IMDb > The Formula (1980)
The Formula
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The Formula (1980) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 10 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Formula -- While investigating the murder of a friend, a cop discovers a secret plot related to a formula to make gasoline without using oil.
The Formula -- Trailer for this mystery starring George C. Scott and Marlon Brando

Overview

User Rating:
5.6/10   1,870 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Steve Shagan (novel)
Steve Shagan (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Formula on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 December 1980 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Big Oil. Big Money. Big Mystery. Everyone's out to make a killing. See more »
Plot:
A detective uncovers a formula that was devised by the Nazis in WW II to make gasoline from synthetic products... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 6 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
User Reviews:
Enjoyable hokum See more (30 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

George C. Scott ... Lt. Barney Caine LAPD

Marlon Brando ... Adam Steiffel, Chairman Titan Oil

Marthe Keller ... Lisa Spangler

John Gielgud ... Dr. Abraham Esau, Director Reich Energy

G.D. Spradlin ... Arthur Clements

Beatrice Straight ... Kay Neeley

Richard Lynch ... General Helmut Kladen / Frank Tedesco
John Van Dreelen ... Hans Lehman, Prefect of Police Berlin
Robin Clarke ... Major Tom Neeley

Ike Eisenmann ... Tony

Marshall Thompson ... Geologist #1
Dieter Schidor ... Assassin
Werner Kreindl ... Schellenberg

Jan Niklas ... Gestapo Captain

Wolfgang Preiss ... Franz Tauber, Swiss businessman
Calvin Jung ... Sergeant Louis Yosuta LAPD Tactical Squad
Alan North ... John Nolan, Chief of Tactical Squad LAPD
David Byrd ... Paul Obermann, Chief Engineer Berlin Power & Light Co.

Ferdy Mayne ... Professor Siebold
Gerard Murphy ... Herbert Glenn, Clement's Chauffeur (as Gerry Murphy)
Francisco Prado ... Mendosa
Louis Basile ... Sgt. Vince Rizzo - LAPD Metro Homicide

Ric Mancini ... Printman
Weston Gavin ... U.S. Army Captain

Craig T. Nelson ... Geologist #2

Herb Voland ... Geologist #3
Diane Tyler ... Telex Operator
Jim Brewer ... Security Guard

Lavelle Roby ... Secretary
Albert Carrier ... Butler
Ernie Fuentes ... Pool Man
Stephanie Edwards ... Reporter
Nathan Roberts ... Reporter
Tom Hall ... Reporter
Reinhard Vom Bauer ... Dr. Esau (young)
János Gönczöl ... Dr. Karl Saur, Director Reich Armaments (as Janos Genczol)
Heinz Kammer ... Dr. Hans Luschen, Director of Reich Research
Reinhard Kolldehoff ... Reimeck (as Rene Kolldehoff)
Martin Brandt ... Concierge (German)
Paul Glawion ... Concierge (Swiss)
Emil Steinberger ... Postal Clerk
Emily Jensen ... Dancer
Sandie Lawrence ... Dancer
Ursula Warel ... Dancer
Jane Faithe ... Dancer
Wendy Baldock ... Dancer
Ursula Hamann ... Pan-Am Lady
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kavi Raz ... Arab Assassin (uncredited)
Hammam Shafie ... Assassin (uncredited)

Directed by
John G. Avildsen 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Steve Shagan  novel
Steve Shagan  screenplay

Produced by
Steve Shagan .... producer
Ken Swor .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Bill Conti 
 
Cinematography by
James Crabe (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
John Carter 
 
Casting by
Caro Jones 
 
Production Design by
Herman A. Blumenthal (production designer: US)
 
Set Decoration by
Lee Poll 
 
Costume Design by
Bill Thomas 
 
Makeup Department
Del Acevedo .... makeup artist
Evelyn Döhring .... hair stylist: Marthe Keller: Europe
Evelyn Döhring .... makeup artist: Marthe Keller: Europe
Jo McCarthy .... hair stylist
Hasso von Hugo .... makeup artist: Europe
 
Production Management
Patrick Gordon .... unit manager: additional photography
Dieter Meyer .... production manager: Europe
Karl W. Schaper .... production manager: Europe
Ken Swor .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Candace Allen .... second assistant director
Don French .... first assistant director: Europe
Dan Malmuth .... assistant director
Eva-Maria Schönecker .... second assistant director: Europe (as Eva Marie Schönecker)
Dwight Williams .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Herman A. Blumenthal .... production designer: USA
Russell Goble .... property master
Hans Jürgen Kiebach .... art director: Europe (as Hans-Jürgen Kiebach)
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Charles Grenzbach .... sound re-recording mixer (as Bud Grenzbach)
Jay M. Harding .... sound re-recording mixer
Michael J. Kohut .... sound re-recording mixer
Al Overton .... sound
John Riordan .... sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Richard Richtsfeld .... special effects department: Europe
 
Visual Effects by
Theo Nischwitz .... optical effects consultant: Europe
 
Stunts
Charlie Picerni .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Mike Benson .... camera operator (as Michael A. Benson)
David E. Diano .... first assistant camera: "a" camera (as David Diano)
Ted Harrison .... key grip
Donald L. Hartley .... dolly grip
Ross A. Maehl .... gaffer (as Ross Maehl)
Elliott Marks .... still photographer: USA
Bob Whitaker .... still photographer: Europe
George Whitear .... still photographer: Europe
Garrett Brown .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Adam Glick .... set lighting technician (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Renate Arbes .... casting: Europe
Shirley Rich .... casting consultant
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Frédéric Castet .... designer: Christian Dior furs (as Frederic Castet)
Uta Freiwald .... costume assistant: Europe
Catherine Leterrier .... wardrobe coordinator: Miss Keller
Catherine Leterrier .... wardrobe designer: Miss Keller
Helmut Preuss .... wardrobe: Europe
G. Tony Scarano .... wardrobe (as Tony Scarano)
 
Editorial Department
David Bretherton .... supervising editor
Don Dittmar .... color timer
Jane Kurson .... associate editor
Richard Lane .... assistant editor: Los Angeles (as Dick Lane)
Bob Ramae .... assistant editor: Los Angeles
Joe Zaidman .... assistant editor: New York
 
Location Management
Norbert Finck .... location manager: Berlin
Stefan Zürcher .... location manager: Switzerland
 
Music Department
Harry V. Lojewski .... music supervisor
Joe Tuley .... music editor
Dan Wallin .... score mixer
 
Transportation Department
Randy Peters .... transportation co-captain
 
Other crew
Willy Egger .... production executive: Germany
Sandy Lawrence .... production secretary: USA
William Milié .... choreographer: Europe (as Bill Millie)
Don Morgan .... unit publicist
Ana Maria Quintana .... script supervisor
Ursula Schlieper .... production accountant: Europe (as Uschi Schlieper)
Ilse Schwarzwald .... production assistant: Europe
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
117 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:L | Norway:16 | Peru:14 | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video) | USA:R (DVD Rating) | USA:TV-MA (TV Rating) | USA:R (certificate #25887)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The MGM Studio offered to make this movie with novelist-writer Steve Shagan whilst he was still writing the novel of "The Formula". MGM had been influenced by the energy crisis media headlines of the time. The storyline of the novel and its filmed adaptation involves synthetic fuel.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Barney and Lisa travel by train through Switzerland, the train, as seen from the outside, changes between shots.See more »
Quotes:
Hans Lehman, Prefect of Police Berlin:I must advise you, we may require some more questions at a later date.
Lisa Spangler:You may require questions? You bring me here at a time of sorrow asking questions. Stupid questions. While my uncle is murdered in a public place. I have only contempt for you and your so-called profession.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
21 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Enjoyable hokum, 16 June 2005
Author: Juliette2005 from United States

I give this a high rating simply because of George C. Scott and Marlon Brando, who rise above muddled material and breathe life into an otherwise clunky TV movie. The plot is basically oil/greed ripping off the nation, and if I didn't know better I'd say Brando was channelling Dick Cheney, but the music and the script and the camera work (zooms, anyone?) are so cheesy that it's hard to stay with this movie.

However. The performances are fresh and fun and strangely lively, all the actors are magnificent, and true or not- it's a nice little commentary on modern greed in America (and the world).

A fun watch if you've nothing better to do than watch great actors go head to head.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (30 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Formula (1980)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Strip Club Scene nygfan
Totally Underrated..... concord_trimming
Brando's teeth... kegan-3
Technical first? tcliffton
Formula no secret SeldonRL
Confused about Lisa Spangler (Full of Spoilers) jvaughan2
See more »

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