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   7,721 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 »
User Reviews:
Assured portrayals of real characters in an amazingly chilling film! See more (153 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)
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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


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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:
Henry Jones (LeRoy) also plays the radio announcer who reports the Fern School tragedy.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:
Hortense Daigle:I'm drunk. It's a pleasure to stay drunk when your little boy's been killed.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Pit (1981)See more »
Soundtrack:
Au clair de la luneSee more »

FAQ

Is "The Bad Seed" based on a book?
Is there anything after the credits?
Any recommendations for other movies like "The Bad Seed"?
See more »
35 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
Assured portrayals of real characters in an amazingly chilling film!, 5 May 2006
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

What we have here is a fantastic classic horror film, which benefits from great performances from all concerned and a plot not typical of serial killer films. The film doesn't adhere to convention and builds its story around an idea that was frightening for the time - and still is to this day. The murderer in this film is as evil as any other; the only difference being that here the killings are committed by a decidedly amoral child. The film presents a good portrait of its star, as it presents its ideas very much from a child's point of view. The young girl doesn't see what she's doing as wrong as she is always given a reason to pass on the blame for wrongdoings, and this always comes across in a plausible way. The plot surrounding the atrocities is even more interesting than the central idea, as we follow the torment inflicted on the girl's mother. The situation that Christine Penmark finds herself in is the stuff of nightmares; just what can you do if you find that your eight year old child has committed murder? The Bad Seed makes excellent use of this dilemma, and the fact that it's incredibly easy to buy into the plot ensures that The Bad Seed prevails as an potently chilling film.

The film is based on a stage play by Maxwell Anderson, and this comes across often as the film takes place in just a few settings and the whole thing is very stagy. This is, however, to its benefit; as the locations make the whole piece more claustrophobic, and the fact that we don't see the murders themselves benefits the film immensely as it allows the audience to spend more time considering the implications; which are what the film is actually about. The main reason why this film works so well is down to a great performance by talented child actor Patricia McCormack. McCormack presents a portrayal that finds exactly the right pitch between the sweet and innocent youngster that she appears; and the dark persona that lies just beneath her exterior. Nancy Kelly similarly gives a defining performance as her tortured mother, and excellently puts across a torrent of emotion. The acting is typically melodramatic, but all the cast somehow manage to keep their acting down to earth. Every scene in the movie is perfectly pitched and nothing is wasted as we are continually taught more about the characters and their situations. The climax to the film is fabulously poetic, despite being implemented on the producer's orders and overall, I really don't see much wrong with this film. Highly recommended!

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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
Ways to Open Up the Play for Movie jeffy3
The movie versus the book johanlouwet78
Does Anyone Empathize with Rhoda? andersensister
Nancy Kelly - 35 years old - good God! cadrega_82
Did Nancy Kelly have asthma?? craftonbarnes
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