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The Bad Seed

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Director: Mervyn LeRoy, Mervyn LeRoy
1956 / 129min / 35mm

The original and arguably never bested Bad Kid movie, based on a stage play by Maxwell Anderson, stars 11-year-old Patty McCormack as Rhoda, a pigtail-wearing, apparently “innocent” little angel who has a terrible habit of bringing homicide along with her wherever she goes, forcing increasingly unhinged mother Nancy Kelly to face up to the fact that her daughter just might be a conniving sociopath. A marvelously malicious melodrama, and a venerated cult totem for generations of sickos, including John Waters, who dedicated an entire chapter of his 2010 Role Models to McCormack.