A Child Is Waiting (1963)

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Movie Info

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.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
United Artists

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Cast

Judy Garland
as Jean Hansen
Burt Lancaster
as Dr. Matthew Clark
Gena Rowlands
as Sophie Widdicombe / Benham
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
Frederick Draper
as Dr. Sack
Fred Draper
as Dr. Sack
John Marley
as Holland
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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
Variety
Top Critic

Flawed but fascinating.

Full Review… | June 23, 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 9, 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… | December 31, 1999
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
EmanuelLevy.Com

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

Audience Reviews for A Child Is Waiting

Heartfelt and great film about kids that need help. Their parents are clueless, most of society can't deal with it. This is the definitive film about what a fifties generation took into their bodies by way of horrid drugs of the pharmaceutical industry. Are things so different now? [img]https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRE6-3i2c2wSIqneLlk5-FuoL47Y2Q3S4L46nZDRGMNT_OHWZhW[/img] A Child Is Waiting is a 1963 American drama film written by Abby Mann and directed by John Cassavetes. Burt Lancaster portrays the director of a state institution for mentally handicapped and emotionally disturbed children, and Judy Garland is a new teacher who challenges his methods. [img]https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcScDFR7sfTW2Jc4DgL7QSDo-nGp9KAeTzJLJTBiDfXwg9ezmkdP[/img] SEE the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxXcopSTZXg SEE the entire film here in parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxXcopSTZXg Stars Burt Lancaster as the schools principal and boy does he do a great job. He's just the best no matter what. He hires Judy Garland, perhaps her last film, as a want to be helper to the school. Although not qualified in credentials, she knows music. [img]https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1LbrXE1pwGV33uTy5hLhTq4Ip047A2qMmdo-5fN_AH7Un-DzwDQ[/img] This film is really all about Rubin, a really disturbed and lonely young boy. The film keeps going back to it. The story does have a romantic angle to it as well. Garland find out the principal, Lancaster, is separated from his wife. Original Release Date: Jan 26, 1963 Directed by John Cassavetes (Rosemary's Baby) and produced by Stanley Kramer. [img]https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSlWEQs51Ko3NYNuTtccTjdYEGwsgpXUcxdTDlTSM6eON6nM3IF[/img] Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland star in this sensitive, uplifting drama about the struggle to help mentally-challenged children reach their fullest potential. Lancaster says it best in the film, "Should't we be treating the parents rather than the children?" M. Rick doesn't crawl away from heartfelt films like these and call them "sentimental". They aren't. They are terribly realistic. Just ask any mental health professional. I strongly urge any film buff that has a film resonate with his/her belief that kids in need, .... need help. The film recorded a loss of $2 million. [img]https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR0W8i4DC4J1YTH9tSV9Vs6d6UAr25o8M6FWjBF0xMu5YQzB3gr[/img] REVIEWS by those like us: 80% An earlier directorial effort from Cassavetes that isn't nearly as compelling as his later works, but it's an utmost emotional film, and one that show... 100% A Child Is Waiting is a very underrated drama about the troubles of mentally handicapped children and the lives of the people who try to help them. 70% This film draws from the social stance of a Stanley Kramer and the institutional approach of a Frederick Wiseman and rises above their judgmental atti... [img]https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQrmQ1pnf98ySsfqJhCuvfF3_yEu83O5kG8JTjYTmbqj-t7oocAdQ[/img] NOTES: 1 Director Kramer wanted to cast Burt Lancaster because the actor had a troubled child of his own. 2 Garland was experiencing severe personal problems at the time and the director felt a supportive work environment would help her get through them. 3 Most of the students in the film were portrayed by actual mentally-challenged children from Pacific State Hospital in Pomona, California. 4 Director Cassavetes felt his personal feelings about the subject matter added to the disagreements between himself and Kramer, who eventually fired the director. 5 Director Cassavetes disowned the film, although following its release he said, "I didn't think his film - and that's what I consider it to be, his film - was so bad, just a lot more sentimental than mine." [img]https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTJF_ZEu-0tOPBt9PNL8YwxTiDkhnXc4pvusweanZbciOTYB8Pg5g[/img] Cast Burt Lancaster Judy Garland GENA ROWLANDS Steven Hill Bruce Ritchey Paul Stewart Crew Director: John Cassavetes Set Decorator : Joseph Kish Editor: Gene Fowler Jr. Composer: Ernest Gold Associate Producer: Philip Langner Costume Designer: Joe King Editor: Robert C. Jones Producer: Stanley Kramer Cinematographer: Joseph LaShelle Screenplay: Abby Mann Story by: Abby Mann Costume Designer: Howard Shoup Sound : James Speak Production Designer: Rudolph Sternad [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/ChildWaitingPoster.jpg[/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

A Child Is Waiting is a very underrated drama about the troubles of mentally handicapped children and the lives of the people who try to help them. Judy Garland does a great job in this film, along with Burt Lancaster who make you care about them and the children they try to help. It's a great drama that I hope becomes better appreciated as the years go by because it tackles the subject matter without playing dress up or exploiting the viewer's emotions.

Keenan Sullivan
Keenan Sullivan
½

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.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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