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on November 1, 2014
It's an old urban legend. Or maybe it's the worst-kept secret in the world. It might be both. It is...the formula for synthetic fuel that can run all gas-based engines more efficiently and ecologically, at a fraction of the cost. If it existed, it would be the greatest advance in mass transportation since the invention of the steam engine. And it would put the big oil companies out of business. All of them. Permanently. Naturally, Big Oil will do anything--ANYTHING--to keep this formula off the market. And only one man can stop them. Or can he...?

Steve Shagan's bestselling novel, THE FORMULA, was filmed in 1980 by director John G. Avildsen (ROCKY, THE KARATE KID). George C. Scott plays the burnt-out, divorced cop who stumbles on a string of dead bodies and an insidious plot to keep the world enslaved to the gas engine. Marthe Keller is the mysterious woman who may or may not be trying to help him. Marlon Brando is the ubiquitous oil tycoon who opposes him. Scott runs all over Europe and America, constantly pursued by a bunch of bad guys. Wherever he goes, things blow up and more people die. There are only two scenes between Scott and Brando, but they're the best scenes in the film. This is a fun, fast-paced thriller with a plot that doesn't bear close scrutiny (Why don't they just kill him, for Pete's sake!). The book and film arrived at the height of late-1970s paranoia, with oil shortages, high prices, and long lines at gas stations, and that explains why it was popular at the time. But it holds up very well today. I guess we're all still hoping that this synthetic fuel dream becomes a reality. Recommended.
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on May 21, 2013
This offering comes in a sealed slim case, and its obviously a refugee from the Marlon Brando Collection. The only way you can get THE FORMULA on DVD is either from this offering or with the Brando box set, which at this writing is less than $18 for five Brando movies. As a George C. Scott fan I decided to scoop this film up before it disappears. Some of Scott's more important films, such as THE FILM-FLAM MAN and THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS are not available on DVD except through the expensive secondary market.

The premise of the movie is silly: at the center of the story, which takes place in the late 1970s, is a Nazi formula for making synthetic fuels from coal with no pollution that the oil industry wants to suppress, and will even commit multiple murders to do so. Scott is an LA detective investigating the murder of a friend, a former cop who now works for the oil company headed by Brando. The investigation takes Scott from LA to Germany and Switzerland. As the bodies pile up, the investigation leads back to LA with the final confrontation between Scott and Brando. Scott realizes he has been been a pawn in a chess game under the control of Brando. Although, only in a few scenes, Brando gives a memorable performance as a bland but evil oil executive who likes Milk Duds and would rather be hiking in the Sierra Mountains, but his sense of patriotism and duty makes him do what he does. Scott, as always, is worth watching as the dedicated cop being manipulated by Brando, his boss and Marthe Keller, a member of a secret German radical group. If you like George C. Scott buy this film at is present bargain price before it is gone from the DVD market.
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on August 16, 2012
I thought "The Formula " was not only a good suspence story but a true to life story on how the world is run by the oil producing countries of the world . George
C. Scott is one of my favorite actors as is Marlon Brando who both portrayed their
parts well . I enjoy movies that are true to life . We live every day with the oil
prices dictated by the oil producing countries holding the non - producing countrioes of the world hostage . If you don't pay the pump price you don't have
transportation . I know there have been many inventions of alternate fuels over the years & pattens applied for . Also different means of transportation . A great
example is the "Tucker Automobile " that a movie was made about . I had an uncle
who worked at the Tucker Plant in chicago where the Tucker car was first introduced after World war #2 . All the employees were given the chance to purchase one & my uncle put his name on the waiting list . He never got his car .
Not because it was a failure but because the entire auto industry controled all the auto parts & Tucker could not acquire enough for production . After making about 100 they had to stop production . I have read of inventions of fuels that will never be allowed by the oil producing countries to be marketed "LIKE THE MOVIE" . During the war Germany had many engineeres invent never dreamed of equipment such as "Rocket Propelled V 2 Bombs " ----Why not cheap Fuel that would
control the worlds Oil market? The movie seemed it could be possible to me -----
Rich Mellinger .
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on September 26, 2012
Entertaining mystery. A bit dated, but still a very good movie related to the secret formula the Germans developed in WWII for synthetic oil production, known as project Genesis. During the last days of the war in Europe, an American Officer captures a German General near the German-Swiss border who is carrying the "Genesis formula" while fleeing to Switzerland. The movie then "fast forwards" several decades to present day Los Angeles, where the former American Officer is murdered in his Beverly Hills home. Shortly thereafter the officer's wife is also murdered. George C. Scott is a LAPD "blood-hound" Detective who tracks the killers all the way to Berlin. From there the trail leads across Europe with a rising body count of murder victims with the common denominator being that all victims had prior "knowledge of", or were previously "connected to" project Genesis. George C. Scott works digilently & methodically to put the pieces of the puzzle in-place while pursuing the Genesis trail. In doing so, Scott has an "epiphany" and realizes he just a "bird-dog" pawn within the scheming plans of a global energy cartel; and the super-rich & very powerful international elites are pulling all the strings with all of humanity as "puppets".
Note: Years earlier George C. Scott played the role of a "blood-hound" Detective in "The List of Adrian Messenger". He does a great job in both movies.
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on January 5, 2016
Great film made in the late 70's, eventhough copyright is listed as 1980. Story background is based on real events, which have been fictionalized and altered for the silver screen. Marlon Brando and George C Scott give great performances. Recounts how energy is big business, always manipulated behind the scenes by a few very powerful men, who have no qualms to resort to using violence to achieve their intended ends to make sure US consumers pay high prices for oil and energy, even though alternative sources of cheap energy exist and could be used instead.
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on December 13, 2013
Hadn't seen this film in years and thought I'd give it another viewing. Good subplot about how the oil companies control the oil economy and, consequently, the world economy (some things never change). An eclectic performance by Marlon Brando, and Scott is at his no-nonsense stern best.
The plot involves a Nazi discovery of a formula that allows mass production of synthetic fuel. The formula disappeared at the end of WWII and resurfaces some decades later. The oil companies, of course, will stop at nothing to keep it off the market.
It's great to see Brando and Scott going at it, since they were both top of the line actors. Brando's character is offbeat to say the least (or at least the way he played the character), but this film is fun to watch.
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on April 17, 2017
Great movie and possible true who knows
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on March 7, 2017
On time shows...things aren5 always as they seem.
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on September 25, 2016
Really Great Movie
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on October 31, 2017
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