The Bad Seed

The Bad Seed

Movie: The Bad Seed
Director: Paul Wendkos
Produced by: Hajeno Productions, Warner Brothers Television
Released By:
MPAA Rating:

The 1985 TV movie The Bad Seed is the second film version of Maxwell Anderson’s 1956 Broadway play. Carrie Wells plays Rachel Penmark, a 9-year-old girl who is perfection itself–unless she’s crossed or challenged. Several disturbing recent incidents have led Rachel’s mother Christine to suspect that her child is a latent murderess. Upon discovering that she herself is the daughter of a convicted killer, Christine becomes convinced that sweet little Rhoda is a “bad seed”–an inherent killer who feels no remorse because she doesn’t know any better. David Carradine co-stars as a moronic handyman who comes too close to Rhoda’s secret to live, while Lynn Redgrave essays the Evelyn Varden role of Monica Breedlove, a garrulous landlady. Originally aired February 7, 1985, this version of The Bad Seed avoids the many cop-outs in the 1956 theatrical film version by retaining Maxwell Anderson’s ironic final scene. Film historians will note that producers changed the title character’s name from “Rhoda” to “Rachel” for this version, perhaps to lend the story a more contemporary feel.

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