The plot of William March's successful novel was tailor made for Hollywood. Combined with beautiful black-and-white photography and fabulous performances, THE BAD SEED is one of the eeriest films of the 20th century. The scientifically dubious theory behind the title is that an evil disposition can be an inherited trait. Patty McCormack plays Rhoda Penmark, a seemingly sweet, beautiful, smart grade school girl who is in attendance at a school picnic in which a classmate dies. No one suspects that the accident was the result of murder except for Rhoda's apartment building janitor, a simpleton named LeRoy (Henry Jones). But when Rhoda's mother, Christine Penmark (Nancy Kelly), finds out that her real mother is a cold-blooded killer, she begins to suspect her own daughter. Her fears of what Rhoda might do conflict with her protective instincts as a mother, forcing Christina to make terrible decisions--decisions that themselves might be too late.
Mervyn LeRoy - American Director/Producer
Alex North - Composer
Nancy Kelly - American Actress
Patty McCormack - American Actress
Jesse White - American Comic Actor
Evelyn Varden - Character Actress/1950s
William Hopper - Actor, PERRY MASON
Eileen Heckart - American actress
Henry Jones - American Character Actor
Maxwell Anderson - Playwright/Screenwriter
William March - Novelist - The Bad Seed
John Lee Mahin
Paul Fix - Marshall Micah Torrance of TV's "The Rifleman"
THE BAD SEED is a suspenseful thriller about a mother who slowly comes to the incredible conclusion that her 8-year-old daughter might just be responsible for a string of brutal murders. Based on Maxwell Anderson's play, this picture was the inspiration for 1994's THE GOOD SON, as well as the 1985 TV movie of the same name.
Nancy Kelly and Patty McCormack reprised their stage roles in this film.
"[T]he real fun lies in the goofy mix of chills and wildly emotional hokum..." - 08/13/2004 Entertainment Weekly, p.73
"[The film] offers a classy dose of macabre melodrama..." - 07/01/2004 Premiere, p.119
"[C]hilling..." - 08/08/2004 Los Angeles Times, p.E14