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

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Overview

User Rating:
5.6/10   1,695 votes »
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Down 19% 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 4 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
User Reviews:
Synthetic fuel, anyone? See more (31 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:
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
 
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
Norbert Finck .... location manager: Berlin
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
Stefan Zürcher .... location manager: Switzerland
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
117 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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:
Errors in geography: 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:
Barney Caine:What about dinner, Hans?
Hans Lehman, Prefect of Police Berlin:Impossible. Two terrorists escaped from Moabit Prison. You know, you have been fortunate in America so far. You haven't experienced organized terrorism.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Rise of Two Legends (2006) (V)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Synthetic fuel, anyone?, 1 September 2008
Author: mike dewey from canton, ohio

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (31 total) »

Message Boards

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

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