The Bad Seed

Synopsis: Christine Penmark seems to have it all: a lovely home, a loving husband and the most "perfect" daughter in the world. But since childhood, Christine has suffered from the most terrible recurring nightmare. And her "perfect" daughter's accomplishments include lying, theft and possibly much, much worse. Only Christine knows the truth about her daughter and only Christine's father knows the truth about her nightmare.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Horror
Director(s): Mervyn LeRoy
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
129 min


- Be right out, sergeant.

- Yes, sir.

- Car's here, sweetheart.

- All right, darling.


Rhododendron, pal.

That's a mighty pretty piece.

It's Au Clair de la Luna, Daddy.

In English, that means

"By the Light of the Moon."

Well, I hate to tune you off, but have

you got time to come say goodbye?

Of course, Daddy.

- Will you write Mother every day?

- I'll write both my girls every day.

And will you put in a special page

just for me?

Oh, she has to have a very special page

all her own, you know.

- Ha, ha.

- A special page with lots of X's.

Oh, Monica, how nice.

Yes, here's your effusive landlady from

upstairs, darlings, come to say goodbye.

No life of my own,

so I need other people's.

I speak for my brother Emory as well.

He had to go to meet Reginald Tasker.

He's the speaker

at our psychiatry club this evening.

Emory never gets a chance

to speak when I'm around.

Oh, dear, I've talked enough.

You say something, colonel.

I'm afraid it'll just have

to be goodbye, Monica. I'm taking off.

Do something about not having a war.

I'm not ready to be turned

into a piece of chalk just yet.

Well, by... By gum, I'll try.

You said "by gum" because I'm here.

- You're right. I did.

- Don't worry about your two darlings.

If either of them begins to look peaked,

I'll send smoke signals.

- Thanks, Monica.

- Rhoda, dear, let's you and I stay here... Mommy and Daddy can say goodbye

by themselves.

- Besides, I have a surprise for you.

- Presents?


All right.

I'll take my goodbye present here.

Now, what'll you give me

if I give you a basket of kisses?

Ha, ha. I'll give you a basket of hugs.

I'll miss your hugs.

I'll miss your kisses, Daddy.

You're so big and strong.

See my effect on girls?

Goodbye now, sweetheart.

- Take care of Mommy?

- I will, Daddy.

- Goodbye, Monica.

- Goodbye.

Come on, darling.

What have you got for me, Aunt Monica?

Let's see if you can guess.

- Good morning, sergeant.

- Morning, Mrs. Penmark.

Thanks, sergeant.

Darling, when you see Daddy

in Washington...

...will you have him come

and pay me a visit?

Sure, I will.

Oh, Kenneth.

- We've lived through this before.

- Oh, I know it.

I'm just not in any mood

to shout "hooray," that's all.

- Smile, girl.

- Ha, ha.

My girl?

Oh, yes, forever and ever.

Bye, darling.

Look, Mommy.

Oh. Monica,

what have you given her now?

It's a pair of dark glasses to keep the sun

out of those pretty blue eyes...

...and the rhinestones to frame them in.

My, my, who is this

glamorous Hollywood actress?

Ooh, I like them.

- Where's the case?

- Here it is, dear.

Didn't you ever hear

about spoiling people?


Now, here's something else.

This was given to me

when I was 8 years old.

- It's a little young for me now.

- Ha-ha-ha.

But it's still just right

for an 8-year-old.

Monica, Monica, I just don't know

what I'm going to do with you.

However, there's a garnet set in it, so we'll

have to change that for a turquoise...

...since turquoise is your birthstone.

Could I have both stones?

The garnet too?

- Rhoda. Rhoda.

- Ha-ha-ha.

What a way to behave. Now...

- Why, certainly you may, of course.

- Tsk, tsk, tsk.

How wonderful to meet

such a natural little girl.

She knows what she wants

and she asks for it.

Not like these over civilized little pets

that have to go through analysis...

...before they can choose

an ice cream soda.

- Ha, ha.

- Aunt Monica. Dear, sweet Aunt Monica.

Darling, I know I'm behind the times,

but I thought children wore blue jeans...

...or play suits to picnics.

Now, you, my love, look like a princess

in that red-and-white dotted Swiss.

Aren't you afraid you'll get it dirty or

that you'll fall and scuff those new shoes?

- Uh-uh.

- Oh.

She won't soil the dress

and she won't scuff the shoes.

Rhoda never gets anything dirty,

although how she manages it, I don't know.

I don't like blue jeans. They're not...

You mean blue jeans are not quite ladylike,

don't you, my darling?

Oh, you sweet, old-fashioned little dear.

Am I to keep this now?

You're to keep it until I can find out

where to get the stone changed.

- Put it in my treasure drawer.

- Rhoda, we'll be leaving in a few minutes.

Is your room all straightened?

Yes, Mother.

Unnecessary question.


- Leroy.

- Yes, Miss Breedlove?

What on earth

do you think you're doing?

I'm just trying to hurry

with my chores, ma'am.

Well, ring first and wait.

If nobody answers, then use your key.

Morning, Mrs. Penmark.

I left my chammy and pail...

...doing the inside windows yesterday.

Very well, Leroy. They're in the bathroom.

Does he always crash in that way?

Only when we're up and about, I think,

trying to prove his individualism.

- Leroy doesn't mean any harm.

- Has the mind of an 8-year-old...

...but he's managed to produce a family,

so I keep him on.

Monica. Ha, ha.

Morning, Miss Uppity.

When I was in school,

we didn't have no picnics.

I don't care what you didn't have.

Oh, we'll go right along, dear.

I just wanna write

this tuition check for Miss Fern.

Yes, Mother.

Excuse me.

You sound like Fred Astaire

tap-tapping across the room.

What have you got on your shoes?

I run over my heels...

...and Mother had these iron pieces

put on them so they'd last longer.

I'm afraid I can't take any credit.

It was Rhoda's idea entirely.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

John Lee Mahin

John Lee Mahin (August 23, 1902, Evanston, Illinois – April 18, 1984, Los Angeles) was an American screenwriter and producer of films who was active in Hollywood from the 1930s to the 1960s. He was known as the favorite writer of Clark Gable and Victor Fleming. In the words of one profile, he had "a flair for rousing adventure material, and at the same time he wrote some of the raciest and most sophisticated sexual comedies of that period." more…

All John Lee Mahin scripts | John Lee Mahin Scripts

1 fan

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Bad Seed" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Bad Seed


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.