Young Rhoda appears to be quite the little lady, with high marks in school and perfect manners, but Rhoda has been very, very naughty... When one of Rhoda's classmates is killed in an unfortunate drowning accident, Christine Penmark begins to suspect that her jealous daughter might have had something to do with it. Soon, she learns that this might not have been the first time that Rhoda was responsible for murder, nor would it be the last...
THE BAD SEED, adapted from the novel by William March, explores the concept of nature versus nurture through the terrifying tale of a child murderer and her submissive mother. It attempts to play both sides of the coin, though it would seem that the final conclusion is that Rhoda has a genetic disposition that forces her to kill. The lack of a central father figure due Mr. Penmark's involvement in the military might also suggest the latter argument. THE BAD SEED would be nominated for four Academy Awards, both for the superb cinematography and for the incredible performances by the leading and supporting cast members. Nancy Kelly is brilliant as the distraught Christine Penmark, whose fear and paranoia creep off the screen. She is joined by Patty McCormack in an unforgettable performance as the manipulative Rhoda. McCormack transforms from a starry-eyed little angel into a tumultuous devil in seconds. Although it would be slightly altered for the screen, THE BAD SEED also features a shocking ending that remains just as effective over half a century after its release. Mervyn LeRoy's chilling classic is a masterful character drama and a must-see for all Horror fans!
If you liked THE BAD SEED, check out:
VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, ORPHAN.