The Bad Seed (1956) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • Colonel Kenneth and Mrs. Christine Penmark are a loving couple, which makes it difficult in their lives when the colonel is transferred to Washington D.C. While the colonel is gone, Christine is left to take care of their eight year old daughter, Rhoda, on her own. Rhoda is a little princess of a girl, always wearing pretty dresses and with her hair always in perfect pigtails. Rhoda strives for perfection and feels she deserves whatever nice things comes her way, since she is continually asking for gifts beyond what people are already willing to give. Although Christine loves her daughter as does the colonel, she feels that Rhoda perhaps is a little too mature for her age, not displaying those typical tendencies of most eight year olds. The one person who doesn't seem to like Rhoda is Leroy, the seemingly simple handyman of the apartment building in which the Penmarks live. Tragedy strikes when one of Rhoda's classmates, Claude Daigle, drowns in a lake while at a school picnic. Claude was recently discussed in the Penmark home as the boy who won the class penmanship medal, the medal which Rhoda felt she herself deserved. Rhoda shows no emotion about the tragedy. As the authorities and the parents discuss what happened, Christine increasingly believes that Rhoda knows more about Claude's death than she is willing to divulge. Although prone to the same dream for the better part of her life, Christine begins to wonder if that dream, which outlines an alternate childhood for herself, is really a dream or a repressed memory. That dream leads Christine to find out more about what Rhoda's true involvement in Claude's death is as well as the cause of other tragic deaths that have occurred around them.

    - Written by Huggo
  • A housewife suspects that her seemingly perfect eight year-old daughter is a heartless killer.

    - Written by zachtrokanski


Lovely, well-to-do Christine Bravo Penmark has everything: a loving, well-paid husband with a respectable career (as an Air Force colonel...

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