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

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The Bad Seed -- Trailer for this incredible story of an evil little girl

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   8,120 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 2 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Another '50s movie way ahead of its time!!! See more (156 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:
The piano piece that Rhoda plays and sings and is heard as a theme throughout the film is the traditional French children's song "Au Clair de la Lune".See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
Hortense Daigle:I always considered Christine a general name. Hortense sounds fat. That's me, Hortense. Hortense. My girl Hortense, they used to sing to me, hasn't got much sense, let's write her name on the dirty fence... children can be nasty sometimes.See more »
Soundtrack:
Au clair de la luneSee more »

FAQ

Any recommendations for other movies like "The Bad Seed"?
How closely does the movie follow the novel?
Is there anything after the credits?
See more »
42 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
Another '50s movie way ahead of its time!!!, 16 August 2003
Author: PeachHamBeach from Morro Bay, Hammett Valley, Twin Rocks

As the closing statement says, "This motion picture presents a premise that is daringly different."

It may seem to be a self-indulgent thing to say, but in 1956, a film about an angelic looking child named Rhoda Penmark (the remarkable Patty McCormack, whose performance is absolutely brilliant, vicious, and mercurial...she transforms with ease from a sweetie-pie to a bristling monster and back to a sweetie-pie), complete with cutesy dresses, disarming curtsies, and blonde braids, who in fact is a homicidal, amoral murderer, was indeed "daringly different". After the generation of Shirley Temple's angelic dresses and bouncy curles and darling dimples, the idea of a perfectly beautiful little girl being a chillingly cold killer is unnerving to say the least. I love this movie, the controversy surrounding its theme: is a murderous personality inherited???

The book HIDEAWAY by Dean Koontz may have been inspired by this classic B&W film. Koontz describes the malefactor in that book in much the same way little Rhoda is contemplated in this film. Something missing in their genetic codes. "The fundementals of nucleotides, DNA proteins..."

As in HIDEAWAY, where the reader was shocked to discover that Vassago's grandpa was a maniac who slaughtered his family, we discover in THE BAD SEED that there was a grandmother back in Christine's (Nancy Kelly) family who methodically murdered her own brood and then calmly left the country, never to be heard from again.

Just the sight of little Rhoda in that infamous scene with the ex-con/yardman LeRoy is enough to have your hair standing on end: "YOU GIVE ME MY SHOES!!! THEY'RE MINE!!! GIVE THEM TO ME NOW, LEROY!!! RIGHT HERE TO ME!!!" Ooh!!! {{{Shiver}}}!!! That is one nasty little seed, that is!!! And not one any sensible person would dare mess with. Poor LeRoy learns this the hard way.

Not a film for the easily upset or faintish. It's not a horror movie, but laden with truly horrific scenes. The "daringly different" premise is brilliant and far ahead of its time of the sweet, Mrs. Cleaver 1950s.

A+

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Bad Seed (1956)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Leroy was kinda stupid! barbbeck
Eileen Heckart's performance middsgo-956-41818
Does Anyone Empathize with Rhoda? andersensister
The movie versus the book johanlouwet78
Asking for a spoiler!! susanemccool
Asking for ultimate spoiler susanemccool
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