Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Marlon Brando, Martin Brandt, Jim Brewer, Albert Carrier, Robin Clarke
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
A detective uncovers a formula that was devised by the Nazis in WWII to make gasoline from synthetic products thereby eliminating the necessity for oil --- and oil companies. A major oil company uncovers this and tries to ... more »
The most poorly edited film in Hollywood history
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 07/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film had a lot going for it -- an interesting and timely story about Nazis, world fuel supplies, and high gas prices; a bunch of great actors including Marlon Brando and George C. Scott in his last performance; and solid production values.
Unfortuately, this was all undone because "The Formula" -- a formula for alternative fuel devised by the Nazis in World War II and hidden by gas executives -- is the most poorly edited film in movie history. The chain of events in this movie is so incongruous is strains the viewer to stay involved and eventually defeats every viewer's ability to manage the "plot".
I'll never forget the day I waited in anticipation of seeing it at the theater when it came out in 1980. While standing in line to enter, my frined from work came out. I asked him how it was. "You have to keep up with it," he said.
Not much question today that he wasn't being cryptic or evasive in his response. This film had everything going for it -- great actors, a timely plot, perhaps even more timely today, great studio values, wonderful lighting, everything except an editor.
Finally, I have two questions: Why wasn't this film re-edited on DVD release? And who is that guy on the DVD cover mimicking a young Marlon Brando? Didn't they see the bald, fat, and old actor that played his part in the movie?
blockhed | UK | 09/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This (I suspect) must have been an intriguing book of the page-turning type. Plot-heavy, you could always go back and re-read the bits you hadn't taken in from the start. As a film, however, it lacks drama, and I think it must be because the writer was just not fully aware how visual entertainment works, either on the screen or on the stage. There is a lack of emotional engagement from and between every single character: each one merely seems to be reading his lines from the book. These are good actors, so it's not so obvious, but the whole thing is like a jigsaw puzzle none of whose pieces quite fit. Moreover, the actors all seem to know this: I suppose it's the director's fault, as well as the writer's. None of these thespians seem at home. G.C.Scott is dead serious, but he convinces neither as a father nor as a lover: these are not roles he's comfortable with. Gielgud's appearance, and performance, is startlingly out-of-place. Brando looks as if he's on a frolic of his own, in an ill-fitting suit, pug nose, lip-padding, and the kind of haircut that always worries you whenever you see one. No. It's kind of interesting, but I couldn't call it good. The Jefferson quote was impressive."
Steven Whatley | Portland Oregon | 09/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Formula This is an excellent movie that for some reason never made it big, likely due to its subject matter. The plot revolves around the idea that Nazi scientists discover a means to develop synthetic fuels and lubricants from coal. This of course becomes an issue of utmost importance to the big oil companies. Realizing that with the mass production of synthetic fuel they would no longer be able to control and maintain their colossal profits they set out to keep this "formula" secret - hidden until the appropiate time. This sets the stage for this movie. The acting is high caliber across the board. I highly recommend this movie - it is closer to the truth than most poeple will want to believe."
S. kelly | California girl | 06/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film from 1980 is still worthy of a watch as it is well acted and the story is as important today, maybe more so, as it was when it was originally filmed. It is about the oil business, its history and current state of affairs hasn't aged this film one bit. If anything it is an eyeopening exploration of our relationship with the oil cartel, the Nazi world war II formula for a synthetic fuel, International bankers, and our current oil companies whose agendas continue on. A thought provoking film and I am so glad it finally came out in DVD. Great cast that also includes that wonderful German actor, Wolfgang Preiss as the Swiss banker."