IMDb > Puppet on a Chain (1971)
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Puppet on a Chain (1971) More at IMDbPro »


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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Alistair MacLean (screenplay)
Paul Wheeler (additional material) ...
View company contact information for Puppet on a Chain on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 November 1971 (Ireland) See more »
The blazing break-up of a narcotics ring that will have you hanging on the edge of your seat! See more »
Following a triple professional hit a U.S. agent arrives in Amsterdam to investigate a heroin smuggling ring... See more » | Add synopsis »
(3 articles)
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User Reviews:
Top-notch drug smuggling thriller on par with the French Connection movies See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Sven-Bertil Taube ... Paul Sherman

Barbara Parkins ... Maggie

Alexander Knox ... Colonel De Graaf
Patrick Allen ... Inspector Van Gelder
Vladek Sheybal ... Meegeren
Ania Marson ... Astrid Lemay
Penny Casdagli ... Trudi
Peter Hutchins ... The Assassin
Drewe Henley ... Jimmy Duclos
Henny Orri ... Herta (as Henni Orri)
Stewart F. Lane ... George Lemay (as Stewart Lane)
Mark Malicz ... Morgenstern
Michael Mellinger ... Hotel Manager
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Brace ... Thug (uncredited)
Arnold Diamond ... Coroner (uncredited)
Leon Eagles ... Police Sgt at Station (uncredited)
George Leech ... Thug (uncredited)
Wil Sibbelee ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Geoffrey Reeve 
Writing credits
Alistair MacLean (screenplay) (as Alistair Maclean)

Paul Wheeler (additional material) &
Don Sharp (additional material)

Alistair MacLean  novel (uncredited)

Produced by
Kurt Unger .... producer
Original Music by
Piero Piccioni 
Cinematography by
Jack Hildyard (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Bill Lenny 
Casting by
Maude Spector 
Production Design by
Peter Mullins 
Art Direction by
Geoffrey Tozer 
Costume Design by
Yvonne Blake 
Makeup Department
Bob Lawrance .... makeup artist (as Bob Lawrence)
Ton Van Den Heurel .... hairdressing (as Tom Van De Heuvel)
Production Management
Frank Ernst .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Terence Churcher .... assistant director (as Terry Churcher)
Barry Langley .... assistant director
Brian Bilgorri .... assistant director (uncredited)
Mike Higgins .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Don Sharp .... second unit director (uncredited)
Art Department
Michael Guyett .... scenic painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Buster Ambler .... sound recordist
David Hildyard .... sound recordist (as Dave Hildyard)
Joe Dunne .... stunt arranger
John Terhaak .... boat stunts arranger
Wim Wagenaar .... boat stunts arranger
George Leech .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Skeets Kelly .... second unit cameraman
Kelvin Pike .... camera operator
Fred Tammes .... camera operator
Ray Evans .... best boy (uncredited)
David Pearce .... second unit (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Austin Cooper .... wardrobe
Music Department
Harry Rabinowitz .... conductor
Other crew
Charles Athey .... production accountant
Willy Breebaart .... continuity (as Willie Breebaert)
Joy Mercer .... continuity
Don Sharp .... director: boat chase and additional scenes
Robin Winbow .... choreography: hay dance

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
98 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:15 | Norway:16 (1972) | Sweden:15 (cut) | UK:15 (video rating) (1999) | UK:AA (1970) (cut) | USA:PG | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

One of two filmed adaptations of an Alistair MacLean novel made and released in 1971, the other was When Eight Bells Toll (1971). MacLeans' novel 'Bear Island' was first published also in 1971.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: In a stunt shot during a fight on a dockside, as one crook is thrown into the water, one of the recovery diver's bright yellow air tanks is visible just below the water surface.See more »


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Top-notch drug smuggling thriller on par with the French Connection movies, 16 March 2015
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom

Don't you just love it when you stumble across an unknown movie and discover it to be an instant favourite? That's the case with PUPPET ON A CHAIN, a virtually forgotten Alistair MacLean drug smuggling thriller that turns out to be one of the most entertaining of '70s thrillers. With shades of Bond and a wonderful setting in the atmospheric city of Amsterdam, this is up there with the best of genre a la the two FRENCH CONNECTION movies.

Sven-Bertil Taube is the solid lead, playing an American agent dispatched to the Netherlands to break up a drug-smuggling ring. Once there he finds himself pursued by an assassin while investigating some shady business ventures that may well be the front for heroin smuggling on a grand scale. The story is fine, but it's the action that makes this a class act: there's a speedboat chase to rival the ones in LIVE AND LET DIE and AMSTERDAMNED alongside plenty of other great suspense and action sequences.

Director Don Sharp, famous from his work for Hammer Studios, contributes to the action and stunts, in particular helping shoot the aforementioned speedboat chase which is the definite highlight and might be the best thing Sharp ever did. Elsewhere, a decent cast of character actors has been assembled, with unique-looking faces filling the cast list. The only thing this film needs now is a decent Blu-ray release...

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