Alexander Korda - Producer, Director, Exile, Spy

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SUNDAY FEATURE20190519

Matthew Sweet unearths the great film-maker Alexander Korda's wartime role as a British agent.

He retraces Korda's identity-shifting journey from rural Hungarian poverty to the heart of the anti-Nazi English aristocracy, where this legendary operator befriended leading intelligence officers, and Winston Churchill.

Matthew explores Korda's innovative, high-stakes role as a British propagandist in America, and his part in the desperate effort to coax the Americans into the war as Britain struggled to keep going against the Nazis through 1940 and 1941.

And we find out how Korda was about to be hauled up before a Senate committee - had it not been for the intervention of the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.

But Matthew also uncovers the more shadowy side of Korda's work for the British, identifying the spies in Latin America he was helping to fund, tracking the FBI's efforts to expose what he was up to - and revealing the FBI informer in Korda's office.

And he speaks to Korda's nephew, the writer Michael Korda about his memories of this extraordinary man and his relationship to the country he made his home, and for which he took such risks.

Speakers include: Roderick Bailey, Sarah Churchwell, Charles Drazin, John Fleet, Henry Hemming and Michael Korda.

Producer: Phil Tinline

Matthew Sweet unearths movie mogul Alexander Korda's wartime role as a British agent.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

Sunday Feature20190519

Matthew Sweet unearths the great film-maker Alexander Korda's wartime role as a British agent.

He retraces Korda's identity-shifting journey from rural Hungarian poverty to the heart of the anti-Nazi English aristocracy, where this legendary operator befriended leading intelligence officers, and Winston Churchill.

Matthew explores Korda's innovative, high-stakes role as a British propagandist in America, and his part in the desperate effort to coax the Americans into the war as Britain struggled to keep going against the Nazis through 1940 and 1941.

But Matthew also uncovers the more shadowy side of Korda's work for the British, identifying the spies in Latin America he was helping to fund, and tracking the FBI's efforts to expose what he was up to.

And he speaks to Korda's nephew, the writer Michael Korda, about his memories of this extraordinary man and his relationship to the country he made his home, and for which he took such risks.

Speakers include: Angela Allen, Roderick Bailey, Sarah Churchwell, Charles Drazin, John Fleet, Henry Hemming and Michael Korda.

Producer: Phil Tinline

Matthew Sweet unearths movie mogul Alexander Korda's wartime role as a British agent.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.