365 Movie Challenge: Day 5


THE BAD SEED (1956) Directed by Mervyn LaRoy; Starring Patty McCormack, Nancy Kelly

So let me be upfront at the start. I’m a day behind. Which sucks, but that means that coming this weekend all you fine folks will get a twofer (more than likely a double bill of Brian De Palma films).

Now, onto the main event. This was suggested by my partner Kristina, and she sat and watched the film with me (she doesn’t normally join me on my film excursions). And we actually had a lot of fun with this film about a pint-sized psychopath.

The Bad Seed is the story of Rhoda Penmark, who from the moment we meet her we know something is off about her. If you never seen this I won’t dive to deep into the film but to just say that it’s worth a watch.


McCormack’s acting, as Rhoda, is a bit over the top, but it seems to fit her character fine. She tries to sweet talk her way out of situations by piling compliments on top of the person who is questioning her. After a classmate drowns, she is more concerned with her mother making her a peanut butter sandwich than answering her mother’s questions about the event.

The film, at two hours, doesn’t feel that way. A complaint I might have is that I can tell this was adapted from a stage play, and honestly, if not for the acting and photography, I would’ve been bored. But that surprisingly wasn’t the case.

Nancy Kelly as Christine Penmark is exquisite. I can’t say enough to show the range of emotion she pulls off in regard to her little nightmare child. She comes off as loving and concerned but not knowing what to do about Rhoda. She suspects her of doing more than Rhoda is willing to admit to, but again, I don’t want to give anything away. All this unfolds naturally, so I would hate to take anything away from anyone who hasn’t seen this.

I will say this. I laughed out loud at the comeuppance that Rhoda gets.


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