A Child Is Waiting (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Child Is Waiting (1963)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.

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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
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.

November 7, 2007 | Full Review…

Flawed but fascinating.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

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.

January 1, 2000 | 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.

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

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.

August 30, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | 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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