11 user 2 critic

My Son, My Son! (1940)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 22 March 1940 (USA)
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.


Charles Vidor


Howard Spring (novel), Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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


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


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 March 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Irrwege des Oliver Essex See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 11, 1940 with Madeleine Carroll, Brian Aherne and Louis Hayward reprising their film roles. See more »


Version of My Son, My Son (1979) See more »


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

tedious and unengaging
23 June 2007 | by mukava991See all my reviews

Not having read the novel upon which this tedious film was based, I can only guess that it must have been epic and dense with lots of character detail, one of those historical romances the reader can get lost in. Translated to celluloid it becomes a long series of episodic sketches transporting us from the Victorian age to World War One. Brian Aherne comes across as a bland variation of Erroll Flynn; he seems to stand around looking vaguely disappointed much of the time. Amazingly, his character is a highly successful novelist-turned-playwright but we get no sense of what relationship his art has to who he is as a man. Ostensibly he is from the slums but never does he look, act or speak like someone from that social stratum. Madeleine Carroll as always is lovely to behold but is given very little to do. Louis Hayward has the meatiest role as the rotter son but even his character lacks depth. His delivery reminds one of Noel Coward, who, by the way, mentored him early in his career. The whole enterprise has a highly artificial look and feel, particularly in the battle sequences featuring Hayward. All this adds up to a most unengaging 2 hours.

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