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My Son, My Son! (1940)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  22 March 1940 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 126 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

A self-made success is determined to give his son the lavish upbringing he himself was denied. Not surprisingly, the son grows up to be spoiled rotten, causing grief and pain to everyone who loves him.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee)
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Title: My Son, My Son! (1940)

My Son, My Son! (1940) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Livia Vaynol
...
William Essex
...
Oliver Essex
...
Maeve O'Riorden
...
Josephine Hutchinson ...
Nellie (Moscrop) Essex
Sophie Stewart ...
Sheila O'Riorden
Bruce Lester ...
Scotty Beckett ...
Oliver as a Child
Brenda Henderson ...
Maeve as a Child
Teddy Moorwood ...
Rory as a Child
May Beatty ...
Annie
Stanley Logan ...
The Colonel
Lionel Belmore ...
Mr. Moscrop
Mary Gordon ...
Mrs. Mulvaney
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Storyline

A self-made success is determined to give his son the lavish upbringing he himself was denied. Not surprisingly, the son grows up to be spoiled rotten, causing grief and pain to everyone who loves him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Irrwege des Oliver Essex  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title of the movie is taken from Samuel II, 18:33 of the bible, as written in the movie's prologue: "And the king was moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept...Oh, my son Absalom...Would God I had died for thee, oh Absalom, my son, my son!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Let's Go to the Movies (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary
(1912) (uncredited)
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams
Played by the band at the train station
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A famous writer's love for his no-good son
2 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Brian Aherne stars in "My Son, My Son," the son being Louis Hayward in this 1940 film. Madeline Carroll, Laraine Day, Henry Hull, and Josephine Hutchinson also star in this saga that spans 20+ years. William Essex is an ambitious young man, determined to get out of the slums. He winds up helping a sick man and his daughter (Hutchinson) by delivering bread to their customers. After the man's death, he marries the daughter, a stern religious woman. Together they have a son, Oliver. William has a blind spot when it comes to the boy and is overly indulgent, even when it becomes evident that the kid is a manipulative cheat and liar. William is eventually widowed and reconnects with an artist, Livia (Carroll), whom he met while doing research for a novel in the mines. Unfortunately Oliver is in love with her as well and considers this a big competition, although Livia is not in love with him. His behavior nearly drives Livia away.

Oliver then has his way with a childhood friend, now an actress currently starring in William's play - and the daughter of William's best friend. By the time Oliver goes to serve in World War I, he has cut a wide path of destruction.

"My Son, My Son" makes for an okay movie but has a very disappointing performance by Brian Aherne. Aherne, who by this time had been overshadowed by Errol Flynn, was capable of much better as he showed in "Merrily We Live" and other films. He was an accomplished stage actor as well. However, he did not seem very committed to this material. In a way, I don't blame him. The character comes across like an idiot letting this brat get away with what he did.

The rest of the performances are very good, particularly from Hayward, who did this smooth con man type of character very well. Carroll is luminous as a woman desperately in love with William but frightened of what Oliver might do next. Laraine Day is lovely as Maeve, who harbors a secret love for William and whose life takes on tragic proportions.

"My Son, My Son" is nowhere near as horrible as one of the reviews indicates (in my opinion) but it isn't great. It seems to have a tacked-on Hollywood ending as well.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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