My Son, My Son is No Sunny Boy But Shines Anyway ***1/2
We have often seen in films the self-sacrificing mother and the negative effects it has had on children. This 1940 film deals with a father, who attains wealth as a writer, and has a son that he spoils rotten so that the latter can have everything in life that he didn't. Naturally, tragedy results from all this.
Our father is played wonderfully and Louis Hayward, as the son, is excellent as well as the son who ruins the life of so many.
Ironically, it is the mother here, a religious woman, who sees from the beginning that there is a need to discipline the boy. The father can't do this and the two argue only to show that their marriage has been a failure.
When dad meets Madeleine Carroll, his wife is conveniently killed by being run-over. Ironically, this occurs on her way home from church. The son has also met Carroll and when he learns that his father loves her, he plots to destroy their liaison.
The father's friend also marries and has two wonderful children. The daughter grows up to become a famous actress and is indebted to the father for writing her plays. The actress is Lorraine Day,and she is miscast in this film. When he can not have Ms. Carroll, Hayward turns to her and when she finds herself in trouble, the father offers to marry her as the son rejects her. Day takes her life tragically.
World War 1 in England intervenes and the son, seeing his father's devotion, becomes a hero but it is too late.
An absorbing film dealing with the loving relationship between father and son. It should not be missed.
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