MI5 planned to intern top American director

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Britain’s security services planned to intern the father of the actress Zoë Wanamaker in the event of a national emergency because of his communist links.

MI5 and Special Branch, alerted by the US Embassy in London, kept a close eye on Sam Wanamaker, a successful actor and director, after he fled a crackdown on communism in the United States with his young family in 1951.

The Wanamaker brief also shows that Special Branch kept a file on Michael Redgrave, the actor father of Vanessa Redgrave, because of his interest in “left-wing cultural activities”.

The secret memos and other correspondence, released by the National Archives, demonstrate the heightened sense of paranoia during the initial years of the Cold War...

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