I love the 1956 movie The Bad Seed with Patty McCormack as Rhoda, Nancy Kelly as Christine and William Hopper (aka Paul Drake on Perry Mason) as Colonel Penmark, Rhoda's father. The movie was based on a play first performed the same year that William March's novel of the same name came out. The library does not have the novel, but the Cascade Park branch has a copy of the play and I just finished reading it. OMG, what a great piece of work! It is especially fun to read if you have seen the movie like I have. One of the best things about the movie is that the most of the actors were simply reprising their roles from the play which ran from December 1954 to September 1955. Only William Hopper was a new addition, quite possibly because the original actor who played Col. Penmark in the play, John O'Hare was busy with a new TV show. The play is slightly different from the movie. In the play only one set is used, the apartment of Col. and Christine Penmark. In the movie of course it's easier to branch out and film several different locales, including the backyard where Rhoda plays with her tea set, and where Leroy, the janitor who gets wise to Rhoda's homicidal tendencies eventually dies after Rhoda sets him and his bed of Excelsior on fire. She is one evil little girl, which is the point of the novel, play and movie: That criminals are born, not raised, that environment means nothing, heredity drives everything. Sure, in the case of Christine it skipped a generation, thanks to Mendelian genetics. However, with Rhoda, the evil of Bessie Danker, Rhoda's grandmother and Christine's psychopathic mother has been resurrected with a vengeance. Watch the movie, read the play. It's a chilling tale.
Volunteers crazy about books.