Entertainment Weekly - 08/13/2004
"[T]he real fun lies in the goofy mix of chills and wildly emotional hokum..."
Premiere - 07/01/2004
"[The film] offers a classy dose of macabre melodrama..."
Los Angeles Times - 08/08/2004
Description by OLDIES.com:
Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) is a well-mannered 8-year-old little lady - and an efficient, unfeeling killer. And in this spellbinding chronicle of evil, whatever Rhoda wants, she ruthlessly gets. Her mother Christine (Nancy Kelly), reluctantly made to see her offspring's moral blindness at work, is heartrendingly torn between the love for the child she bore and grief for Rhoda's victims.
From Maxwell Anderson's stage hit, The Bad Seed ticks like a time bomb under the skillful direction of Mervyn LeRoy, who cast several Broadway production originals, including Kelly (recreating the role that won her a Tony), McCormack and Eileen Heckart. Their harrowing performances captured three of this suspenseful movie's four Academy Award nominations - and make this thriller one of the great ones.
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.
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.
Very good movie.
Movie Lover: Wanda Lowery from
Jackson, TN -- June, 26, 2010
I love this movie. I even brought it on dvd. She seems like a angel, but she's really the devil's daughter. This movie will keep you on the end of your seat. You won't know what she will do next. She makes the little boy in the movie," The good Son", look like a alter boy. It's creepy! Take a chance and buy, or rent it. It's a very movie.