Featuring Stanely Baker’s last big-screen role, Innocent Bystanders looks and feels like a hard-boiled low-rent James Bond.
Proof that Baker could still do tough guys well, his character John Craig is a traumatised spy long past his peak, who is assigned one last job by his reptilian boss, Loomis (Donald Pleasence), to find a Soviet scientist wanted by the American secret services and the KGB.
His mission to locate the defecting Russian sees him travel to Turkey via New York. In the process, he discovers that although he has lost his taste for killing, he hasn’t lost his talent for it.
Halfway through the film, Warren Mitchell enters as a Turkish hotel owner called Omar who has learnt English from Australians he met during the war. He is a delight and walks off with this secret agent caper which had been flagging until then.