A Child Is Waiting - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Child Is Waiting Reviews

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½ July 4, 2016
A Child Is Waiting is an amazing film. It is about Dr. Matthew Clark who is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute. Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland give incredible performances. The screenplay is well written. John Cassavetes did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama. A Child Is Waiting is a must see.
June 28, 2015
Dare I say: A land-mark film as it pertains to intellectual disabilities. A shame Cassavetes disowned this one. At one point this film let the kids with actual disabilities shine much more than Stanley Kramer wanted it to. He recut it (differently than Cassavetes specified) but the power of Cassavetes "realism" shines through. A must for people interested in the history of civil rights laws and or disabilities; learning or otherwise. It's finally heading to blu-ray and dvd in the USA in 2015!
July 11, 2013
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 shows that his style was simply eons ahead of his time. Touching of the subject of mentally handicapped children was certainly something that 60s Hollywood would have tried to avoid, but A Child Is Waiting not only does that, but it also casted children with retardation. It's an often upsetting film, but the performances of Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland are immense, as is Cassavetes sensitive direction. Another near-landmark film from the indelible filmmaker.
½ February 6, 2013
Wow - this film is like a kick in the guts. Judy proves she is more than a singing and dancing Dorothy Gale in this challenging film to watch, even by today's standard 'A child is waiting' pushes us to confront our prejudices and fears concerning the unknown territory of mental and physical disabilities. Nothing short of amazing.
November 10, 2012
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.
October 21, 2012
good pairing burt n judy
½ January 6, 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.
September 30, 2011
A little too melodramatic for my taste. Not what I think of when I think Cassavetes.
June 15, 2011
Accessible and tear-jerking studio outing from director, and American indie legend, John Cassavetes. While his creative juices were curtailed when he was allegedly fired by Stanley Kramer during the edit, Cassavetes skill as a director comes through in the wonderful performances and direction that keep this movie clear of overtly hammy melodramatic blunders. Garland was never better and while this may not have fulfilled the director's full vision it is proof that, even early in his career and under the shackles of 'the system', Cassavetes was one of America's brightest and most interesting directing talents.
May 27, 2011
Had some good lessons, emotion, and acting, but still...I believe the parents of the children would be the best ones to teach the children, after having a little training themselves. Plus, I think they could have found a more pleasant song to teach the children!
January 15, 2011
A great dramatic story, very well directed and with a lot of heart. Glad to see Judy Garland in a dramatic role that it doesn't involve singing and doing it wonderfully!
A very touchy story that made me cry.
½ September 9, 2010
Superbly insightful...amazing performances by all..the story is told very well...whats a pity is that even after so many years we still are prejucied against people with LD
June 28, 2010
A minor Cassavetes, but an interesting film. The performances are great, and the direction is, of course, good, especially for all of the special children involved. Too bad it was taken away from him during editing, it has the seeds of greatness.
June 21, 2010
The movie wants to make a great point about child care and it may have gone over better back then. The acting seems underwelming to me.
June 9, 2010
A Child Is Waiting. What a wonderful title. It alone emits the feelings the film does. There are moments when we feel as if the film is going to take off into a flight of elatedness in its music, but the nature of the film in Cassavetes's eyes, Cassavetes not having been given a great deal of trust during the film's production, joins like a backdrop and we are reminded of the right, and occasional necessity, film has to reality. He certainly drew beautiful work out of Judy Garland. I see so many real people in her performance.

This, however, is not the film that Cassavetes initially made. Cassavetes wanted to make a film about the hidden, twisted beauty of a mentally handicapped child, that adults have less tolerance, patience, and basic wisdom that retarded children can have. Producer Stanley Kramer had other, more cautious, less daring thoughts. In his re-editing, he fashioned from Cassavetes's cut a film about the loneliness and pitiful existence of mentally handicapped people, and that the only place for them is in an institution. It would've been quite fascinating had Cassavetes been granted more trust by Kramer and screenwriter Abby Mann. Nevertheless, with this history behind this movie kept in mind, maybe one can find even more clarity in what is communicated. Perhaps both Cassavetes and Kramer had truth to their perspectives. Perhaps this is a very unique cinematic effect that has come from this very unorthodox film. If they'd been able to reach an agreement, their views could've combined and made a truly profound film.
December 9, 2009
pretty fucked up in an unsetteling kinda way
October 22, 2009
This is not what you expect of a John Cassavetes film. Yet it is a very fine picture with wonderful camerawork and a brilliant sense of timing.
August 19, 2009
An early Cassavetes film that touches on a subject matter that is very involved for the hour and 42 minutes that is allowed. Incredibly difficult material to put on the screen yet Lancaster and Garland excel in their scenes together. While late in Judy's movie career, she still can ring out the emotion just by looking at the camera. She was a great actress who could sing and only in the few films made in the last decade and a half of her life bear witness to that. Bravo to Mr. Cassavetes for tackling the subject of mentally challenged children/adults in the early 60's. I have only watched this movie in pieces over the years and I finally sat down to watch it in its entirety. A melodramatic look at a woman, Jean Hansen, well played by Garland. and her personal search for something in her life that matters. She is hired on as the "music" teacher at a school for the mentally handicapped and finds herself emotionally involved with one of the children, Rubin, played by Bruce Ritchey. It's definitely worth a look at and maybe have a hankie around.
½ July 25, 2009
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.
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