Patty McCormack as Rhoda, the original child from hell in The Bad Seed (1956) (via LIFE)
Everyone knew I wrote the best hand! That medal was mine! So I hit him with my shoes! I had to hit him with my shoes, Mother. What else could I do?
-Rhoda, explaining why the little boy who placed ahead of her in a penmanship competition is sleeping with the fishes.
Not surprisingly, given that its main character was a charming, pigtailed eight-year-old serial killer, the film faced some difficulty getting made in the 1950s. The original ending of the script, which featured Rhoda calmly playing the piano after murdering half the cast, was changed to be in accordance with the Hays Code, which did not allow for movie characters to get away with murder. Instead, little Rhoda is killed by a bolt of lightning in an apparent act of divine retribution.