5.6/10
2,359
33 user 17 critic

The Formula (1980)

Trailer
2:29 | Trailer
The synthetic fuel production formula, invented by the Nazis at the end of World War II, is sought after by some who aim to sell it, and by others who wish to destroy it.

Director:

John G. Avildsen

Writers:

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

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... Barney Caine
Marlon Brando ... Adam Steiffel
Marthe Keller ... Lisa
John Gielgud ... Dr. Esau
G.D. Spradlin ... Clements
Beatrice Straight ... Kay Neeley
Richard Lynch ... Kladen / Tedesco
John Van Dreelen ... Hans Lehman
Robin Clarke Robin Clarke ... Major Neeley
Ike Eisenmann ... Tony
Marshall Thompson ... Geologist #1
Dieter Schidor Dieter Schidor ... Assassin
Werner Kreindl Werner Kreindl ... Schellenberg
Jan Niklas ... Gestapo Captain
Wolfgang Preiss ... Franz Tauber
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Storyline

A detective uncovers a formula that was devised by the Nazis in World War II to make fuel 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.

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the final movie for Marlon Brando before his self-imposed retirement from acting. Brando did not appear in another movie until "A Dry White Season (1989)." See more »

Goofs

Just as Barney is about to board his plane to leave Germany. His German counterpart has to explain to a woman (in German) at the gate, about his trip and his needs. But after they find out the formula he was carrying is a fraud. Barney begins talking a rapid and agitated manner to the same woman. And now the woman not only seems to understand English very well. But she speaks it as well. 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.
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Connections

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

User Reviews

 
Enjoyable hokum
16 June 2005 | by Juliette2005See all my reviews

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.


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Details

Country:

West Germany | USA

Language:

English | Spanish | German

Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Formula See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$842,985, 21 December 1980

Gross USA:

$8,894,289

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,894,289
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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