- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Must see movie
The Bad Seed is tied with "Gaslight" for top spot on list of my fave movies. Now, this is horror movie, to see the personification of evil in the innocent face of a child is beyond scary. The performances were spot on. The juxtaposition of Rhoda's artificial sweetness with her total lack of empathy and conscience made for a complex characterization of 'evil personified'. You feel the poor mother's pain as she comes to the horrific realization of her child's true nature
One creepy film, with a cute kid as the monster.
Saw this as a teen on the big screen. It must not have made a big impression, no men from Mars, no gore, and a girl as the evil one. But when I saw it on late night TV, as an adult, it freaked me out. I had two teen age sons, and began to think one of them came from the planet where every kid is a juvenile delinquent. That's what we called kids who broke the laws of society back then. But, unlike Patty McCormick, like most teens, mine straighten out and flew right. The film by todays standards, is tame, but for parents, it can be a little more scary.
One of those movies
This is one of those movies you can watch again and again. It's one of those movies people use as a reference - even Robin Williams will throw it into a conversation! Campy, stage-play style, yet still a believable story. Must see.
Creepy Then, Creepy Now
My mom was the one who told me about this movie way back in the 60s. She thought it was really creepy because little girls just didn't act like that. I was about 7 at that time. I've watched it ever since then and it still is one of my all time best re-runs of old movies.
OK movie...but not as good as I remember I watched it as a kid. Nowadays, this wouldn't be a movie...rather it would be a news story!
When I was young, the Legion of Decency ruled this as an X-rated film because of the content. Thus, I did not see it until I was an adult. This is one of the creepiest and scariest films out there! Originally, it was billed as a "horror" film and that pretty well sums it up. You are at the edge of your seat throughout the film when you see it for the first time. It is superbly acted and Patty McCormack simply makes your skin crawl in her role as Rhoda. The novel had the mother dying and the evil child living but the Hays Code prevented this from being the ending, as it was a case of "crime does pay" otherwise. Consequently, we have an ending here that is fully what we want it to be! I don't believe children should see this film. It is disturbing on many levels and children are too impressionable to understand the sickness that McCormack's character has.
THE BAD SEED
- TONYA L. ROLF
I SIMOLY LOVE THIS MOVIE. IT'S A NEVER ENDING, MUST SEE OVER AND OVER. I FIRST SAW THIS MOVIE WHEN I WAS ABOUT 18 yrs. OF AGE AND I'M NOW 44, BUT WHEN I SAW IT I WAS SIMPLY AMAZAED AT THE EVIL THAT THIS LITTLE GIRL POSSED. THIS IS TRULEY A CLASIC, I AND EVEN WHATCHED IT WITH MY DAUGHTER. THANK TCM FOR ALLOWING MY FAMILY AND I TO TRAVEL INTO THE PAST WITH YOU GREAT MOVIES!!!
What about LeRoy?
Speaking of evil, didn't anyone at the time think it a little strange that the family kept this retarded man down in the cellar sleeping on a straw mat next to the furnace?
This is an outstanding movie. I can say that this is one of the best movies ever made in the 50's. I saw this movie as a child and have never forgotten it. Every so often I'll scroll down the TMC channel schedule and hope that this movie would show on tv. I'm excited to get home from work tonight and watch this movie today. Thank you TMC!
The Bad Seed- A Tale of Terror and Motherly Love
- Judith Gribble
I have watched this movie many times over the years, but I do not believe that I saw the entire film until I just recently purchased the DVD. The acting in this movie is absolutely fantastic. Every performance without exception is superb. I was so taken with the performance of Nancy Kelly and am very sorry that she did not win the best acting Oscar for the film, but she had won the Tony for the stage performance. Patty McCormack's performance was outstanding. As she and I are about the same age, I have followed her career over the years. I was so impressed by what she put on screen at such a young age. Eileen Heckart's performance was very touching. This movie is now 55 years old, but I am very fascinated with it. I am a child of the 50's and possibly somewhat biased, but I feel that some of the best movies came out of that era. The Bad Seed is indeed one of the best examples of movies of that time.
Excellent 50s time capsule
- Jack T.
Although this film has been a crowd favorite throughout the years, many criticisms have been hurled at it for its theatricality and over the top performances esp. from Ms. Kelly. However, these are the very things that I find so mesmerizing about this movie. Stylistically, it is a very realistic representation of the period in which it was made: the 1950s. Everything was more formal: manners, mannerisms, conversations, daily dress (women in skirts and gloves and men with ties and fedoras) and this picture captures the era perfectly. It was a much simpler time when everything was black and white (just as this film is...to have made it in color would have been wrong). Therefore the plot follows a somewhat simplistic logic but it is its unusual execution that drives this story forward. As for the performances, I revel in the scenery chewing excess not as camp but as a device that suits the style of the movie perfectly. This is a movie that might not sit well with today's movie going public but if you want to see a film that moves along briskly albeit with a lot of dialogue and is something of a time capsule of the 50s, then I highly recommed THE BAD SEED to you. And by the way, the ending has been criticized because it had to be altered to suit the censorship code back then I truly love the altered ending. It always seemed to me like a stroke of writing genius!
I love the whole cast of acting skills. the grieving mother was excellent u don't see many acting as a mother would really be, with the lost of their child. I listen to words the movements the whole under tone of expressions in face and voice. I like the acting and the story line.
the performances by all in this cast are terrific; but eileen heckert's brings tears to my eyes every time. patty mccormack is scary good; and nancy kelly is heartbreaking to watch coming to terms that her daughter is a murderer. i try to catch it every time tcm plays it.
Top notch, fabulous performances from Nancy Kelly and Patty McCormack which totally avoid caricature. Supporting players, especially Evelyn Varden as Monica Breedlove, Eileen Heckart as Hortense Daigle and Henry Jones as LeRoy are superlative. A riveting, chilling, film, even with the Hollywood happy ending added on. I saw it as a youngster and never forgot it.
Ahead of its time! A top suspense thriller!
- Mavin Edwards
This film has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid, a has to be my favorite in the genre. It was intelligently written and the approach to the subject matter of psychotic behavior I found to be quite absorbing. None other could have played Rhoda but Patty McCormack. She delivered like an old pro. There's a lot going on than just knowledge of a murder. Patty's interchanges with Henry Jones (Leroy) bring a stellar level of breadth to the story, highlighting how Rhoda's manner alternates in certain circles which is the crux of the disorder. The musical, physical and verbal displays of Rhoda's nervous "ticks" and bouts with self-control as part of this mental disorder are carried out with genius, as is her mother's own metamorphosis in her self-discovery, brilliantly played by Nancy Kelly. And, of course, the role of Hortense was tailor-made for Eileen Heckart. A superb project that rivals many psycho-thrillers made today.
That little girl was sort of scary.
Top to bottom this movie is great; supporting cast, the music, direction. Think about it, 1950's was when this came out. This is perhaps my favorite movie.
It's morbidly fun to watch
- Michael Sullivan
I love this movie! Patricia McCormick ranks within the top 5 of 'evil' females in moviedom! The melodrama admittedly is 'over the top' but necessary! We think of the 'innocence' of children. That's not the case here. Manipulator she is; and the 'dumb' characters are the adults! Finally the credits at the end of the movie are worth watching too!
The Bad Seed (1956)
The cast does an incredible job, even down to the smallest roles. Superb story, rather shocking. Very well written and directed. Very engrossing throughout, a remarkable film.
Horrified at 6
I was allowed to watch this movie (at a friend's house) for the first time when I was 6 - it disturbed me beyond what I could measure at the time. In fact, it became the definition of terror for me. Seeing it as an adult, I can certainly appreciate the excellent acting and the well-written story line. However, back then, as now - it is an horrific thought that a child could be a murderer. In 1956, it seemed beyond far-fetched. Unfortunately, in 2009, the concept of a young child killing is not unbelievable. I would not let a child under the age of 13 see this movie.
The Bad Seed
Outstanding movie, one that stirs the soul to think about the human mind, how delicate it is... how conducive our thought process can be to emote different things, such as denial, anger, lies..and many many others.. Great movie
- stella smith
I think each cast member should have gotten an Oscar, they all had powerful parts, the mother, when she found out the secrets of who her mother really was, is the most touching scene, I cry everytime that scenes is shown, please play that again Sam.....
This movie will always keep you on your toes! At the time it was released (1956), the thought of a child murderess was unheard of, and shocked its audiences! Today, we see it as a classic that's been around throughout the decades. Patty McCormack did such a fabulous job as Rhoda, it's easy to typecast her. Eileen Heckart should have gotten an Oscar for her performance as Mrs. Daigel. She did an outstanding job. I highly reccommend this film...you'll never forget it.
A very poignant Production!
I don't know if she did, but Eileen Heckart (Mrs. Daigle) should have won an Academy Award for her brief yet poignant performance. Her acting is flawless and impeccable and she portrays the drunk and overly distraught, now childless Mother, to the summit. Although she has only two scenes, to me, her performance "steals the show". This film is a very disturbing portrayal of the foibles and emotional turbulence inherent in "unchecked" mental illness. This film will keep you "riveted" to your seat.
The Bad Seed
- Wendy Winkler
Nancy Kelly gives a heartwrenching performance in this movie. This could be just another horror movie. But Ms. Kelly's performance makes it much more. The way she uses her voice and the gestures that she makes while her world is falling apart is powerful.
One of my top 10 favorites!
This movie gives you the chills without being visually graphic. The sounds and suggestions are whatever your imagination conjures up. The first time I saw it I couldn't wait to see it again. I enjoy recommending it to people. They are always surprised as it is hard to describe the feeling of the movie.
ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES I HAVE EVER SEEN
Is evil genetic or environmental? This movie explores those theories through the character of a little girl named Rhoda. It is well written and the acting is superb. You will be captivated from the very beginning. I have recommended this movie to all of my friends. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!! And the ending?? I won't tell.