The Bad Seed (1956)


“Claude was dead. He wouldn’t know if he had the medal pinned on him or not.” – Rhoda

Number of Times Seen – 1 (28 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A woman suspects that her young daughter may be evil after a tragedy occurs on a school outing.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I can now add to my list of films that I never heard about before coming across the title as a film that has received Oscar nominations for it’s actors.

This film actually received 3.

The story plays out really well and they are able to find a way to keep things thrilling from start to end.

The choice to leave things quite ambiguous throughout most of the film works really well since it allows for us to try and guess the whole time as to what is really happening without knowing for sure.

They do an excellent job showing the amount of anxiety that a parent might encounter when faced with such a dilemma especially when nothing is completely clear cut since it is all based on suspicions either way.

Tey develop these characters really well and they all come across as feeling quite realistic in everything that they say or do here especially when so much is unknown with regard to the actual truth.

The cast of this film is superb and as I mentioned earlier, 3 of its stars were nominated for Oscars for their work here.

Nancy Kelly was nominated for Best Actress and both Eileen Heckart and Patty McCormick were nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

This film does a great job showing us the kind of fear that can overtake a parent when those around might throw suspicion about a child possibly committing a heinous crime.

I also loved the way that this film pleads with the audience to try and keep the story of things a secret even after they leave the theater.

Bottom Line – Great thriller because they are able to keep things quite ambiguous throughout most of the story. This allows for us to try and determine what we think really happened before it is revealed to the audience. The film does an excellent job of showing the kind of anxiety that a parent might have if they end up coming in contact with such a case of suspicions. The characters are fleshed out really well and they are all quite believable as real people dealing with these kind of situations. The cast is superb with Kelly, Heckart and McCormick all receiving Oscar nominations for their work her;, Kelly as Lead Actress and the other two as supporting.  The film does a great job showing the fear that a parent would experience when suspicions about their child committing heinous acts might be verbalized.  Love the way that they plead with the audience to keep the story a secret. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Warner Brothers production notes for the film reported that three endings were shot. According to a November 1955 article in the 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. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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5 thoughts on “The Bad Seed (1956)

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  4. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1956 | MovieRob

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