The Bad Seed

( 12 )

Overview

This melodramatic thriller about a very, very bad little girl comes to DVD in a presentation which should please the members of its cult following. The Bad Seed has been transferred to disc in the full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in English, with optional subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. Bonus materials include a commentary track featuring actress Patty McCormack and critic Charles Busch, a short documentary in which McCormack ...
See more details below
DVD (Subtitled / B&W / Full Frame)
$5.60
BN.com price
(Save 6%)$5.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (DVD)
  • All (10) from $3.64   
  • New (6) from $5.53   
  • Used (4) from $3.64   

Overview

This melodramatic thriller about a very, very bad little girl comes to DVD in a presentation which should please the members of its cult following. The Bad Seed has been transferred to disc in the full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in English, with optional subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. Bonus materials include a commentary track featuring actress Patty McCormack and critic Charles Busch, a short documentary in which McCormack talks about the making of the film, and the movie's original trailer.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by Patty McCormack and Charles Busch; New making-of documentary "Enfant Terrible: A Conversation With Patty McCormack"; Theatrical trailer; Subtitles: English, Français, and Español
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Often imitated but never really equaled, this chilling 1956 melodrama adapted from Maxwell Anderson's stage play which in turn was taken from a novel by William March boldly and unapologetically depicts an angelic-looking girl with homicidal instincts. Patty McCormack stills sends shivers up and down viewers' spines with her portrayal of the innocent-looking grade school student Rhoda Penmark, who deliberately murders a classmate because he won the penmanship medal she coveted. Nancy Kelly does well with the difficult role of the mother who gradually discovers that her precious baby is a killer, and William Hopper is equally good as the adoring father who fails to grasp the truth. John Lee Mahin's screenplay hews closely to Anderson's play, and as a result the film bears many hallmarks of a theatrical production. But director Mervyn LeRoy builds steadily to a crescendo of horror that is all the more frightening because it plays out in a "normal" setting. His handling of the material leaves nothing to be desired, and from Nancy Kelly -- a pleasant but minor actress who'd already been in films for 20 years when The Bad Seed was produced -- he elicits the performance of a lifetime, one that earned her an Oscar nomination. While not as coarse or graphic as today's thrillers, The Bad Seed remains a daring and impressive movie that lingers in the memories of all who have seen it.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The Bad Seed, the film version of Maxwell Anderson's Broadway play, was especially topical in the 1950s, when Americans were dealing with a rising tide of juvenile delinquency. While Seed can't really be taken seriously as sociology, it's tremendous fun as film. Director Mervyn LeRoy keeps things moving at a steady clip, stressing the thriller aspects of the story. Although he has only a few opportunities to physically "open up" the play from its one-set origins, this doesn't harm the film -- and sometimes helps it, by emphasizing the Mother's feeling that she is trapped (by both her situation and her true heritage). Nancy Kelly's performance is rather odd at times and overly stagy, but overall is quite effective. Her vocal delivery, bizarre at first, somehow seems organic and eventually grows on the viewer. Patty McCormack gives one of the better children's performances in film and really makes one's blood run cold, and Henry Jones is appropriately disturbing as the peculiar handyman. The best performance, however, is Eileen Heckart's turn as the mother of the little boy killed by Rhoda. Her two scenes are a tour de force, and she creates a character that is at one time pathetic, repulsive, embarrassing, sympathetic, and pitiable. While the tacked-on "justice must be served" ending is unnecessary, it fortunately doesn't actively detract from one's enjoyment of this film.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/10/2004
  • UPC: 085393352424
  • Original Release: 1956
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
  • Presentation: Subtitled / B&W / Full Frame
  • Time: 2:09:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 630

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nancy Kelly Mrs. Christine Penmark
Patty McCormack Rhoda Penmark
Henry Jones LeRoy, Handyman, Voice Only
Eileen Heckart Mrs. Daigle
Evelyn Varden Monica Breedlove
William Hopper Col. Kenneth Penmark
Paul Fix Richard Bravo
Jesse White Emory
Gage Clarke Reginald Tasker
Joan Croydon Miss Fern
Frank Cady Mr. Daigle
Technical Credits
Mervyn LeRoy Director, Producer
John Beckman Art Director
Ralph S. Hurst Set Decoration/Design
Warren Low Editor
Moss Mabry Costumes/Costume Designer
John Lee Mahin Screenwriter
Alex North Score Composer
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer
Read More Show Less

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits [1:33]
2. Goodbye, Ladies [3:32]
3. Gifts From Monica [2:02]
4. LeRoy and Miss Uppity [5:32]
5. Does She Fit In? [2:07]
6. Pathological Lunch Talk [5:35]
7. Tragic News [2:38]
8. Behaving Very Well [3:29]
9. Lost in Thought [3:09]
10. Miss Fern's Suspicions [6:22]
11. Somethin' Funny to Mrs. Daigle [7:18]
12. Kenneth's Concern [1:55]
13. The Discovery [1:53]
14. Rhoda Tells the Truth [6:42]
15. "I Wish She Were Mine" [1:38]
16. LeRoy Figures It Out [4:47]
17. Testing for Blood [2:08]
18. Can Children Kill? [3:02]
19. Bad Seeds [5:44]
20. Christine's Old Fear [4:50]
21. Not a Dream [5:13]
22. On Purpose [:03]
23. "I Believe You Did It" [6:20]
24. Playing With Matches [5:54]
25. You Must Sleep [1:26]
26. Drunk and Unfortunate [2:11]
27. Cries for Help [7:00]
28. New Vitamins [5:21]
29. Dream Well [5:02]
30. What Kenneth Still Has [1:50]
31. Specious Theorizing [3:41]
32. "How Long Do Lovebirds Live?" [1:26]
33. Errand in the Night [1:42]
34. Phone Call [1:37]
35. Retribution [1:29]
36. Wonderful Cast: Coda [:54]
Read More Show Less

Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Patty McCormack and Charles Busch
      Enfant Terrible: A Conversation With Patty McCormack
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Bad Seed digs deep

    The Bad Seed is a wonderfully thrilling tale of children, murder and the capacity of the human mind. It is exciting and capitivating from beggining to end. The only thing more suprising than a sweet blonde girl murderer is her history. 'What would you give me for a basket of kisses,' Rhoda would say, expecting in reply, 'I would give you a basket of hugs.' Enchanting and exhilerating, a must see for thrill seekers; this movie is absolutely marvelous!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Big Thriller

    A sweet young girl(patty mcormic)name Rhoda is a girl that acks so nice that something must be wrong and there is something wrong with this child. She has the blood of a famous murderer. And that is exactly what she is. A murderer! I dont want to give anything away to people who have not seen the movie, so I wont go into specifics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 30, 2013

    The scariest film I've ever seen, originally in black and white,

    The scariest film I've ever seen, originally in black and white, and the year was 1965. I was living in Boston at time, alone in my apartment, and late at night, IN THE DARK. Happy Halloween everybody!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A must see

    If you love classic horror and creepy little kids, you have to own this movie!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "Children can be nasty, don't you think?"

    Maxwell Anderson's stage play stunned and shocked Broadway audiences with its frighteningly real portrait of an eight-year-old murderess. How many parents took closer looks at their own children and wondered what they might be capable of? So strong was the impact of the play that the making of the screen version was almost devoid of the normal studio publicity and a synopsis of the story omitted the film's conclusion. The filming of "The Bad Seed" retained all the strength and brilliance of the original play and contains an originality in technique an performance that give it true classic stature. Patty McCormack is excellent as the cute but malevolent Rhoda, whose frilly dresses, devious politeness, and adorable blond pigtails mask her inner monstrousness. Henry Jones is also splendid as the slow witted, but fatefully perceptive handyman. As Rhoda's guilt-ridden mother, Nancy Kelly is excessively weepy, but very effective. And as Mrs. Dagle, the alcoholic mother of the drowned little boy, Eileen Heckhart overacts outrageously and is heartbreaking. Kelly, Heckhart (as well as McCormack) got Oscar nominations for their work, though the awards went to others. Alex North's non-nominated music score is also memorable. A sequel to "The Bad Seed" would have seemed a good bet by Hollywood, though in some respects it's already been made in the form of "Pretty Poison" (1968), with Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins, a stunning film whose theme (and title) bares a strong relationship to this classic chiller. [filmfactsman]

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My Mother And I Could Have Played It On Broadway!!!

    Everything about this film--the crazed hysterics of Nancy Kelly as Christine Penmark, the elaborate fifties furnishings and trappings, the repressed lesbianism of Joan Croydon as Miss Fern--smacks of my antiquated Fifties childhood. I swear that some of the furniture pieces on the living room set match some that were in my house growing up! As for the story, while I never actually murdered anyone for a penmanship medal or anything else, I won't deny there were not times when I wanted to! The ending has been criticized ad nauseum today it ends an extra degree of camp to what has become a camp classic. Much more detrimental to me is the viewer cheated out of the satisfaction of seeing Rhoda bump off garulous Monica Breedlove, which is exactly what she is planning next, in the dialogue towards the end between she and her father. Camp excess and theatricality aside, the unusual novelty of the story coming at a time when it did, the wonderfully atmospheric lighting, and the juxtaposition of the ordinary with the horrible make "The Bad Seed" still strangely unsettling today--almost half a century later.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Enemy Within

    'The Bad Seed' is an excellent psychological horror film.It goes through the planned pace from beginning to end on how to solve these mysterious killings of the Daigle boy and Leroy. The one place no one would even think of looking is in the face of Rhoda Penmark.It shows that evil has many faces because evil can manifest in different forms where you would least expect to find it.This is an excellent study of how murderers are born. Perhaps if can spot the signs from birth,like Christine spotted Rhoda's menacing ways and acting like it's not a big deal if she kills someone, we can stop them from harming others. We all have a dark side, including Rhoda;It's the enemy within that stays with us all our human lives. Rhoda on the outside shows the sunny side of herself, in which we all do from time to time.However, on the inside, there is pure evil waiting to lurk at any moment.A chilling,outstanding story that could happen to anyone who is about to go postal.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    RHODA'S BACK! - Hide All Sharp Objects

    Even today the mention of the name, Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormick) conjures up disturbing chills. And it¿s no wonder; there is something genuinely unsettling in this ¿The Bad Seed.¿ On the surface Rhoda is a precocious eight year old blonde moppet of considerable charm and alarmingly mature lady-like grace. Under that thin veneer however she is absolute poison, inflicting pain suffering and even death on anything and anyone that gets in the way of her selfish desires. Like Linda Blair¿s Regan from ¿The Exorcist¿, McCormick¿s performance excels at generating mixed feelings of guilt, compassion and reviled disgust for this pint size psychotic masquerading as Doris Day. Nancy Kelly is outstanding as Christine, Rhoda¿s conflicted mother ¿ unable to choose between disciplining her off spring and merely turning a blind eye to her willful deluge of mayhem. Under Mervin LeRoy¿s direction, the story nimbly unleashes its reign of terror, ultimately shocking, confusing and leaving its audience with many nightmares to come. Warner¿s DVD transfer is superb. The image is remarkably clean, with a very solid and beautifully rendered gray scale, deep blacks and excellent contrast levels. Fine details are fully realized. There is a total lack of edge effects and other digital anomalies for an exceptionally smooth visual presentation. The audio is mono but with a considerable punch to it. Extras include a featurette (billed as a documentary) in which present day Patty rambles on about the making of the film and her involvement in the production. Truthfully, McCormick¿s reminiscences boil down to a ¿look at me, wasn¿t I wonderful?¿ diatribe with inserts from the film included as predictable filler. There¿s also an audio commentary with McCormick and Charles Busch that¿s somewhat entertaining to listen to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews