5.6/10
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29 user 13 critic

The Formula (1980)

The synthetic fuel production formula, invented by the Nazis at the end of WW2, is sought after by some who aim to sell it and by others who wish to destroy it.

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Writers:

(novel), (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:
...
...
...
...
Dr. Abraham Esau, Director Reich Energy
...
Arthur Clements
...
Kay Neeley
...
General Helmut Kladen / Frank Tedesco
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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
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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:

Big Oil. Big Money. Big Mystery. Everyone's out to make a killing. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La fórmula  »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$842,985 (USA) (21 December 1980)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reportedly, director John G. Avildsen distanced himself from the picture after it was completed. Apparently, Avildsen wanted to have his name removed from the credits as both editor and director. This request was unsuccessful and Avildsen's credits remained. Avildsen complained that after his final edit, writer-producer Steve Shagan allegedly re-edited the picture differently to Avildsen's final cut. See more »

Goofs

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: You trade lives and human dignity for profit.
Adam Steiffel, Chairman Titan Oil: "Money, not morality, is the principal commerce of civilized nations." Thomas Jefferson, 200 years ago. That is the philosophy that built this nation.
Barney Caine: What do you know about this nation? When did you ever give a second thought to American citizens? You're the reason their money's worthless. You're the reason old people are eating out of garbage cans, and kids get killed in bullshit wars. You're not in the oil business, you're in the oil shortage ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Standard suspense/ thriller with notable cast and deliberately realized
23 March 2010 | by See all my reviews

Exciting story about a cop involved into an international intrigue referred to high-finance, it begins from the end WWII to the present. This thriller concerns about a veteran Inspector (George C Scott), Lt. Caine LAPD, he has to investigate two murders , it leads an insidious scheme to get a formula about a secret for synthetic fuel called Genesis and he will not stop at nothing . Caine is drawn into a criminal whirlpool. He becomes unwittingly involved to Nazi plots, along with a beautiful model (Marthe Keller). Hard-noised Caine is only helped by an agent, his oriental sidekick against a mysterious organization ruled by a mean billionaire (Marlon Brando). Meanwhile suspicious start to be killed one by one. Later on, Caine gets the formula that is hidden into a safety box and is aware which the nasties know whether or no it is safe to go to pick it up.

This intriguing movie packs action, suspense ,thrills,a love story, treason, and is quite entertaining. This intense thriller holds your interest throughout, however it contains some flaws and confusion. Certainly is worth watch seeing for George C Scott's brilliant, credible performance as obstinate cop. Good secondary cast as John Gielgud , G.D. Spradlin,Marshall Thomson,Wolfgang Preiss,Richard Lynch , among others. Interesting movie but with some holes and gaps and ridiculous scenes .

The film contains adequate and atmospheric cinematography by James Crabe. Suspesnseful and long-standing score by Bill Conti, director's usual . The picture is regularly directed by John G Avildsen. He is a nice director who has mixed more karate Kid and Rocky films with such feel-good message films as ¨Power of one, or ¨ Lean on me¨. Rating : passable and acceptable, 5,5.


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