The Bad Seed
I love this movie. It's one of those you can watch over and over and discover new things. I watched it again last night, for at least the 20th time since childhood, and I still noticed subtle character nuances I've missed before. It takes a long time to get used to the acting of Nancy Kelly, and for years I suffered through it to enjoy the rest of the movie, but now I see it as a fine bit of acting as a woman learns her child is a murderer.
I've read the book this movie is based on, and as usual there are some plot changes, but it's a fabulous adaptation and I'm hard pressed to say which is better, book or movie. If you are one of those, like me, that loves old black and white movies, this is for you. A great glimpse into the past, it looks like things did when I was a kid, well, when I'd visit older relatives' homes, in any case. I like that, being taken back to a simpler time, before cable TV and PCs.
Eileen Heckart is absolutely wonderful in this picture, as the mother of the murdered boy. She is the wreck I would be if my child died. Always a fulfilling actress, she fleshes out this movie with a stunning portrayal worthy of close attention.
Paul Fix is his usually comforting self in this film. William Hopper, 50's eye candy. Henry Jones is aggravatingly likeable and turns in a fine performance too.
Patsy McCormick, the murderous child, bears close watching in this movie, sweet one minute, horrible the next, loving while looking you in the eye, making faces when you're not looking.
Please check this movie out, watch it intently, with no distractions, or you could miss something.