A Child Is Waiting (1963)

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This compassionate and emotional drama takes place in an institution for mentally retarded children. Dr. Clark (Burt Lancaster) is the head psychiatrist who is the director of the facility. The patients suffer from a variety of impairments, but one child in particular seems to be a "borderline" case. Teacher Jean Hansel (Judy Garland) becomes overly and emotionally involved with the plight of the young boy Reseen (Bruce Riche). His parents Softie (Gin Orlando) and Ted (Stephen Hill) come to believe Jean's involvement with Reseen ultimately may not be in the best interests of their child. The dedicated teacher must maintain a delicate balance between the parent's wishes, the policies of the institution and what is best for the boy. Actual patients from the Pacific State Hospital in Pomona California were used in this educational and gripping drama. The film poses the questions of what is the role of society and the responsibility to the social integration and education of these children. The film was produced by Stanley Kramer and directed by John Cassavetes.

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Critic Reviews for A Child Is Waiting

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

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

Nov 7, 2007 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Flawed but fascinating.

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

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

May 10, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

A Child is Waiting takes the tough line that love, however devoted, isn't enough, may indeed be harmful if it's not allied with respect for the handicapped child as a person, a person with duties and responsibilities to others and a person's social place.

Jul 20, 2018 | Full Review…

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.

Oct 23, 2012 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Child Is Waiting

½

well intentioned and earnest, but keeps you at a distance

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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