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Following a triple professional hit a U.S. agent arrives in Amsterdam to investigate a heroin smuggling ring. He finds a city rife with drugs and a police force unable or unwilling to do much about it. With his incognito female fellow agent the American is soon stirring things up. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
The film's signature long boat chase along the canals of Amsterdam prefigured the long boat chase in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die (1973) by two years whilst later Amsterdamned (1988) would also feature a long Amsterdam canal boat chase. See more »
In the first scene in the film you see the shadow of the camera crew. See more »
I second the negative remarks by other reviewers of "Puppet on a Chain". It's a somewhat, but not altogether, disappointing movie that, at best, is about average for its type. The best parts are action parts. There is one very well-staged fight, a top-notch, long and exciting boat chase through Amsterdam's canals, and a reasonably good final sequence in which the head man of the heroin operation is flushed out. Barbara Parkins adds quite a lot by her screen presence. Vladek Sheybal, who early on was in "Kanal" and "From Russia with Love", plays it up as one of the heroin ring. Alexander Knox has a small part, reasonably effective but clichéd, as a crusty local police inspector. Patrick Allen, memorable from "The Long Haul", is another inspector.
The lead actor, Sven-Bertil Taube, unfortunately, doesn't spark the film. He's likable but his toughness seems put on. He's not really into the character. The script is on the disjointed side. At quite a few times it's fanciful and Bondish, departing from being a straight-ahead and tough crime story. It may be that the direction failed to get a convincing performance out of Taube, but the script also didn't give him what we needed to identify with him. At one point, it fell into didactic lecturing on the evils of heroin.
The story thus falls between a Bond movie and a no-nonsense police procedural, but told and conveyed in a rather bland and unsuspenseful way much of the time. I'd rate it 5.5 if I could.
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