The Bad Seed (movie)

1956 American film by Mervyn LeRoy

The Bad Seed is a 1956 American horror movie. It has elements of film noir. This movie is based on the 1954 play of the same name.

On her piano, eight year old Rhoda Penmark (played by Patty McCormack) plays the French song "Au clair de la lune" while her father says his good-byes and goes on military duty. Rhoda is under the care of her mother Christine (Nancy Kelly).

Rhoda begins as a well-behaved child. As the movie goes on, she shows her evil side. She commits murder, steals and sets fires.

A lightning bolt during a rainstorm kills Rhoda instantly.



This was one of Warner Bros. biggest movies of the year. It took in $4.1 million in the American box office.[1] It was also popular in the British box office.

The movie was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Actress, Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Cinematography.[2]



The Bad Seed was remade for television in 1985 and 2018.


  1. "The Bad Seed". The Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved Jan 23, 2016.
  2. "The Bad Seed". Academy Awards. Retrieved Jan 23, 2016.

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