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

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gage Clarke ... Tasker
Jesse White ... Emory
Joan Croydon Joan Croydon ... Miss Fern (as Joan Croyden)
William Hopper ... Col. Kenneth Penmark
Paul Fix ... Richard Bravo
Henry Jones ... Leroy
Evelyn Varden ... Monica
Eileen Heckart ... Mrs. Hortense Daigle
Patty McCormack ... Rhoda Penmark
Nancy Kelly ... Christine Penmark
Frank Cady ... 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

Taglines:

What would you do if you were cursed with "The Bad Seed"? See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alfred Hitchcock turned down the chance to direct. See more »

Goofs

While Christine is reading a bedtime story to sleepy Rhoda, Rhoda's pigtails change positions multiple times between shots. See more »

Quotes

Leroy: You ask me and I say you don't even feel sorry for what happened to that little boy.
Rhoda: Why should I feel sorry? It was Claude Daigle who got drowned, not me!
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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

Remade as The Bad Seed (2018) 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
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User Reviews

Bad Seed...but Good Movie
12 July 2003 | by FlyingTamponSee all my reviews

I consider this to be more of a psychological drama than a horror movie. Eight-year-old Rhoda has no remorse or feeling for the crimes she has committed, saying that it was "their faults". McCormack is a wonderful actress who could past her age in any movie. Overall, this is my favorite movie of all time and I recommend it to anyone who likes suspense with psychology.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bad Seed See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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