Rotten Tomatoes
Cancel Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

The Bad Seed

Released Sep 12, 1956 2h 9m Horror List
63% Tomatometer 27 Reviews 83% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
Air Force Colonel Kenneth Penmark (William Hopper) and his wife, Christine (Nancy Kelly), dote on their pig-tailed daughter, Rhoda (Patty McCormack) -- as does their lonely landlady, Monica Breedlove (Evelyn Varden). But self-centered Rhoda has a secret tendency for selfishness and loves to accumulate gifts, whether given or stolen, in her room. Christine keeps her knowledge of her daughter's darker side to herself, but when a schoolmate of Rhoda's dies mysteriously, her self-deception unravels. Read More Read Less
Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

Where to Watch

The Bad Seed

Fandango at Home Prime Video Apple TV

Rent The Bad Seed on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

Critics Reviews

View All (27) Critics Reviews
Richard L. Coe Washington Post [The Bad Seed] is a double-decked rouser -- a sock melodrama and an absorbing study in crime. Jul 25, 2022 Full Review TIME Magazine Director LeRoy has been overly faithful to the play script. Jul 18, 2011 Full Review Variety Staff Variety This melodrama about a child with an inbred talent for homicide is pretty unpleasant stuff on its own. Oct 23, 2008 Full Review Christopher James AwardsCircuit.com While revolutionary at the time, the dramatics in the movie miss their mark by today standards. Rated: 2/4 Apr 15, 2019 Full Review Barbara Shulgasser Common Sense Media Evil little girl hides her murderous ways in dated classic. Rated: 2/5 Nov 14, 2017 Full Review Felix Vasquez Jr. Cinema Crazed A near perfect thriller... Jul 12, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (600) audience reviews
Ted B 3.5 stars; The "Bad Seed" was an award-winning stageplay that was reproduced for the big screen. Because most of the stage cast was brought over to the screen production, the acting was excellent, and performances received numerous Academy Award nominations. This 1956 film was considered a shocker upon its release because of its subject matter. It basically deals with the question of whether evil is inherited or created by one's environment. The evil (murders) committed by ten-year-old (at the time) Patty McCormack were considered so horrible that they were only referred to on screen and never actually shown, as in the play. Of course, later versions of the movie show the actual murders. I think I appreciate the scene created in my imagination more than those created on the screen. If you enjoy attending stage plays, this movie is excellent. As a heads up, the film length is longer than two hours. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/03/24 Full Review Melissa L Greatly acted movie with an excellent cast. Great ending, too. I recommend seeing it! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 04/19/24 Full Review Montgomery M After watching multiple movies that I had high expectations for but was very disappointed by I'm so happy to be watching actually good movies again. This movies was great. Kept me entertained and intrigued the entire time. The girl who played Rhoda was a very talented actress. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 09/13/23 Full Review Christopher B A great early Horror film that raises serious questions of the human condition and genetics. The film itself is one of tension and suspense and the ending, while changed from the play's original ending, is still very well done. As the ending says, I won't spoil it for anyone but this is a great film worth checking out if you like more psychological horror outings opposed to the brain dead gory and blood-filled horror films of recent years. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 10/23/22 Full Review robert p An intense thriller about a psychotic girl killer, this was the movie that would be a foundation for others in the Future!!!! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member The Bad Seed is a truly great movie. The plot is suspenseful in a fresh way. Instead of focusing on who the killer is, the killer is made quite clear early on, and the suspense comes from the dread of not knowing when he/she will strike. The Bad Seed masters the off-screen horror of the time, effectively pulling the emotional and terror tandem perfectly; though, this may put off some modern movie-goers. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Bad Seed

My Rating

Read More Read Less POST RATING WRITE A REVIEW EDIT REVIEW

Cast & Crew

House of Wax 93% 73% House of Wax The Exorcist 78% 87% The Exorcist It's Alive 67% 41% It's Alive The Devils 70% 88% The Devils Homicidal 73% 67% Homicidal Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis Air Force Colonel Kenneth Penmark (William Hopper) and his wife, Christine (Nancy Kelly), dote on their pig-tailed daughter, Rhoda (Patty McCormack) -- as does their lonely landlady, Monica Breedlove (Evelyn Varden). But self-centered Rhoda has a secret tendency for selfishness and loves to accumulate gifts, whether given or stolen, in her room. Christine keeps her knowledge of her daughter's darker side to herself, but when a schoolmate of Rhoda's dies mysteriously, her self-deception unravels.
Director
Mervyn LeRoy
Producer
Mervyn LeRoy
Screenwriter
Maxwell Anderson, John Lee Mahin
Distributor
Warner Home Vídeo, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros.
Production Co
Warner Brothers
Genre
Horror
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Sep 12, 1956, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Oct 18, 2010
Runtime
2h 9m
Sound Mix
Mono
Aspect Ratio
35mm
Most Popular at Home Now