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Espionage excess, 70s kitsch and pulp noir.
Italian soundtrack maestro Piero Piccioni’s blistering Hammond-heavy score anticipates the blaxploitaiton era with funky and angular action scenes, symphonic clashes and big band sound.

A masterpiece of suspense, Puppet on a Chain was adapted from Alistair Maclean’s 1969 novel and released in 1971. Directed by Geoffrey Reeve and starring a granite-jawed Sven-Bertil Taube, the film’s signature boat chase (lasting eight minutes!) along the canals of Amsterdam was rumoured to be the inspiration for the similar sequence in Bond’s Live and Let Die.

Drenched in grubby early 70s aesthetic, Puppet On A Chain features leather-gloved fists with silenced pistols, trench coats, rooftop chases, nefarious women, brutal fisticuffs and unusual deaths. The film portrays a decadent 1970's Amsterdam overrun with drugs and organized crime all set to Piccioni’s brilliant gonzo soundtrack.

One of the great talents of Italian cinema, Piero Piccioni’s legacy includes around 300 soundtracks over four decades. Piccioni was most prolific during the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, when he was sought out by directors including Francesco Rosi, Mario Monicelli, Alberto Lattuada, Luchino Visconti, Bernardo Bertolucci, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica and Lina Wertmuller. Deeply influenced in his use of jazz by 20th century classical composers and American cinematography, Piccione was a talented self-taught musician.

“…a rare talent… Jazz was his passion. He managed to isolate some very poignant characteristics of this musical language, and apply them to contrasting cinematographic approaches in a very distinctive, coherent, recognizable and personal way.”
- Ennio Morricone
Jeremy [Six Strings]

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