IMDb > The Bad Seed (1956)
The Bad Seed
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The Bad Seed (1956) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 8 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Bad Seed -- Young Patty McCormack received an Oscar nomination for her performance as a murderous child in this chilling drama classic.
The Bad Seed -- Trailer for this incredible story of an evil little girl

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   8,939 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
John Lee Mahin (screenplay)
Maxwell Anderson (play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Bad Seed on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 September 1956 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A WOMAN'S SHAME...Out in the Open! See more »
Plot:
A housewife suspects that her seemingly perfect 8-year-old daughter is a heartless killer. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(103 articles)
Review: Tales Of Halloween
 (From DailyDead. 26 August 2015, 12:12 PM, PDT)

The Boy | Review
 (From ioncinema. 20 August 2015, 8:30 AM, PDT)

Progressive social activist, 'The Sound of Music' Broadway Star, and Oscar-Nominated Actor Bikel Dead at 91
 (From Alt Film Guide. 22 July 2015, 7:36 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Vividly memorable See more (166 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Nancy Kelly ... Christine Penmark

Patty McCormack ... Rhoda Penmark

Henry Jones ... Leroy Jessup

Eileen Heckart ... Hortense Daigle
Evelyn Varden ... Monica Breedlove

William Hopper ... Col. Kenneth Penmark

Paul Fix ... Richard Bravo
Jesse White ... Emory Wages
Gage Clarke ... Reginald 'Reggie' Tasker
Joan Croydon ... Claudia Fern (as Joan Croyden)

Frank Cady ... Henry Daigle
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Frances Bavier ... Woman in dinner party scene (uncredited)
Violet Cane ... Teacher (uncredited)
Vivian Clermont ... Mary Beth Musgrove (uncredited)

Shelley Fabares ... Margie (uncredited)

Kathy Garver ... Rhoda's Classmate (uncredited)
Don C. Harvey ... Guard in Hospital Corridor (uncredited)
Edna Holland ... Saleslady (uncredited)
Dayton Lummis ... The Doctor (uncredited)
Natalie Masters ... Nurse (uncredited)
Patricia Morrow ... Ginny (uncredited)
Adele Taylor ... Teacher (uncredited)
John Truax ... The Sergeant (uncredited)

Directed by
Mervyn LeRoy 
 
Writing credits
John Lee Mahin (screenplay)

Maxwell Anderson (play)

William March (novel)

Produced by
Mervyn LeRoy .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alex North 
 
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson  (as Hal Rosson)
 
Film Editing by
Warren Low 
 
Casting by
Hoyt Bowers (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
John Beckman 
 
Set Decoration by
Ralph S. Hurst  (as Ralph Hurst)
 
Costume Design by
Moss Mabry 
 
Makeup Department
Ruby Felker .... hairdresser (uncredited)
George Lane .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mel Dellar .... assistant director
Rusty Meek .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Gene Delaney .... assistant props (uncredited)
Donald P. Desmond .... set construction (uncredited)
John Gilbert Kissel .... master props (uncredited)
Sol Litt .... laborer (uncredited)
David Marshall .... draper (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Stanley Jones .... sound
Al Cavigga .... sound editor (uncredited)
Michael Colgan .... sound editor (uncredited)
Eugene Marks .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Warren E. Boes .... best boy (uncredited)
Howard Claire .... second grip (uncredited)
Pat Clark .... still photographer (uncredited)
Frank Evans .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Charles Harris .... head grip (uncredited)
Frank V. Phillips .... camera operator (uncredited)
Lee Wilson .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Florence Albert .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Leon Roberts .... costumer: men (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Russell McCord .... assistant cutter (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Maurice De Packh .... orchestrator (as Maurice de Packh)
 
Other crew
Barbara Dunton .... welfare teacher (uncredited)
Joe Halperin .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Doris Peoples .... secretary: Mervyn LeRoy (uncredited)
Meta Rebner .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
129 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Filming Locations:

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:
Continuity: When Christine is reading a book to Rhoda, you can clearly see the cover and the title "Inside the Castle Wall". Later, when the Rhoda has fallen asleep and Christine closes up the book, you can see a gold (or silver) disk on the cover which wasn't there before.See more »
Quotes:
Rhoda:Claude was dead. He wouldn't know if he had the medal pinned on him or not.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Grease (1978)See more »
Soundtrack:
Au clair de la luneSee more »

FAQ

Is there anything after the credits?
How closely does the movie follow the novel?
What is 'The Bad Seed' about?
See more »
25 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Vividly memorable, 27 August 2001
Author: the_old_roman from Leonia, NJ

My daughter, Rachel, always found this the most frightening movie she ever saw, and from a psychological perspective, it's easy to see why. Patty McCormack is magnificent as charming but evil first-grader Rhoda Penmark. Nancy Kelly is terrific in some scenes, but almost comically overwrought in others, as Rhoda's gradually terrified mother. Paul Fix deserves special mention in a strong performance as Kelly's father. And, Eileen Heckart is also a standout as the grief-stricken mother of a boy that we suspect Rhoda of killing. But, my personal favorite character is LeRoy, incredibly portrayed by Henry Jones. This is a characters I have never forgotten from the moment I first saw this one in the late 50's.

"That Rhoda is smart, almost as smart as me", he repeats for the camera several times in obsessive fashion. The ending which differed from the play has disturbed a lot of purists, but I think it has a lot of merit. Altogether, I give it 8 out of 10, very memorable and extremely well done.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (166 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Bad Seed (1956)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Who do you think should play 'Rhoda' if they ever made a Remake? gitano_apo
How do we know that the mother survived? waldenpond88
Nancy Kelly - 35 years old - good God! cadrega_82
Monica was horrible eljaykay1219-310-146082
Eileen Heckart's performance middsgo-956-41818
Leroy was kinda stupid! barbbeck
See more »

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