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Colonel Kenneth and Mrs. Christine Penmark are a loving couple, which makes it difficult in their lives when the colonel is transferred to Washington D.C. While the colonel is gone, Christine is left to take care of their eight year old daughter, Rhoda, on her own. Rhoda is a little princess of a girl, always wearing pretty dresses and with her hair always in perfect pigtails. Rhoda strives for perfection and feels she deserves whatever nice things comes her way, since she is continually asking for gifts beyond what people are already willing to give. Although Christine loves her daughter as does the colonel, she feels that Rhoda perhaps is a little too mature for her age, not displaying those typical tendencies of most eight year olds. The one person who doesn't seem to like Rhoda is Leroy, the seemingly simple handyman of the apartment building in which the Penmarks live. Tragedy strikes when one of Rhoda's classmates, Claude Daigle, drowns in a lake while at a school picnic. Claude was recently discussed in the Penmark home as the boy who won the class penmanship medal, the medal which Rhoda felt she herself deserved. Rhoda shows no emotion about the tragedy. As the authorities and the parents discuss what happened, Christine increasingly believes that Rhoda knows more about Claude's death than she is willing to divulge. Although prone to the same dream for the better part of her life, Christine begins to wonder if that dream, which outlines an alternate childhood for herself, is really a dream or a repressed memory. That dream leads Christine to find out more about what Rhoda's true involvement in Claude's death is as well as the cause of other tragic deaths that have occurred around them.
A WOMAN'S SHAME...Out in the Open!
Title: Bad Seed, The
Release Date: September 12, 1956
Runtime: 129 mins
All Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Colors: Black and White
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Buried.com Rating: 8.3 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With B
MPAA Rating: Approved
Nancy Kelly ...Christine Penmark
Patty McCormack ...Rhoda Penmark
Henry Jones ...Leroy Jessup
Eileen Heckart ...Hortense Daigle
Evelyn Varden ...Monica Breedlove
William Hopper ...Col. Kenneth Penmark
Paul Fix ...Richard Bravo
Jesse White ...Emory Wages
Gage Clarke ...Reginald 'Reggie' Tasker
Joan Croydon ...Claudia Fern (as Joan Croyden)
Frank Cady ...Henry Daigle
Frances Bavier ...Woman in dinner party scene
Violet Cane ...Teacher
Vivian Clermont ...Mary Beth Musgrove
Shelley Fabares ...Margie
Kathy Garver ...Rhoda's Classmate
Don C. Harvey ...Guard in Hospital Corridor
Edna Holland ...Saleslady
Dayton Lummis ...The Doctor
Natalie Masters ...Nurse
Patricia Morrow ...Ginny
Adele Taylor ...Teacher
John Truax ...The Sergeant
John Lee Mahin
The Bad Seed Horror Film Trailer 1
"Au clair de la lune"
More Movie Taglines:
- A WOMAN'S SHAME...Out in the Open!
- Talk all you want about the man and the woman -- but please don't tell about the girl!
- "The Bad Seed" is the big shocker!
- For little Rhoda, murder is child's play.
- What would you do if you were cursed with "The Bad Seed"?
- [How murderers are executed] Leroy: They got a little blue chair for little boys and a little pink chair for little girls.
Christine Penmark: Rhoda, what happened to old Mrs. Post in Witchita? Rhoda: There was ice on the steps and I slipped and fell against her, and that was all. Christine Penmark: That was all? Rhoda: No. I slipped on purpose.
Christine Penmark: You hit him with the shoes, didn't you? You hit him with the shoes, that's how he got those half moon marks on his forehead and on his hands. Answer me Rhoda. ANSWER ME!
Monica Breedlove: You sound like Fred Astaire tap tap tapping across the floor .
Hortense Daigle: Children can be nasty, don't you think?
- The voice on the radio when Rhoda's mother hears about the drowning at Rhoda's school is that of Henry Jones, who plays LeRoy.
The piano piece that Rhoda plays and sings and is heard as a theme throughout the film is the traditional French children's song Au Claire de la Lune.
The book Rhoda claims to have won in Sunday School, Elsie Dinsmore , was a story with religious themes about a pious eight-year-old; it was written by Martha Finley in 1867.
Warner Bros. production notes for the film reported that three endings were shot. According to a Nov 1955 Los Angeles Times , the end of the film was kept secret and the last five pages of the script were not distributed until ready to shoot.
The film marked the motion picture debut of Broadway actress Joan Croydon who played Claudia Fern. Although she had also appeared on television, this may have marked her only feature film appearance.
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Rating: 8.3 out of 10.0 - 68 votes cast total