The Bad Seed
Film: The Bad Seed
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Writer: John Lee Mahin
Starring: Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack and Henry Jones
In this film, we have a family. The mother is played by Nancy Kelly. She is married to William Hopper, who is a colonel in the army. They have a pretty daughter, who is played by Patty McCormack. We see from the beginning that McCormack has excellent manners and has the sweetest personality you can imagine. We see this from interactions with her father and with the woman upstairs, Evelyn Varden.
It isn’t until we see her interactions with the handy man, played by Henry Jones, do we see how she really can be. She is rude to him as he is back to her. We also see that she isn’t always sweet. She is asked about the medal she didn’t win, she is angered and rants about how it isn’t fair. Varden also spoils her with presents and McCormack takes advantage of that when she can.
Kelly walks her daughter to school and later that day a news bulletin comes over the radio about a drowning at the picnic her daughter went to. Kelly is terrified beyond belief until they hear the name isn’t her daughter. It is though the boy who won the medal over McCormack.
She comes home and her mother tries to comfort her, but McCormack doesn’t seem to understand. She is perfectly fine and there seems to be no emotion about what happening.
Kelly begins to see that her daughter may have had something to do with the drowning of the boy and when other things begin to happen, the sweet and innocent girl might not be so sweet and innocent as everyone believes.
I found this film to be excellent. McCormack is phenomenal in her role. She looks sweet and innocent, like she could do no wrong, but her acting makes her into a monster that is capable of killing. She flares up with temper and she has the childish ideas that lead her to commit the crimes. She also still has that child naivety that makes us remember, she is still only an 8 year-old girl.
The other performances are well done too, they just help to surround the acting job of McCormack and a film like this, that is all they really needed to do.
I would highly recommend this film if you want to see a psychological thriller, a film of moral dilemma or just a plan good film that will have you captivated from the get-go. This is an excellent watch.
My Rating: 8 out of 10