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Innocent Bystanders (1972)

Experienced British spy must retrieve a defecting Soviet scientist from Turkey. When a pretty female innocent bystander gets kidnapped by mistake by his enemies, he feels responsible and decides to help her as well.


Peter Collinson


James Mitchell (novel) (as James Munro), James Mitchell (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Baker ... John Craig
Geraldine Chaplin ... Miriam Loman
Donald Pleasence ... Loomis
Dana Andrews ... Blake
Sue Lloyd ... Joanna Benson
Derren Nesbitt ... Andrew Royce
Vladek Sheybal ... Aaron Kaplan
Warren Mitchell ... Omar
Cec Linder ... Mankowitz
Howard Goorney Howard Goorney ... Zimmer
J.G. Devlin J.G. Devlin ... Waiter
Ferdy Mayne ... Marcus Kaplan
Clifton Jones ... Hetherton
John Collin John Collin ... Asimov
Aharon Ipalé ... Gabrilovitch


Experienced British spy must retrieve a defecting Soviet scientist from Turkey. When a pretty female innocent bystander gets kidnapped by mistake by his enemies, he feels responsible and decides to help her as well.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In this business there are no Innocent Bystanders [Video Australia] See more »


PG | See all certifications »





English | Russian

Release Date:

12 October 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Wer zuletzt lebt, lebt am besten See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The title refers to hostage Miriam Loman (played by Geraldine Chaplin) who innocently gets caught up in the intrigue. See more »


John Craig: Sit down, Old boy.
John Craig: Was Royce beating you?
Blake: Yes.
John Craig: Until I came and saved you.
Blake: He thinks i cheated him.
John Craig: Cheated? You mean he still believes there are rules?
Blake: Oh, yes.
John Craig: And,er, the girl, the Benson person, did she beat you?
Blake: She's just as accurate as I am. But she's quicker. Yes, she beat me.
John Craig: Do you reckon you're past it?
See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »


What Makes the Man?
Music by Johnny Keating (as John Keating)
Lyrics written by Norman 'Hurricane' Smith
Performed by Norman 'Hurricane' Smith
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User Reviews

A loss leader Bashi Bazook
24 May 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

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.

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