The Bad Seed – Lost in Adaptation

The Dom compares The Bad Seed to its first 1956 film adaptation.

About The Dom

Reviewer of games, TV shows and movies. The Dom also likes to look at film adaptations of books and talk about what got lost transitioning from page to screen.


  1. I’ve never heard of this movie or book. I would probably like the movie though since I love old movies from the 50’s.

    • I liked it a lot, but then again, I grew up watching old movies. But I do recommend it. It’s one of those movies that, like Psycho and Citizen Kane, everyone should watch at least once so they can get all the references other media makes to them later.

      • I grew up devouring old movies, but only caught the ending of this one. I’ll probably wind up seeing the whole thing eventually, but at the time I couldn’t let go of how silly the ending was. You could almost hear the arguments between producers, screenwriters, and the Production Code authority where someone finally says, “I’m afraid we have no choice. She has to be punished by an act of God!” LOL

  2. Yes it would be interesting to see how other movies adapted quickly after the books release turned out. Two the come to my mind are To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath.

    In the case of the former I was lucky enough to read a chapter in my junior high literary textbook that was left from the film. I didn’t realize this until I saw the movie shortly thereafter and picked up the on the absent scene as Scout describes it to her father after the fact.

    As for the later, you want to talk about changes made to cope with studio censors…oh boy the ending! I just love to see the reaction from someone who has only scene the film to learning what happens. Might would be a bit like Tamara’s reaction to learning about the infamous “scene” from It that no one’s putting into any adaptation! Hilarious!

  3. Yay, another classic film! I know it by reputation, but never saw it.

  4. All American culture past and present can be very unsavory. And British too.

  5. Everybody should be Soviet influenced Russians all over this stinking world we call Mother Earth or just Earth.

  6. I watched this movie for an english class back in high school. Along with the movie for A Streetcar named Desire. We all had a good laugh at how they changed the endings to be “happier.” In Streetcar having the wife run away from her abusive husband after he rapes Blanche instead of staying with him because he’s THAT good in bed comes out of left field, but in this movie having the mother survive a POINT BLANK SELF INFLICTED GUNSHOT TO THE HEAD is totall bullshit. Although the added scene of the little girl getting herself struck by lightning because she just HAD to get that medal back does kind of seem like something the character would have done, even if it was just tacked on to make the audience feel better…maybe if she slipped and fell in the river it would have been a bit less silly.

  7. There was another kind-of film adaptation, called The Good Son starring Macauley Culkin and Elijah Wood. It’s actually the only version I’ve seen.

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