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“Swallow me a frog, but she’s smart!” If you’re swallowing frogs, she’s definitely the smarter one. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they try to stay off the radar of The Bad Seed (1956).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 96 – The Bad Seed (1956)
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A housewife suspects that her seemingly perfect eight-year-old daughter is a heartless killer.IMDb
- Director: Mervyn LeRoy
- Writers: John Lee Mahin (screenplay), Maxwell Anderson (1954 play), William March (1954 novel)
- Cinematographer: Harold Rosson
- Selected Cast
- Nancy Kelly as Christine Penmark
- Patty McCormack as Rhoda Penmark
- Henry Jones as Leroy Jessup
- Eileen Heckart as Hortense Daigle
- Evelyn Varden as Monica Breedlove
- William Hopper as Col. Kenneth Penmark
- Paul Fix as Richard Bravo
- Jesse White as Emory Wages
- Gage Clarke as Reginald ‘Reggie’ Tasker
- Joan Croydon as Claudia Fern (as Joan Croyden)
- Frank Cady as Henry Daigle
- Frances Bavier as Woman in Dinner Party (uncredited)
- Shelley Fabares as Margie (uncredited)
- Kathy Garver as Rhoda’s Classmate (uncredited)
The Bad Seed is Whitney’s pick. She remembers watching it as a child and being shocked at Rhoda’s, the title character’s, behavior. Now, however, she is intrigued by the conflict between the ideas of being born evil and learned behavior. Chad also saw The Bad Seed at a young age and recalls wondering why Rhoda was never disciplined. He has also come to love the movie and its nature vs. nurture concept. In Daphne’s view, The Bad Seed has a very creepy vibe and is populated with some super creepy characters. In particular, she gives praise to Henry Jones for his performance as Leroy. Jeff is impressed by the group of people involved in making The Bad Seed, including the lead actors, director, writers, cinematographer, and an excellent cast of supporting actors.
The Bad Seed is unanimously recommended by the members of the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue-Crew. At present, The Bad Seed is available to stream from several VOD services and as physical media on a Blu-ray disc from Warner Brothers.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. In the next episode, they will discuss a movie chosen by Jeff: Val Lewton’s The Seventh Victim (1943).
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