Such a horrible ending to a otherwise good movie. 2 years 11 months ago
I agree that Nancy Kelly overplayed it in some parts of the movie, but i think Patty McCormack did it very well as The bad seed and I enjoyed it.
However, i didn't like the ending. It could have ended beforeRhoda was hit by the lightning
I have read the book, but it is many years ago and i'am not sure how closely the movie follows it. 4 years 10 months ago
This is one of the goofiest movies I've ever seen. My formal review of this film would be that it tries to be too many things and, ironically, fails at all of them because of it. I understand why it's praised, but it was a big floppo for me. I don't want to give this film a formal review, however; I'd like to present some bullet points illustrating this movie's unmitigated goofiness, without stretching. Enjoy, I hope!
- Firstly, just about every single line of dialogue Aunt Monica spouts is a piece of unvarnished praise for Rhoda. I think we all know or can imagine that aunt, but it gets to the point where you feel like you could make a drinking game out of it.
- To add to that, Aunt Monica's attitude towards Rhoda doesn't change at all throughout the movie. Her entire disposition is so unchanging that almost becomes disturbing. Her reaction to everything is whimsy. She appears practically as drunk as Eileen Heckart.
- What I think is perhaps the funniest part of that sunny disposition is how it clashes with Christine's worsening state. Christine's arc in this movie is a lot like Rosemary Woodhouse's in Rosemary's Baby, only imagine everyone around her acting like nothing's wrong isn't part of any conspiracy; nobody even notices that she's unkempt and woefully timid. Bob didn't make a deal with satanists to provide a vessel for the antichrist in exchange for a good job, he's just an absentee father and an idiot.
- Speaking of Christine, this has to be one of the great over-performances. I'm pretty highly critical of theatre and theatre actors, but Nancy Kelly is a cut above the rest -- as far as scenery-chewing goes. She has one particular scene with Paul Fix of Rifleman fame that I'll mention lower down that is just... mwah!
- Christine's disaster of a child, Rhoda, is one of the more convincingly-acted characters in the film, but her dynamic with the seemingly handicapped gardener is too silly for words. In your suspense horror thriller, the villain should not be bickering with a goofy gardener half the time.
- I don't know if the play's script was bad or the translation was poor, but the structure of this movie is so repetitive it becomes funny. Every scene inevitably leads to a very long, wordy monologue (or dialogue). The characters spend so little time talking like normal people do.
- This leads me to that particular scene I mentioned before. Christine is talking with her father about her background, as a young child. I won't spoil it, but the laughs come from a combo of Kelly's performance and the material she's given. "Who wrote this?", "really?" and "what?" are all appropriate reactions.
- Lastly, the ending. Again, no words.
This is a really silly movie. I thought it was hilarious. However, Eileen Heckart is really wonderful. She makes two separate, long monologue scenes work because you just can't take your eyes off of her. She's an example of the best theatre acting has to offer. 3 months ago
In 5 official lists
This movie ranks #40 in François Truffaut's The Films of My Life
This movie ranks #49 in Total Film's 50 Amazing Films You've Probably Never Seen
This movie ranks #58 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #184 in They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?
This movie ranks #513 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films