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Puppet On A Chain (1971)

Barbara Parkins , Sven-Bertil Taube , Geoffrey Reeve  |  PG |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Parkins, Sven-Bertil Taube
  • Directors: Geoffrey Reeve
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Scorpion Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,601 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

From Alistair MacLean, the writer of Guns of Navarone, & Where Eagles Dare comes Puppet on a Chain! The headquarters of a drug-smuggling cartel is the quarry of American narcotics agent Paul Sherman (Sven-Bartil Taube, Eagle Has Landed). Though the cartel's activities are centered in Amsterdam, Sherman's search for the headquarters leads to an island castle owned by an offbeat religious group. Sherman and his partner Maggie (Barbara Parkins, Valley of the Dolls) run into serious trouble when they try to gain access to the forbidden site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Tiptoe Through The Tulips March 20, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Scorpion continues to unleash rare action/exploitation titles from the Seventies and this one Director Geoffrey Reeve's 'PUPPET ON A CHAIN'- 1971 is one of the most underrated of them all. Resembling a Euro Spy film from the Sixties , it mostly resembles a James Bondian caper fusing British and American filmmakers with some Norwegian touches along the way. Writer Alistair MacLean was having a virtual renaissance with no less than five of his novels seeing big screen adaptations through out the Sixties. Here we have Dutch actor Sven-Bertil Taube who was popular in his home country and US actress Barbara Parkins fresh from Director Mark Robson's 'VALLEY OF THE DOLLS'-1967 and heavy television work teamed up to fight the bad guys and stiff upper lipped Brits Alexander Knox and Patrick Allen trying to block them every step of the way. The only flaw of the film is its swinging sixties atmosphere which was dated even at this films release and is much more so now not being aided by the wacka-wacka rhythms of composer Piero Piccioni's music score with its outdated Farfisa organ refrains. The film does, however , emerge as a taut, gritty affair about drug smuggling utilizing bibles and puppets as the carriers. Taube plays Sherman , a bitter edge of burnout agent hired to stop the operation. The film really explodes midway through its running time when Sherman is being tortured by Maynard, assassin extroadinaire played beautifully by character actor Vladek Sheybal, the memorable chess player who gets his comeuppance at the beginning of Director Terence Young's 'FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE'- 1964. After his escape, Sherman pursues Maynard in revenge mode but the filmmakers pull a surprise: instead of the usual epic car chase so prolific in action films of that period, they use speedboats as their weapons. Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANAMORPHIC 1.78.1 WIDESCREEN April 6, 2012
Puppet on a String is a 1971 suspense actioner adapting MacLean's 1969 novel.

The adventure follows tough American drug agent Paul Sherman (Sven-Bartil Taube, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as he ruthlessly pursues a narcotics cartel in the Netherlands. His investigation takes him to an odd religious order, housed in a castle in the middle of the ocean, on an island that may or not be diabolical. One thing leads to another and Sherman ultimately finds himself engaged in an infamous deadly boat chase.

The DVD: a newly remastered 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer;-- audio; commentary by film historians Lee Pfeiffer, Todd Garbarini, and Paul Scrabo; and an extended bar sequence with topless waitress's
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puppept on a Chain March 27, 2010
I saw this movie when I was in High School and I'll never forget it. It has the most exciting boat chase seens through the canels of Amsterdam, that you are on the edge of your seat. The ending will blow you away. I can't wait until it is available in region 1 format.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark European thriller July 25, 2012
This European thriller is a 1971 adaptation of the Alistair MacLean novel, and has most of the same elements as his better-known films, although it was less successful. The storyline involves a pair of agents who arrive in the Netherlands to break up an international drug-smuggling ring. The realization however is rather murky and dark, with bizarre plot twists involving a religious cult. As is typical in MacLean novels, the action centers on the heroic male lead, played by Swedish actor Sven-Bertil Taube. His female partner, Barbara Parkins, meets an ignominious end (implied by the film's title), which galvanizes him to avenge her. The best element is the speedboat chase through the canals of Amsterdam.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
After viewing this in the theater at 12 years old, I had the opportunity while in the USN to spend a week in Amsterdam. For some reason, when I got to Amsterdam, I felt like I came home. This movie is for people like me who watched it at an impressionable age, fell for the girls, felt horrible when they died and liked the action scenes. If you are planning to watch it for the first time, think about being there in the early 70's otherwise you will compare it to other more modern movies. Diamonds are Forever came out around the time of Puppet on a Chain, but it did not have the emotional toll that puppet did due to the connection made with the female officer who was eventually hanged as a puppet on a chain.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Puppet on a Chain (1971) is a violent suspense thriller which follows the exploits of an American government agent, who comes to Amsterdam to find the source of a drug pipeline to America. Master of suspense, Alistair MacLean (Ice Station Zebra, When Eight Bells Toll, Where Eagles Dare), the author of the original novel, also wrote the bulk of the screenplay, which is quite dark and grim, highlighted by some grisly deaths, and a wild cinematic boat chase through the canal systems of Amsterdam. The macabre image of a doll of a little Dutch girl, hanging by the neck on a chain, is a theme that is repeatedly featured in the movie.

Flying into Amsterdam, American agent Paul Sherman (Sven-Bertil Taub) realizes that he is playing a very deep game, when his contact is murdered at the airport, and later is forced to deal violently with a man he finds searching his hotel room. Although working with Inspector Van Gelder (Patrick Allen) of the local police, Sherman is also operating secretly with Maggie (Barbara Parkins), another American agent.

Sherman's investigation leads to a warehouse near the docks which contains Dutch girl dolls and Bibles, a castle where a creepy man named Meegeren (Vladek Sheybal) is in charge, and Van Gelder's drug damaged daughter Trudi (Penny Casdagli), who keeps popping up, always carrying a similar doll. After sneaking aboard a ship and witnessing a drug pickup at sea, Sherman has some of the pieces of the puzzle in hand, but taking down the ruthless gang will not be simple or bloodless.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars and beautifully restored! Highly recommended
An all time classic, and beautifully restored! Highly recommended!
Published 1 month ago by William Simon
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
Pretty good
Published 3 months ago by Papaw Fitz
3.0 out of 5 stars Stung by another MacLain mediocre movie
Long impossible to find and a boat-chase reputation that supposedly rivaled the one in Live and Let Die...... Read more
Published 6 months ago by James Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Alistair MacLean, should I say more...?
I am going to be short and to the point on this one, here are some points that make this movie awesome:

1. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Luke
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a pleasant movie but has its moments...
Not the best movie ever made from an Alistair MacLean novel, but has some great boat chase scenes through the canals of Amsterdam. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Richard E. Crabb
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Alistair Maclean Movie
Hats off to the company that created this DVD. I had bought a foreign copy and the quality was not near as good. The movie was one of my favorite Drive - in experiences. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Sjohn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Alistair MacLean Movie
Alistair MacLean is one of my favorite authors and have enjoyed many of his stories (Where Eagles Dare / Ice Station Zebra / Guns of Navarone / etc. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kimo
3.0 out of 5 stars weak production
The book was great, but this is a low budget production. A reasonable attempt but I think it could have been done better.Speed boat chase had small boats and I have seen better.
Published 17 months ago by Kingsley Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
This is a superb thiller from the early 1970's that is under appreciated in the American market.
I had never seen the film in it's entirety but it was well worth the purchase... Read more
Published 18 months ago by David Viglione
5.0 out of 5 stars Alister Macclain book made movie
A+A+A+A+A+Hard to find favorite Movies, Same Allstair Maclean, that wrote the books "Guns of Navarone", "Force ten from Navarone", and "Satan Bug". Read more
Published 22 months ago by halh
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