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23 user 17 critic

Puppet on a Chain (1971)

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Geoffrey Reeve

Writers:

Alistair MacLean (screenplay) (as Alistair Maclean), Paul Wheeler (additional material) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Penny Casdagli ... Trudi
Peter Hutchins Peter Hutchins ... The Assassin
Drewe Henley ... Jimmy Duclos
Henny Orri Henny Orri ... Herta (as Henni Orri)
Stewart F. Lane Stewart F. Lane ... George Lemay (as Stewart Lane)
Mark Malicz Mark Malicz ... Morgenstern
Michael Mellinger ... Hotel Manager
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Storyline

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The blazing break-up of a narcotics ring that will have you hanging on the edge of your seat! See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1971 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Alistair Maclean's Puppet on a Chain See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Big City See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Back-to-back consecutive spy movie for cinematographer Jack Hildyard whose previous picture he had lensed had been the Alfred Hitchcock espionage film Topaz (1969). See more »

Goofs

The co-ordinates in the notebook are written as 52° . 35' . 16".1 N / -0.5° . 27' . 19".5 E. This is badly formatted, even allowing for the European use of period and comma being the opposite way round to UK and US convention (ie they use a comma as a decimal point and a period as a field separator). Also the minus sign in conjunction with "E" is redundant: a negative coordinate implies west (longitude) or south (latitude) of Greenwich, in which case compass directions such as N (north) and E (east) are not used. However if these errors are ignored and the coordinates are interpreted as 52º 35' 16.1" N, 0.5º 27' 19.5" E, they point to a location in the Markermeer, east of Amsterdam and north of Lelystad - roughly where Paul Sherman draws a cross on the map. See more »

Quotes

Maggie: Paul, what are you thinking?
Paul Sherman: I was thinking about my ex-wife, as a matter of fact.
Maggie: What was she like?
Paul Sherman: Very affectionate... with other men. My fault - I was never there.
See more »

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User Reviews

Waste of a great Alistair MacLean book.
22 October 2002 | by jckruizeSee all my reviews

Soulless, silly international co-production boasts picture postcard cinematography in Amsterdam and other locales but is too generic and clichéd otherwise to drum up much excitement. The nominal hero is as stiff and expressionless as a Ken doll, and the vaunted boat chase -- staple of the trailer and TV commercials of the time -- is technically well-executed but out of place in what was supposed to be an adaptation of MacLean's dark, complex tale of drug smuggling, murder and espionage.

This is one of those many cases where producers obtained rights to a valuable property and then jettisoned 90% of what made it memorable or effective; particularly inexplicable in this case, as MacLean is listed as one of the screenwriters! A good (or bad) example of those infamous multi-national 'tax shelter' film productions of the 60's/early 70's.

For better MacLean, look to THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, BREAKHEART PASS or WHERE EAGLES DARE.


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