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on 21 May 2017
I bought ths film on blu-ray and found the quality to be poor. I have DVDs of the same era that are sharper and I can't imagine the DVD would be much different from the DVD. This is a good film that deserves re-mastering to either DVD or blu-ray because what I bought clearly wasn't re-mastered at all.
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on 18 January 2002
Don't be fooled by the naff cover..This is one cool film.
There's never been a movie with such a groovy 70's soundtrack and so many lines you simply can't help but quote. "are you married Mr sherman?- I was" and "Sherman, what sort of dutch name is that?"
Ok so it's cult status that really keeps this film alive, It's a Bond wanna be (to the point that even cast members reappear in this movie)
but it really is classic stuff.
The fight scenes are so over the top that Sherman throws some guy 20 foot across the room and if you don't want the cops to know where your hide out is then I suggest you don't hang a puppet on a chain outside for all to see.
The one thing that everbody remembers about this film is the climax...A boat chase that beats anything bond has ever done with the chase going through the city of Amsterdam, Gripping stuff.
Unfortunatly with this DVD version it has the misleading words "Trailer" on the cover as an extra but it's a trailer for some other obscure film.
The films 4.3 transfer is not good and if you own this on video then don't buy the dvd.
Needs cleaning up with new soundtrack and a widescreen release but worth buying if you don't already own it...
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on 9 April 2010
I remember watching this film long ago on TV late at night with my parents and younger sister (I must have been about 12 or 13) and it ended around midnight and we all looked at each other after the finish and went 'wow' or something like that. Not many films had that effect.

Today the 70s music and fashion have dated, but frankly if you watch a film from the 70s don't expect anything else.

The story goes along the lines of an interpol investigation into heroin smuggling from Amsterdam, and the lead character Paul Sherman (played by Swedish singer Sven-Bertil Taube) is a ruthless man hell-bent on smashing the smuggling ring.

There are some good secondary actors supporting the film; Alexander Knox and Patrick Allen (pictured on the cover of this DvD) as the Dutch police and Vladek Sheybal as a rather strange looking priest. No giveaways of the plot but the film winds up to a fantastic ending as we have an unparalleled boat chase along the canals of Amsterdam and the unmasking of the mastermind behind the gang and a final fight to the death scene high above the streets of the city.
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on 28 March 2017
Not to be confused with Sandie Shaw's eurovision hit, this is great fun and still stands up well, with plenty of action and twists, very nasty baddies and tough good guys. Great Dutch locations and all capped by a justly famous motor boat chase. A classic of the genre.
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on 25 December 2013
The deleted Odyssey DVD release says (on the case) transferred in 4:3...but it has More information in the frame on both sides and top and bottom than the Scorpion release which was transferred at 1:78. The Scorpion release is a cleaner transfer, has more interesting extras - - a good commentary and an uncut scene - - but when the Odyssey has more info on all sides of the frame, then it's showing more of the film in every scene, every set-up. When the composition is as good as the cinematography on this picture, that's the winning factor for me.
It's a great film, with an 8-minute speedboat chase filmed so confidently by Don Sharp that it rejects all dialogue and even a note of scoring for the duration, but other reviews talk about that. I'm pointing out the difference between DVD editions.
If the film ever gets to blu-ray, here's hoping someone gets the aspect ratio right and purer film elements.
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on 5 July 2013
Just ordered this after my very old video cassette version,deteriorated.

After "Where eagles Dare", this is one of my favorite Maclean seventies movie. Its got a good cast, very moody soundtrack, and of course Vladek Sheybal! As Meegeren, As The leader of the Church. Whos He? He was kronsteen in "From Russia With Love"

("You are now in the House of the clocks". When They all chime together, Im told it can drive a man crazy in a few minutes"! "How long will you last Mr Sherman?", shall we try, try?
{classic line from Meegeren from the film}

I had the good fortune to visit Amsterdam a few years after it was released. In the street, where Kronsteen crashed his speedboat into the canal wall, was a small shop, selling photos, and other memorabilia , right next to the spot where it was filmed. I even tried to find the street with the docks and the warehouse, but was on a coach trip, so my time was short.

If you like suspense, with a good cast, early bond film type of acting, but with unexpected twists, and some nice Ariel shots of Amsterdam, plus a very good speedboat chase sequence , given its era, then give this a look.
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on 13 November 2000
Not a big film, and few star names, but an absolute must for Alastair MacLean Fans. The plot is good, and the screenplay is by the book's author, (and damn good it is too!). Might not be everyones taste, and it has a darker tone than MacLean's war novels that have been screened (eg Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare). However, if you are a fan of good thrillers, and want something that taxes the intellect more than most modern offerings this is the one. Loses fifth star because video transfer is not the best (but still a highly watchable film).
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on 11 July 2002
Back in 1970, when this was made, James Bond thrillers were still all the rage and their alter-ego, Aleistar Maclain thrillers were also coming to the fore, thanks largely to the recent success of "Where Eagles Dare" in 1969 and "The Guns of Navarone" in 1961.
The Brits were always capable of making good thrillers, be it intellectual stuff such as a John le Carre feature or more Americanised stuff such as this but with a decidedly British twist.
Puppet On A Chain follows the exploits of Paul Sherman, an Interpol Agent flown into Amsterdam to smash a heroin racket who's calling card are to dispose of their enemies by hanging them from meathooks on chains. Mostly famous for the cracking power-boat chase around the canals of Amsterdam. A big hit at the time and for my money still worthwhile entertainment today, harking back to a time when the Brits were not afraid to stick their necks out and make something just little bit more adventurous than you'd expect them to!
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on 4 October 2015
Really quite excellent little Euro thriller which is twisty, surprising and subverts a number of the clichés of the genre. The only let downs are a couple of plot-holes and far-fetchedness here and there but the 60s/70s mise-en-scene is great as is the 99% on location shooting which is very atmospherically satisfying. Never dull or risible and a sort of northern European French Connection with, amazingly, an equally riveting chase scene which has to be seen to be believed and which is brilliantly directed by the extremely talented (I am now convinced) Don Sharp who also had a hand in the script. I think there should be a Sharp retrospective sometime. The director is Geoffrey Reeve and well done to him too for keeping it the right side of Bondism. Ripe for reassessment all round I reckon. Also has, for those of us shallow enough to care (men in the 50s perhaps), Barbara Parkins. Once seen, never forgotten.
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I am a real fan of the book Alistair Maclean's Puppet On A Chain, it is fast paced and exciing. The film sort of lives up to this - it tries to do a 'James Bond' on the cheap. Good in parts, good chase screen! Worth worth having if you are a fan of 1970's thrillers.
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