A Child Is Waiting (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Child Is Waiting (1963)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Child Is Waiting Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Produced by Stanley Kramer, A Child is Waiting is set in an institution for the mentally handicapped, with many actual residents playing supporting and bit roles. Doctor Burt Lancaster and instructor Judy Garland often find themselves at odds over teaching methods, with Garland preferring an intense one-on-one approach with her students. Bruce Ritchey, a non-developmentally challenged youth, plays the retarded son of Gena Rowlands and Steven Hill, whose intellectual and social progress becomes the focal point of the film. The most uplifting sequence in A Child is Waiting takes place during a play staged by the genuinely handicapped children for their parents; while director John Cassavetes gilds the lily with close-ups of the teary-eyed audience, the kids themselves are earnest, engaging, and totally devoid of self-pity. According to Stanley Kramer, Judy Garland left her best work in this film on the cutting room floor; whenever completing a scene in which she'd exercised professional restraint, she'd insist upon a retake, then resort to the sobbing and breast-beating that her fans had come to expect.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Abby Mann
In Theaters:
United Artists


Judy Garland
as Jean Hansen
Burt Lancaster
as Dr. Matthew Clark
Gena Rowlands
as Sophie Widdicombe / ...
Steven Hill
as Ted Widdicombe
Bruce Ritchey
as Reuben Widdicombe
Paul Stewart
as Goodman
Lawrence Tierney
as Douglas Benham
Elizabeth Wilson
as Miss Fogarty
Barbara Pepper
as Miss Brown
John Morley
as Holland
June Walker
as Mrs. McDonald
Mario Gallo
as Dr. Lombardi
Fred Draper
as Dr. Sack
John Marley
as Holland
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A Child Is Waiting

Critic Reviews for A Child Is Waiting

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

Burt Lancaster delivers a firm, sincere, persuasive and unaffected performance.

Full Review… | November 7, 2007
Top Critic

Flawed but fascinating.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One should learn a great deal from this picture -- all of which should be helpful and give hope.

Full Review… | May 10, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

John Cassavetes takes a shot at straight commercial filmmaking (1963), and the results are a little wide of the mark.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

John Cassavetes's attempt at commercial cinema is uncharacteristically conventional and sentimental melodrama, but it contains some emotional sequences between Judy Garland and the mentally challenged children.

Full Review… | October 23, 2012

This film draws from the social stance of a Stanley Kramer and the institutional approach of a Frederick Wiseman and rises above their judgmental attitudes to produce a wonderfully provocative and sympathetic film.

Full Review… | August 30, 2006
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for A Child Is Waiting


well intentioned and earnest, but keeps you at a distance

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


i couldn't really believe this was john cassavetes. it doesn't look like his work at all. definitely glad i watched it on ifc at six in the morning though.

Brock Snyder

A Child Is Waiting Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss A Child Is Waiting on our Movie forum!