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The Bad Seed (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 12 September 1956 (USA)
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A housewife suspects that her seemingly perfect eight year-old daughter is a heartless killer.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Evelyn Varden ...
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Gage Clarke ...
Joan Croydon ...
Claudia Fern (as Joan Croyden)
...
Henry Daigle
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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 | death | medal | lying | See All (87) »

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:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Brothers production notes for the film reported that three endings were shot. According to a November 1955 article in the Los Angeles Times, the end of the film was kept secret and the last five pages of the script were not distributed until ready to shoot. See more »

Goofs

When Rhoada and Leroy are talking outside, she is working on a puzzle. When Rhoada is facing Leroy the pieces to the puzzle are on the table, when Leroy is facing Rhoda, the pieces are not there. When it goes back to Rhoada, the pieces are again outside the puzzle. See more »

Quotes

Rhoda: Claude was dead. He wouldn't know if he had the medal pinned on him or not.
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

 
Eileen Heckart Is Heartbreaking ....
31 October 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

as the mother of the drowned boy.... a performance that must rank with the best of the 1950s. Heckart repeated her stage role in the 1956 film with Nancy Kelly and Patty McCormack as the mother and daughter. Henry Jones (also in the stage production and excellent), Evelyn Varden, Gage Clarke, Paul Fix, Joan Croyden and Jesse White are good in support. Jones and Varden are especially good. William Hopper is and always was BLAH. But Eileen Heckart is superb as the drunken, crushed woman who knows there is something more to her son's death than she is being told. Her two scenes are riveting as she lurches across the room, begging for information, yet totally in control of the situation. Kelly, McCormack, Jones, and Varden are also good (if stagy) in their roles. Kelly seems hopelessly hammy but grows on you even though she seems to be imitating Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard most of the time. Great film, literate, interesting, riveting..... a must!


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was the spanking part of the curtain call in the Broadway production? mcbrbb
Eileen Heckart's performance middsgo-956-41818
Leroy was kinda stupid! barbbeck
Nancy Kelly - 35 years old - good God! cadrega_82
Who do you think should play 'Rhoda' if they ever made a Remake? gitano_apo
What was the Original ending? potato2
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