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My Son John (1952)

 |  Drama  |  8 April 1952 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 408 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 14 critic

The Jeffersons are the ideal picture-perfect all-American family in a small town, but their eldest son John returns home after a long absence spouting views that cause them to worry he may be a Communist.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Lucille Jefferson
Dan Jefferson
John Jefferson
Minor Watson ...
Dr. Carver
Father O'Dowd
Chuck Jefferson
James Young ...
Ben Jefferson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Boy (scenes deleted)
David Bond ...
College Professor (scenes deleted)
Gail Bonney ...
Jail Matron (scenes deleted)
Russ Conway ...
FBI Agent (scenes deleted)
Bill McLean ...
Parcel Post Man (scenes deleted)
Frances Morris ...
Secretary (scenes deleted)
Erskine Sanford ...
Professor (scenes deleted)


John Jefferson comes home from a trip overseas a strangely changed man. His already nervous wreck of a mother is distraught by the way he seems to be feigning feelings for her and his father that he no longer has. Plus, his odd refusal to accompany the family to church on Sunday not only disturbs her but their priest as well. He also seems to be making fun of and smirking at his father's jubilant expressions of patriotism. His poor mother cannot imagine what could have caused such a change in her favorite son, who used to be loving and church-going and now seems remote from both. He also gets strange calls and goes off to strange "meetings" with no explanation. He is also being watched by an FBI agent who comes to the home and greatly disturbs John's mother with his odd questions about him. Eventually the horrible truth comes out: John is a Communist spy! No wonder he has no real feelings for his family and shuns the church he once loved!During a high-speed chase, John is killed, but ... Written by Michael Wisper

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Release Date:

8 April 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi hijo John  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 27, 1952 with Dean Jagger reprising his film role. See more »


Featured in Hearts and Minds (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

In its way, a historical document.

In its way, this film is a historical document (albeit a misguided one), and certainly a product of its time. Made at the height of the infamous red scare, "My Son John" is so fervent in its anti-Communist message that it becomes somewhat fascinating as a piece of social history. Given the overwrought script, the film is not without a talented cast - the great theatrical actress Helen Hayes is actually quite good as the mother, Dean Jagger is OK as the father (although it's not one of his best performances) and Robert Walker is fine as the son who is the object of his parent's suspicions. (Walker actually died before filming was finished, so some scenes were shot with a double or prepared with footage from Walker's earlier film "Strangers On A Train", or re-written to exclude Walker's character or requiring his presence.)

In response to another reviewer, who wondered who had actually seen this film - I saw it a couple of times on Canadian television, the last time being in December, 1990. To my knowledge, it hasn't been shown on Canadian TV (at least in my viewing area) since that time.

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