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Puppet On A Chain

4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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(Mar 20, 2012)
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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.

Special Features

None.

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: 1.78:1
  • 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 (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006HLBDAC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,781 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Amazzini on 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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This action-adventure movie from the 1960s, a relatively straightforward story about an investigator trying to solve some murders in Amsterdam and discovering a larger web of organized crime, features a speed-boat race in the Amsterdam canals, which at the time was quite sensational. Needless to say, by today's standards it's a rather lame sequence. But the movie as a whole has a pretty good story and some good acting. Swedish folk-singer Bertil Taube makes what I believe is his movie debut with his role as the hero and does a pretty good job of it. And I absolutely love the main villain of the story (won't tell you who it is!).
For an action movie the whole thing is a bit slow, but as a little retro-entertainment for the Saturday night it is a pretty good choice. Enjoy!
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