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An onscreen prologue, from Samuel II, 18:33 reads: "And the king was moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept...Oh, my son Absalom...Would God I had died for thee, oh Absalom, my son, my son!" The quotation also provided the inspiration for the novel Absalom, Absalom written by William Faulkner in 1936. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter on March 25, 1939, producer Edward Small sent critics copies of the script for My Son, My Son! before production began so that they could read it, then offer opinions on the storyline and casting that might benefit the film. A news item in Hollywood Reporter on December 6, 1939, about ten days into production, noted that Scotty Beckett was brought in to replace Darryl Hickman in the role of "Oliver, as a child," because Hickman's illness prevented him from continuing. Actress Laraine Day was borrowed from M-G-M for her role in the picture. The film received an Academy Award nomination in the Art Direction (Black-and-White) category. Brian Aherne, Madeleine Carroll and Louis Hayward recreated their roles in the film for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on March 11, 1940.