Foreign Exchange

Foreign Exchange (1969, British) Credits: Robert Horton, Sebastian Cabot, Jill St. John, Eric Pohlmann, Dudley Foster, Clive Graham, Directed by: Roy (Ward) Baker.

Sequel to "The Spy Killer"

This synopsis written by: Toby Wolfe. Photo captures: Toby Wolfe.

John Smith (Robert Horton) is an American working as a not-too-successful private detective in London.  Five years previously he worked as a super-spy for both the British and the US intelligent services.  But he didnít really trust his  British superior, the mysterious and devious Max, (played by Sebastian Cabot) who is constantly trying to get him back to work for him.

Smith has a beautiful girlfriend Mary Harper (Jill St. John) who is a model.  The film opens with her coming to his apartment to wake him up to drive her to a riding lesson.  But their plans are thwarted when two men arrive and insist that he accompanies them to see Max.  They make it clear that he has no choice.


Max knows Smith needs money and offers him £10,000 to take part in a scheme to exchange a former Russian spy (Antonov) who was a double agent for both the KGB and the Brits.  Smith is to go to Russia and get himself arrested for trying to pass material to a Russian Army officer.  The plan is that he will then be exchanged for the former KGB spy who will then feed misinformation to the Russians.  He is promised that this will all take place quickly, but he refuses the job.

 Later on, he and Mary are in her apartment when two men from the Immigration Service turn up and tell Smith that his girlfriend will be deported to the US immediately as there is something wrong with her visa.  Smith realizes this is a ploy by Max to get him to agree and he ends up calling Max and saying he will take the job.

Smith is sent off to a house in the country to train for the mission.  While he is there he meets an East German spy named Leo Tamir whom he thought he had killed but who is now working for the US. Leo tells him about a KGB Colonel named Barenskov who is very dangerous. 

Smith goes to Russia disguised as a tractor salesman and when he passes a cigarette lighter with some secret plans hidden in it he is immediately taken into custody, beaten and tortured and then brought before Colonel Barenskov;  Going along with the plan he refuses to give any information. He is told that the man with whom he is to be exchanged has died.  Smith is sentenced to Siberia, but before he is sent off he tells the Colonel about Maxís plan after he realizes that he has been double-crossed.  He then learns that the Russian officer really wants Leo Tamir for personal reasons

Smith makes a deal with the Colonel.  He will turn over the Tamir in exchange for his freedom.  The Colonel has brought Mary Harper to Russia as part of a fashion show and he will keep her for three weeks until Tamir is turned over.  If Smith is not successful he will kill Miss Harper.

Smith returns to the UK and tells Max he is now going to sell something to the Americans.  He is contacted by the Americans who agree to get him in touch with Tamir.  Smith tells Leo he wants $100,000 or he will tell the Americans that Leo  is actually working for the Russians. Tamir is to get the money from the Americans in exchange for Russian military secrets Smith claims to have, but it is not true. They will split the money between them.   Meanwhile, Smith learns that Antonov was dead long before he was supposed to be exchanged.  It was all a double-cross by Max who actually wants Leo to be sent to Russia  because he has been feeding him disinformation that he hopes Leo will give to the Russians when he is sent back there.  

 Smith meets Tamir at an abandoned airfield.  Leo gives him half the money and it becomes apparent that Max has promised him that he will kill Smith so that the  Americans will not find out that Max has double-crossed them by using Leo as an unwitting double agent. 

 Smith escapes by posing as Leo when he is picked up by a helicopter arranged by the KGB Colonel who thought he was getting the German.  Leo is killed by Maxís men who think he is Smith.  When Smith meets the Colonel in Russia he tells the Colonel he would never work for him. He tells him, ďThe next time you think of John Smith, donítĒ. 

  Smith goes back to London and picks up where he left off with Mary Harper. 


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