My Son, My Son (1940): Oscar Nominated Father-Son Melodrama, Starring Brian Aherne and Madeline Carroll

Adapted from the popular novel by Howard Spring, My Son My Son stars Brian Aherne as a self-made successful man, who’s determined to give his son the lavish upbringing he himself was denied.

As expected in such sentimental melodramas,, the son (Louis Hayward) grows up spoiled rotten, causing grief and pain to everyone who loves him.

At one point, the boy even tries to steal his father’s lady friend (the charming British actress Madeline Carroll). When World War I breaks out, the son displays his hidden noble streak by dying a hero’s death. Its uplifting ending at odds with the darker denouement of the original novel, My Son My Son is high-class soap opera.

“My Son, My Son” is a literal melodrama, bit it’s well directed by Charles Vidor and nicely shot by cinematographer Harry Stradling.

Released in 1940, the film was made with an eye toward WWII, though the U.S. would not join the war effort for another year.

Oscar Context:

The film was nominated for the black and white Interior Decoration, but the winners were Cedric Gibbons and Paul for “Pride and Prejudice.”

Running time: 115 Minutes.