Oct 28, 2021
Book Vs. Movie: The Bad Seed
The 1954 Novel Vs the1956 Film
The Margos finish out the month of October with our final scary book & movie for the season--The Bad Seed. Written by William March and published in 1954 shortly before his death by a heart attack at the age of 60. The first adaptation was a play in the same year the book was published and starred Nancy Kelly (who won the Tony in 1955 for Best Actress,) Patty McCormack, and Eileen Heckert who would all go on to play their same parts in the film version in 1956.
The story of Rhoda Penmark, an eight-year-old child who just happens to possess murderous impulses, and her mother who may or may not be the “reason” she is a sociopath was a HUGE publishing hit and nominated for the National Book Award for Fiction. Part of it was the psychology used to try and find out why Christine is so afraid of her daughter and why she feels responsible due to her own serial killer parent. (If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother!)
The film earned Kelly, Heckert, and McCormack Academy Award nominations for their performances and earned $4 million at the box office. The ending changed dramatically from the original version to the film due to the Hays Code but it still delivers scares after all of these years.
So, between the novel and the movie--which did we prefer?
In this ep the Margos discuss:
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