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STANLEY BAKER BONDING ESPIONAGE FOR 'INNOCENT BYSTANDERS'

Title: INNOCENT BYSTANDERS Cast: Stanley Baker, Darren Nesbitt 1972 Rating: ***1/2

Tough, sturdy, square-jawed British actor Stanley Baker was considered for James Bond... ironically he looks like Sean Connery (or vice versa) and starred in HELL DRIVERS where a young Connery began... 

Then, skip 15-years later after super-star Connery left the iconic spy role, Baker starred in a movie so Bondish that... just hearing the flaunting, jazzy, repetitive score, you'd think INNOCENT BYSTANDERS was yet another 007 entry, including power-hungry villains, led by the most famous of Bond foes, Donald Pleasence, danging a carrot to lesser corporate heavy Dana Andrews...

Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS

The first who Baker as agent John Craig works for, sent on a mission to retrieve a Jewish scientist, and the action when he's in the dark works best — and is where ITALIAN JOB director Peter Collinson uses enough 70's zoom shots to put a dozen karate flicks to shame as Baker's Craig is shadowed by younger competing couple (while working for the same) spy-team Derren Nesbitt and Sue Lloyd... 

Both deserving more time on screen instead of forced comic relief Warren Mitchell as an Australian con man, and the INNOCENT character in Geraldine Chaplin's mousy ingenue, conveniently kidnapped and along for the ride — from England to Turkey — making Baker so pitifully, perfunctory vulnerable, anyone expecting a trained daring-do adventurer will eventually tire of the poor guy getting captured, tortured, and recaptured: What Wouldn't Bond Do.    

Sue Lloyd in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS with Geraldine Chaplin
 Peter Collinson's INNOCENT BYSTANDERS with Geraldine Chaplin
Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS

Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS

Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS with Dana Andrews
Dana Andrews in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Sue Lloyd in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker and Geraldine Chaplin in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker and Geraldine Chaplin in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Donald Pleasence and Dana Andrews shake on INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Donald Pleasence and Dana Andrews in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Dana Andrews in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Pauline Chamberlain and Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Dana Andrews phones in for INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker and Warren Mitchell in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker and Warren Mitchell in HELL IS A CITY over a decade earlier
Stanley Baker and Warren Mitchell in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker takes aim in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker takes aim in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS with Geraldine Chaplin
Donald Pleasence and Dana Andrews shake on INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Wing and a prayer for Dana Andrews in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Sue Lloyd in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Poster for INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Donald Pleasence and Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Donald Pleasence in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Donald Pleasence and Stanley Baker in HELL IS A CITY from 1959
Donald Pleasence and Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker's last theatrical leading rol for INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS with Geraldine Chaplin
Stanley Baker in INNOCENT BYSTANDERS

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