5.6/10
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33 user 17 critic

The Formula (1980)

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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)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

In a world starved for energy, no secret is more valuable. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | USA

Language:

English | Spanish | German

Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La fórmula 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reportedly, Director John G. Avildsen distanced himself from this movie after it was completed. Apparently, Avildsen wanted to have his name removed from the credits as Editor and Director. This request was unsuccessful, and Avildsen's credits remained. Avildsen complained that after his final edit, Writer and Producer Steve Shagan re-edited this movie differently than Avildsen's final cut. See more »

Goofs

When Barney and Lisa travel by train through Switzerland, the train, as seen from the outside, changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Paul Obermann, Chief Engineer Berlin Power & Light Co.: [Meeting at the Berlin Zoo, second floor aquarium, near closing time] Keep your voice down, Mr. Caine. We have only a few minutes. Now ask your questions.
Barney Caine: Did you see Tom Neeley early in January?
Paul Obermann, Chief Engineer Berlin Power & Light Co.: Yes. We met several times.
Barney Caine: Was Kay Neeley with him?
Paul Obermann, Chief Engineer Berlin Power & Light Co.: On one occasion. We had dinner.
Barney Caine: How did you come to know Tom?
Paul Obermann, Chief Engineer Berlin Power & Light Co.: We met many years ago in Hamburg.
Barney Caine: Under what circumstance?
Paul Obermann, Chief Engineer Berlin Power & Light Co.: In the late spring of 1945,I was captured by the British and taken to their Intelligence Headquarters in Hamburg. Major Neeley was ...
[...]
See more »

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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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