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Formula 51 (2001)

The 51st State (original title)
An American master chemist plans to score big on a once in a lifetime drug deal. All does not go as planned and he is soon entangled in a web of deceit.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Director: William Friedkin
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Sci-Fi

In the future, Greenland is a US-owned prison colony.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Jezek ...
Priest
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Jake Abraham ...
Konokko
...
Mr. Davidson
Aaron Swartz ...
Mr. Yuri
David Webber ...
Mr. Jones
...
Mr. Escobar
Sonny Muslim ...
Boy in Plane
Barbara Barnes ...
Boy's Mother
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Mr. Ho-Fat
...
...
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Storyline

Elmo McElroy is a streetwise American master chemist who heads to England to sell his special new formula - a powerful, blue concoction guaranteed to take you to 'the 51st state.' McElroy's new product delivers a feeling 51 times more powerful than any thrill, any pleasure, any high in history. But his plans for a quick, profitable score go comically awry when he gets stuck in Liverpool with an unlikely escort and his ex-girlfriend and becomes entangled in a bizarre web of double-dealing and double-crosses. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Have a good trip. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, drug content and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Formula 51  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£913,239 (United Kingdom), 9 December 2001, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,817,719, 20 October 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,204,007, 10 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Stel Pavlou was working as an assistant in a liquor store when he penned his screenplay. It was sent, on speculation, to Tim Roth as Pavlou knew that Roth insisted on reading all independent scripts sent his way. See more »

Goofs

When Felix and McElroy jump the Jaguar onto the garbage barge, you can clearly see that there is nobody there. Then, after the car comes to a stop and they get out, Popeye and his crew are just sitting there, a few feet away on the same garbage piles they crashed into. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elmo: I mean, rules are like, arbitrary, you know. Made up for people who believe in fairy tales like, you know, like Santa Claus. Hey, but not us, right? I mean, we know what's important. There's a war going on, man. A war. Ain't that a bitch?
[cop sucks his teeth]
Elmo: I just graduated today, man. With honors. Got my degree in pharmacology. I'm licensed. Look, if you write me up on this drug charge, I won't be able to practice. So what we're talking about here is, is my life. The rest of it.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Shortly after the credits start there is a short segment with Elmo on the Golf Course outside the castle on the post card See more »

Connections

Spoofs Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Doperide
Written by Sappington / Crosby / Chris D'Abaldo (as Dabaldo) / Swinney / Novotny
Published by Almo Music Corp. c/o Rondor Music (Ldn) Ltd.
Performed by Saliva
Courtesy of DEF Jam/Mercury Records (Ldn) Ltd.
Licensed by kind permission from the Film & TV Licensing Division, Part of the Universal Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Worth a watch
19 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

The 51st State is certainly no classic, but its funny and has a half-decent storyline. Being from the Liverpool area, I'm glad to see a film set there, even if it is about crime. Samuel L. Jackson is as cool as ever as kilt-wearin', drug-dealin' Elmo McElroy, and Robert Carlyle is in good form as Felix DeSouza, desperately trying to get himself a cut in the deal. The use of Ricky Tomlinson, a very funny actor pretty much unknown to American audiences, was also a nice touch. I'm very much a believer that British comedy is (almost) always better than American. I always enjoy the inclusion of English words and slang, and with Elmo not having a clue about English customs, such as the different language and the Mini Cooper, makes this film very funny. I'm not sure about Americans, but English people will appreciate the hilarity of the situation as Elmo and Felix run around Liverpool, with Elmo wanting his 20 million, and Felix just wanting to watch the Liverpool vs. Man Utd game! A clever twist at the end adds a bit of a philosophical side to the film, and shows The 51st State is more than just a few laughs.


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