The Bad Seed is a 1956 American psychological horror-thriller film with elements of melodrama and film noir, directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, and Eileen Heckart.


Kenneth and Christine Penmark dote on their eight-year-old daughter Rhoda. Kenneth leaves on military duty. The Penmarks’ neighbor and landlady, Monica, visits and Rhoda, pristine and proper in her pinafore dress and blonde pigtails, tells her about a penmanship competition that she lost to her schoolmate, Claude Daigle. Rhoda then leaves for her school picnic at the lake.