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The Bad Seed (1956)

I will never look at little girls with pigtails the same way again.  

Rhoda Penmark is an eight year old who if doesn't get her way goes far beyond a childhood tantrum but resorts to cold-blooded murder, in this case, to obtain a penmenship medal she feels was wrongly awarded to another classmate.

Patty McCormack is chilling as the eight year old murderess leaving me with goosebumps across my skin.  Her facial expressions posed behind her mother's back are grotesque, raising eyebrows at Rhoda's determination and smarmy demeanor.  claiming she has the sweetest mother and offering a basket of hugs for a basket of kisses in return.  

Nancy Kelly plays the part of a worried mother very well and expertly passes the different stages of feeling to suspicion to derangement, in the end acting on what she feels is best for herself and child.

As much as I enjoyed this movie, The Bad Seed is extremely campy.  Even though the acting was good it is very dramatic and over the top which I think is part of the reason I enjoyed it.  My only complaint is that they changed the ending to make it "happier" and serve just desserts but just came across as rather corny.  Although over all, The Bad Seed was ultra creepy and had me riveted. 


  1. I am still hunting German bookstores for a (German) copy of the book.. But I also want to see the movie - esp. now that you did such a review.

  2. I might add that this book is hard to come by because it was last published in Germany in the 1950ies.. - but some day..

  3. This movie creeped me out! It has great suspense and interesting characters.


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