15 user 1 critic

The Bad Seed (1985)

Unrated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | TV Movie 7 February 1985
Fatal freak accidents force a widow to realize her precocious 9-year-old daughter was born to kill.


Paul Wendkos


Maxwell Anderson (based upon the play by), William March (based on the novel by) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Blair Brown ... Christine Penmark
Lynn Redgrave ... Monica Breedlove
David Carradine ... Leroy Jessup
Carrie Wells Carrie Wells ... Rachel Penmark
Richard Kiley ... Richard Bravo
David Ogden Stiers ... Emory Breedlove
Chad Allen ... Mark Daigler
Weldon Bleiler Weldon Bleiler ... Fred Daigler
Christa Denton Christa Denton ... Rhoda Penmark
Sarah Fairfax
Anne Haney ... Alice Fern
Carol Locatell ... Rita Daigler
Eve Smith Eve Smith ... Mrs. Post
Katharine Tobin Katharine Tobin ... Student


Rachel is a 9-year-old girl who is perfection itself - unless she's crossed or challenged. Several disturbing recent incidents have led Rachel's mother Christine to suspect that her child is a latent murderess. Upon discovering that she herself is the daughter of a convicted killer, Christine becomes convinced that sweet little Rachel is a "bad seed" - an inherent killer who feels no remorse because she doesn't know any better. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rachel Penmark is such a *different* little girl. So calm, so well-mannered...so deadly. See more »








Release Date:

7 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bad Seed See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


An early draft of the teleplay has Christine reading Rachel a "different bedtime story", in order to test her for a reaction, prior to giving the girl Monica's sleeping pills. This new story chronicles how King Ahab of Israel had Naboth of Jezreel stoned to death for the latter's vineyard, after Naboth refused to sell (he was appalled by Ahab's plan to turn it into a vegetable garden). When asked what she thinks of Naboth's being murdered by Ahab - who already owned many vineyards, most of which were far greater than the one Naboth prized - Rachel callously replies that Naboth should have just sold the vineyard...and that it's a wonder Ahab didn't just kill him for it, being king and all. This steels Christine for the sad task which lies ahead of her. See more »

Crazy Credits

[caption written for closing angle on Rachel, never used; left on cutting room-floor] THE BEGINNING See more »


Remade as Law & Order: Killerz (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

I have been searching for this movie forever!!!!!
21 February 2013 | by michaeljmunsonSee all my reviews

My first IMDb review is very fitting. I saw this when I was about 7 years old and they kept replaying it on TV. I was terrified back then!!! I have been looking for this movie for over a decade searching various google searchs etc. Finally I found the movie I saw! I watched parts again and obviously there is a lot of cheesy stuff but the concept of evil skips a generation / wicked little girl etc. is still pretty awesome. I am glad I found a movie I had seen as a kid and couldn't find for a long time. It is still an awesome concept if it were to be done again in today's times - but there is no doubt cheesiness involved with this movie. David Carridine is in it which surprised me this time around.

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