez, Renato Salvatori
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid
Candy (1968)
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Candy, an innocent high-schooler, encounters numerous colorful characters and humorous sexual situations while attempting to find meaning in life.

Director: Christian Marquand
Stars: Ewa Aulin, Richard Burton, Charles Aznavour
Sayonara (1957)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A US air force major in Kobe confronts his own opposition to marriages between American servicemen and Japanese women when he falls for a beautiful performer.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Ricardo Montalban, Patricia Owens
The Brave (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck American Indian recently released from jail is offered the chance to "star" as the victim of a snuff film, the resulting pay of which could greatly help his poverty stricken family.

Director: Johnny Depp
Stars: Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Marshall Bell
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An intelligent, articulate scholar, Harrison MacWhite, survives a hostile Senate confirmation hearing at the hands of conservatives to become ambassador to Sarkan, a southeast Asian country... See full summary »

Director: George Englund
Stars: Marlon Brando, Eiji Okada, Sandra Church
Edit

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
...
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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Marlon Brando insisted that he be paid for this movie on a daily basis. As such, for his eleven days work, his US $ 2.75 million dollars total had to be broken down into parts and a check drawn for US $250,000 each day. 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: Doctor, Mr. Reimeck told us that you had been captured by the Russians.
Dr. Abraham Esau, Director Reich Energy: The Mongolians came into the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. They swarmed into my office still wearing their white winter uniforms in May. They kept flushing my toilet over and over. Can you believe? The German nation defeated by men who have never seen a toilet.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Discuss The Formula (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?