24 May 2016 | bkoganbing
A loss leader Bashi Bazook
I think Stanley Baker was starting to show some of the ravages of the cancer that eventually killed him. Still as always he's tough as nails starring in Innocent Bystanders.
Baker stars as a compromised spy who spymaster Donald Pleasance feels will crack under the pressure. So he sends him out as a sort of decoy while a couple of other agents are to do the real assignment which is getting a hold of a defecting Russian scientist who has escaped from a Siberian gulag and is now in Turkey somewhere.
Of course when Baker finds out he's a British version of a Bashi- Bazook, expendable troops you put in the front line expecting them to be killed, he doesn't take it kindly and goes into business for himself. Along the way Baker acquires Geraldine Chaplin who is in the title role of the Innocent Bystander.
I'm told in the book that Innocent Bystander the lead character does have the exaggerated mustache that Baker sports. I really can't buy that since part of espionage is the ability to blend into the background.
Pleasance who is always in his films having evil intent is no different here. Dana Andrews makes an appearance here as the American spy chief who has contracted out this assignment.
As it turns out there are others who want the scientist for more than matters of geopolitics.
Fans of Stanley Baker will like Innocent Bystanders.