Securing an appointment with Alexander Korda was one of the toughest jobs in the movies. “Come see me Thursday,” he’d say, through a haze of cigar smoke, dooming some screenwriter or starlet to hours of fruitless waiting. On March 26 1946, however, two men arrived at his Hollywood office and were buzzed straight in. Marcus Bright and Harold Trapp did not want an audition, or to pitch a script idea. They were special agents from the FBI. They had come to discover if Korda – producer of Things to Come (1936) and The Thief of Baghdad (1940), divorced husband of screen goddess Merle Oberon, movie mogul with offices in London, New York and Los Angeles – was a spy.

That day in 1946, Bright and Trapp…

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