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My Son John (1952)

Not Rated | | Drama | 8 April 1952 (USA)
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.

Director:

Leo McCarey

Writers:

Myles Connolly, John Lee Mahin (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Helen Hayes ... Lucille Jefferson
Van Heflin ... Stedman
Dean Jagger ... Dan Jefferson
Robert Walker ... John Jefferson
Minor Watson ... Dr. Carver
Frank McHugh ... Father O'Dowd
Richard Jaeckel ... Chuck Jefferson
James Young ... Ben Jefferson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lee Aaker ... 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)
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi hijo John See more »

Filming Locations:

Manassas, Virginia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rainbow Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Parts of the film were rewritten after actor Robert Walker (John Jefferson) died during production. Several scenes use a double shot from behind, and others recycle footage of Walker from Strangers on a Train (1951). The final scene, where a recording of John delivers an anti-communist speech, is lit with a halo around the tape-recorder. See more »

Quotes

Dan Jefferson: John!
John Jefferson: Oh, Father, let's not go into it any more.
Dan Jefferson: Now I've, I've got another subject for you.
Dan Jefferson: As your father, you and I are going to have a talk, a good talk, away from your Mother. And it's about you, son.
John Jefferson: Well, if you'd enjoy it, Father...
Dan Jefferson: Well, I don't know whether you will. But as I told you, we're alert. And we ARE alert.
John Jefferson: You just said that.
Dan Jefferson: Yes, and you sound to me like, like one of those guys that we should be alert about.
John Jefferson: One of those guys?
Dan Jefferson: I just said that you sounded like one, I didn't...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood and the Stars: The Angry Screen (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

In its way, a historical document.
17 September 2004 | by robertshort_3See all my reviews

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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