MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 260 this week

The Bad Seed (1956)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  12 September 1956 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 8,833 users  
Reviews: 165 user | 77 critic

A housewife suspects that her seemingly perfect 8-year-old daughter is a heartless killer.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (play), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 06 Jun 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 09 Dec 2012
 
list image
a list of 30 titles
created 01 May 2013
 
list image
a list of 41 titles
created 17 Dec 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 19 Apr 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "The Bad Seed" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Bad Seed (1956)

The Bad Seed (1956) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Bad Seed.

User Polls

Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bad Seed (2000)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Preston Tylk is an ordinary guy living in Seattle. When he discovers that his wife, Emily, whom he adores, is having an affair, he is devastated. Storming out of the house, he returns later only to find her brutally murdered.

Director: Jon Bokenkamp
Stars: Luke Wilson, Norman Reedus, Dennis Farina
Mommy (1995)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An unofficial "sequel" to "The Bad Seed", Patty McCormack's "Mommy" is psychotically obsessed with her 12-year-old daughter Jessica Ann -- so much so that when she finds out Jessica didn't ... See full summary »

Director: Max Allan Collins
Stars: Patty McCormack, Rachel Lemieux, Jason Miller
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Dr. Peter Carey is a pathologist at a Boston hospital. The daughter of the hospital's Chief of Staff dies after an illegal abortion goes wrong, and Carey's friend and colleague Dr. David ... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: James Coburn, Jennifer O'Neill, Pat Hingle
Mommy's Day (1997)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Director: Max Allan Collins
Stars: Patty McCormack, Rachel Lemieux, Paul Petersen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young tomboy named Frankie is forced to face her own immaturity as a result her older brother's wedding.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Ethel Waters, Julie Harris, Brandon De Wilde
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the English village of Midwich, the blond-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

Director: Wolf Rilla
Stars: George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Martin Stephens
The Good Son (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle, and befriends his cousin who's the same age. But his cousin begins showing increasing signs of violent behavior.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Elijah Wood, Wendy Crewson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Jo Jones, a young defense plant worker whose husband is in the military during World War II, shares a house with three other women in the same situation.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Robert Ryan, Ruth Hussey
The Bad Seed (1963)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Nevzat Pesen
Stars: Alev Oraloglu, Lale Oraloglu, Öztürk Serengil
Director: Buddy Chambers
Stars: Elizabeth Colunga
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Elizabeth and John say good-bye as John leaves to go to war. When the war ends, Elizabeth receives a telegram that John has been killed in action. She finds comfort in Larry and they marry.... See full summary »

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Orson Welles, George Brent
Kathy O' (1958)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A publicity man tries to hide a child film star's brattiness from a magazine writer, who happens to be his ex-wife.

Director: Jack Sher
Stars: Dan Duryea, Jan Sterling, Patty McCormack
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Evelyn Varden ...
...
...
Jesse White ...
Gage Clarke ...
Joan Croydon ...
Claudia Fern (as Joan Croyden)
...
Henry Daigle
Edit

Storyline

Christine Penmark seems to have it all: a lovely home, a loving husband and the most "perfect" daughter in the world. But since childhood, Christine has suffered from the most terrible recurring nightmare. And her "perfect" daughter's accomplishments include lying, theft and possibly much, much worse. Only Christine knows the truth about her daughter and only Christine's father knows the truth about her nightmare. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

colonel | dream | truth | medal | lying | See All (83) »

Taglines:

Talk all you want about the man and the woman -- but please don't tell about the girl! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La mala semilla  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Alfred Hitchcock turned down the chance to direct. See more »

Goofs

When Christine scolds Rhoda for asking for a garnet as well as a turquoise, the reflection of someone, probably Mervyn LeRoy, sitting in a chair with his legs crossed is visible in the coffee pot. Addition: Just to the left of the reflection that is assumed to be LeRoy you can see other crew members moving in the shadow of the door-frame reflected in the coffee pot. See more »

Quotes

Claudia Fern: Smooth the wrinkles from your brow my dear, your face is so much prettier when smiling.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the finale, a narrator tells the audience "One moment please. And now our wonderful cast." Then, the principal cast members are introduced one by one, like they would be at the end of a play. After that's done with, there's a brief scene in which Nancy Kelly spanks Patty McCormack. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Quills (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Au clair de la lune
(uncredited)
Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Lully
Played on the piano by Patty McCormack and whistled by Henry Jones
Played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An Unusual & Effective Thriller
27 July 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

With some familiar elements of classic thrillers plus some creative turns, this is an unusual and effective thriller. Patty McCormack is memorable as young Rhoda, and the rest of the cast succeed in making their characters react believably to some nearly unbelievable situations. The story moves slowly enough to build suspense carefully, while still holding your interest the whole time.

For this kind of story to work, it has to keep the tension and uncertainty without becoming obviously implausible or annoyingly overplayed. In "The Bad Seed", we see the tension and fear that build in the characters as the story develops, but events also unfold within an atmosphere that otherwise would be peaceful and normal, making for an interesting contrast that helps to maintain a good balance.

Unlike the many banal movies made in recent years about serial killers and the like, "The Bad Seed" also contains some substance. The characters, especially the mother (played by Nancy Kelly), not only have to make difficult decisions, but also must fearfully attempt to understand the reasons for everything. It's a good example of how well a thriller can work when carefully made without a lot of extraneous elements, and it's a demonstration that a movie can have a tense, dark story without being shallow or superficial at the same time.


15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Leroy was kinda stupid! barbbeck
Eileen Heckart's performance middsgo-956-41818
Nancy Kelly - 35 years old - good God! cadrega_82
How do we know that the mother survived? waldenpond88
Who do you think should play 'Rhoda' if they ever made a Remake? gitano_apo
What was the Original ending? potato2
Discuss The Bad Seed (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?