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Bad Seed [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Nancy Kelly , Patty McCormack , Mervyn LeRoy    DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 2.77
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Frequently Bought Together

Bad Seed [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + The Good Son [DVD]
Price For Both: 5.90

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  • The Good Son [DVD] 3.13

Product details

  • Actors: Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Directors: Mervyn LeRoy
  • Writers: John Lee Mahin, Maxwell Anderson, William March
  • Producers: Mervyn LeRoy
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Aug 2004
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00027JYNK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,312 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the blu ray! 20 April 2013
By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER
Ironically this DVD is better visual quality than the new Warner's blu ray release and displays much better contrast ratios and definition. Undoubtedly a shocker on its original release in 1956 and despite having been changed for censorship reasons from Maxwell Anderson's highly successful stage play source - the film, directed by Mervyn Leroy, still packs a ferocious punch in its portrayal of a murderous infant and is brilliantly played by many of the actors from the actual Broadway cast. Although the changed ending does not have the chilling horror of Anderson's stage version it still has a pleasant feeling of just retribution although the ultimate moment when all the cast reappear to take their "bow" seems a misjudgement clearly required to demonstrate to audiences that they have only been watching a movie. Oh, such innocent times!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sowing the seeds of evil. 16 Nov 2013
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Bad Seed is directed by Mervyn LeRoy and adapted to screenplay by Maxwell Anderson from the novel of the same name written by William March. Anderson had also adapted for the stage play as well. It stars Nancy Kelly, William Hopper, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart and Evelyn Varden. Music is by Alex North and cinematography by Harold Rossen.

Is there such a thing as Bad Seed? Where I grew up there was a violent family of four brothers, each one would think nothing of doing a Begbie on you. It was the first time I heard the saying Bad Seed, with the conversation basically saying that their father was a psychopath and the four lads just inherited the violent tendencies by way of Pops. It's this theory that drives LeRoy's movie, only here it's a young "butter-wouldn't-melt-in-her-mouth" girl who has murderous leanings courtesy of her Nana's iffy genetics.

The theatre origins are very much evident, there is no hiding this fact, with the acting (some of the actors are held over from the play here) very much as if playing to an open auditorium, while at over two hours in length there's an over stretching of the talk heavy material. However, this is a very engrossing piece of horror cinema, pulsing unpleasantness and mood oppressive by way of black and white photography and a musical score that underlines the blending of sweet innocence and sinister evil.

McCormack as the Devil Child is outstanding, likewise Jones as the simpleton handyman who recognises evil when he sees it. Kelly, Heckart, McCormack and Rossen were all Academy Award nominated for their respective work in the film. As for the much discussed finale? Personally I have no problem with what transpires as regards mother and child.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 5 star film, but 2 star Blu Ray 24 Mar 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
For some strange reason Warners have decided to release this Blu Ray as a cropped 16:9 edition while their earlier 4:3 DVD retains the "original theatrical" ratio. Subsequently the image on the Blu Ray release is missing information from the top and bottom of the screen and the picture is rather soft and lacking in definition.

This is all rather frustrating as I anticipated that by upgrading to the Blu Ray release I would be gaining and not losing something. I do love the actual film but Warners have missed the opportunity to make this Blu Ray a 5 star release. My advice would be to stick with the DVD!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great and effective 1950's thriller. 22 Mar 2013
The Bad Seed is a great black and white thriller cult classic from the 50's, with great performances especially by Patty McCormak as the wicked and evil child Rhoda, also Nancy Kelly and Patty McCormack reprised their stage roles in this film. A single mother discovers that within her seemingly angelic daughter beats the heart of a cold-blooded serial murderer. One woman must make a terrible decision about the daughter she loves and desperately wants to protect in this classic thriller. Patty McCormack plays Rhoda Penmark, a seemingly sweet, beautiful, smart grade school girl who is in attendance at a school picnic in which a classmate dies. No one suspects that the accident was the result of murder except for Rhoda's apartment building janitor, a simpleton named LeRoy (Henry Jones). But when Rhoda's mother, Christine Penmark (Nancy Kelly), finds out that her real mother is a cold-blooded killer, she begins to suspect her own daughter. Her fears of what Rhoda might do conflict with her protective instincts as a mother, forcing Christina to make terrible decisions--decisions that themselves might be too late. This film comes highly recommended as it started the whole killer kids genre, it was definitely one of my favorites. Some might see the acting as being over the top but then again that's how most actors were like in the 50's before actors like Marlon Brando changed everything.

DVD Extras :- Audio Commentary by Patty McCormack and Charles Busch, basically questions Patty as the film plays and she does a bang up job informing us on all that went on with not only the movie, but also the play on which it was based (in which she and many of the cast appeared).
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment even today 9 Jan 2007
"The Bad Seed" holds a unique place in cinema history for daring (in 1956) to show a small child as being a wilful and calculating evil killer. I can only imagine the impact it must have had on it's release in the 1950's when portraying such cold-blooded behaviour in children would be unprecedented. But as a viewer today, I can only review it based on my own impressions, and whether it lives up to it's reputation and still works today.

The story is not complicated, it revolves simply around an eight year old girl named Rhoda and her family. Rhoda appears to be the perfect daughter, all plaits and smiles and frilly dresses, but unbeknown to her mother she is a skilled troublemaker, and has no compunction or guilt in "removing" obstacles that stand in the way of her getting what she wants. Most notably, the action centres on a school handwriting competition that sees Rhoda denied first place. The prize goes to another classmate who is subsequently found it possible that rivalry among a class of kids this young could lead to murder? And how could it possibly be the ultra-cute Rhoda with her cute manners and sunny demeanor? It's left up to Rhoda's mother, Christine, to face up to the terrible truth behind her daughter's perfect facade.

What works the best is undoubtedly Patty McCormack's performance as Rhoda. Without her portrayal the film would not be half of what is is here. Totally relaxed and confident, McCormack brings the character beautifully to life. Her delivery, ranging from petulant, suger-sweet, angry or cruel is spot on every time, and her facial expressions rival many adult actors in terms of ambiguity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very...Very...Very Bad Little Girl
This is a story of a very, very, very bad little girl. At the time this was made, the American film industry was not allowed to show evil triumphing over good, how the director... Read more
Published 28 days ago by goodfellow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
This old classic is well worth a look, as I love old movies I would have no problem ordering more classics from Amazon
Published 7 months ago by Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars ORIGINAL SIN
sheer class
I dont know why modern film makers do it their way when there is genuine Art like this to learn from. And all the younger viewers I shared it with agree.
Published 9 months ago by b c grieves
4.0 out of 5 stars Dodgy acting, but a good creepy story!
I vaguely recalled seeing this film as a kid and being scared. The blond little girl in the film, Rhoda Penmark is a eight-year-old sociopath and fledgling serial killer. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Peterabbit
4.0 out of 5 stars There aren't enough films like this
Films about killer-children are few and far between and when they do surface it is refreshing to find that they do not contain some sort of supernatural background. Read more
Published 24 months ago by ergoatlantis
3.0 out of 5 stars Half chilling psychological horror, Half dull melodrama
The Bad Seed is original because it was the first horror to explore an evil child and relies more on psychological horror. Read more
Published on 17 May 2012 by Joseph
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, but no need for the Blu-Ray
This is a real classic, no question about it, but I found the picture slightly mushy most of the time. Read more
Published on 7 Mar 2012 by Dimpfelmoser
4.0 out of 5 stars "How long do love birds live?"
Christine Penmark has a loving husband and a picture-perfect daughter named Rhoda. Christine knows that Rhoda can be stubborn and greedy and a bit of a kiss-up, but that's not all... Read more
Published on 4 Nov 2008 by Kona
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