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129 min.
Mervyn LeRoy
Drama, Mystery, Horror
Rating *
Votes *
7.5% (1:13)
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Runar's avatar


    Such a horrible ending to a otherwise good movie. 2 years 4 months ago
  2. Kisbye's avatar


    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 before spoiler
    I have read the book, but it is many years ago and i'am not sure how closely the movie follows it.
    4 years 3 months ago
  3. Siskoid's avatar


    The Bad Seed was the Hereditary of its day, though more thriller than horror film, or maybe I should call it a straight drama because the acting is so intense yet realistic. Nancy Kelly, reprising a Tony-winning role, is brilliant as a mother who starts to believe her manipulative 8-year-old daughter could be responsible for another child's death, and it goes on from there, with an off-putting performance by Patty McCormack, as well as stand out roles for both Eileen Heckart and Evelyn Varden. You may never hear "Au clair de la lune" without shuddering again. I was all set to give this high marks when the last 10 minutes almost ruined everything. What a spectacular fumble at the 10-yard line (am I doing the sports metaphor correctly?). It could have ended on a somber note, or it could have ended with an arch twist, but it kept going. Its actual finale is a WTF moment the universe of the film does not earn in the least, or a cheap cop-out, but it's a ridiculous concession to the Hays Code. It gets worse. An awkward curtain call ends on a punchline that--what, means we're off the hook for hating/fearing a child? So jarring, but apparently something they did on Broadway to pacify too-emotional audiences. A compromised vision if I ever saw one. 3 days 18 hours ago
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In 5 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #40 in François Truffaut's The Films of My Life
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  2. This movie ranks #49 in Total Film's 50 Amazing Films You've Probably Never Seen
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  3. This movie ranks #58 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
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  4. This movie ranks #180 in They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?
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  5. This movie ranks #513 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films
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