Starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack
Warner Brothers; Directed by Mervyn Leroy
Black and White; Not Rated; 129 minutes; 1956
Maxwell Anderson's stage play, The Bad Seed, stunned and shocked Broadway audiences with its frighteningly real portrait of an eight-year-old murderess. So strong was the impact of the play that the making of the screen version was almost devoid of normal studio publicity and a synopsis of the film's story omitted the film's conclusion. Despite all these antics (including an "happy-ending" epilogue), the film of THE BAD SEED retains all the strength and brilliance of the original play and contains an originality in technique and performance that give it true classic stature.