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My Son John was released in 1952, reflecting the intense emotional landscape of America during the Cold War era. Directed by Leo McCarey, the film portrays an average and wholesome American family. Dan Jefferson (Dean Jagger) and his wife Lucille (Helen Hayes) are proud of their two youngest sons, both of whom excelled on the football field and have now joined the army. The Jeffersons have a more troubled relationship with their oldest son John, who is cynical, arrogant and seemingly cares only about intellectual pursuits. During a visit home, John mocks his parents' American values, including his mother's Christianity and his father's patriotism. With a seed of doubt planted in her mind, Lucille goes to D.C. and engages in some detective work, only to discover that her worst fears have come true. John is a Communist agent. The film is an emotional portrayal of past American fears that Communism could manifest anywhere, even in one's own home.