“We are the Arabs!”

“In the 1980 film “The Formula,” George C. Scott plays a detective who uncovers a plot to kill anybody with knowledge of a secret Nazi formula for a synthetic fuel. The bad guy in the film is Adam Steiffel, the Chairman of Titan Oil, played by Marlon Brando. The two meet on Steiffel’s patio, where the oil mogul is enjoying breakfast, and the scene produces a couple of memorable lines in a case of art imitating life.

“You’re not in the oil business; you’re in the oil shortage business,” Scott says to Brando. An aide to Brando’s character races to the table with news of price activity by the Arab states, to which Brando’s character responds, “You idiot, we ARE the Arabs!”

— Terry Heaton

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