August 8, 2011

The Bad Seed (1956)

"An ideal housewife begins to suspect her loving adolescent daughter may be a heartless killer."

If you ever needed proof that to spare the rod spoils the child, this was it! Based on Maxwell Anderson's play, this picture was the inspiration for 1994's "The Good Son", as well as the 1985 TV movie of the same name.

Nancy Kelly and Patty McCormack reprised their stage roles for this film which explains the acting and dated dialogue, but as far as the subject matter goes, "The Bad Seed" was years ahead of its time. Only the unrealistic ending lets it down, but there's a much more satisfying one after the credits.

I'd heard a lot of good things about "The Bad Seed" for years before I actually saw it, and although it isn't really scary, it's still quite effective and provides something to think about, especially when you consider how much worse children have become since. Kids are intrinsically evil, and if left unchecked, they all have the potential to turn into psychopaths.

If you are one of those "progressive parents" who thinks that their child can do no wrong and you've never seen "The Bad Seed", you need to.

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