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 ... See full summary »
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
Robert Walker died during the filming of this epic, causing a drastic re-write to the ending and clips from "Stangers on a Train" to be incorporated into it. The scene where he's lying dying in the "car crash" is one such scene. See more »
I watched it on TCM last evening; first time I've seen it in thirty years. Enjoyed it even more this time. Though Ms. Hayes turns on the tears a lot, there are also some finely nuanced scenes from her.
"My Son John" is neither mawkish or camp, my opinion. In context of the times, lack of any espionage storyline is easy to understand. Simply being a Commie was John's ultimate betrayal of his family; anything he did as Soviet agent was secondary to that.
A fun thing to watch for in this movie is the wealth of veiled references to Mrs. Jefferson's menopause all through the film. Heck, it even serves as sort of plot device in a climactic scene near the end.
Those seeking anti-Communist camp would be better served with John Wayne's "Big Jim McLain" released the same year.
"My Son John" is only partly a Cold War cautionary tale. It's mostly a family drama of inter-generational estrangement, with some education based class friction thrown in. Oh yeah, and LOTS and LOTS of menopause. I really enjoyed watching it.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?