A Child Is Waiting - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Child Is Waiting Reviews

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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.
½ July 10, 2009
I think this movie was one of the last that Judy Garland ever made. The plot is along the same lines as "Charly," but with a more hopeful tone. It's unfortunate that films like this (with a social conscience)don't seem to get produced by large studios with large budgets anymore, while crappy teen comedies are churned out with abandon.
½ July 8, 2009
This is film I could never think to forget. Every moment, every interaction is saturated with meaning and force, and the whole is a beautiful tribute to people living with mental retardation and those dedicated people who work with them. Judy Garland's performance is candid, human, and wonderfully real, and it is one of the pillars on which the movie stands. Burt Lancaster is a great actor, who, of course, does a great job, too. Abby Mann's dialog is, as always, gloriously real and bares all emotion, however painful. This is certainly a movie to watch with tissue-box in hand. I wish I had had a tissue, and my poor, wet sleeve must wish it, too!
June 27, 2009
An early Cassavets movie. You can see a great director emerging, but, probably, only if you've already seen his better (much better) movies. Acting is hopelessly melodramatic. If you (like me) are planning to see this movie because it was directed by Cassavetes, you can skip it without losing much, there are significantly better films out there.
½ May 5, 2009
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.
½ December 12, 2008
The acting is first rate, but the subject matter just drags you down.
November 6, 2008
This is the first Cassavetes film I've seen. It's a film from early in his career that demonstrates the scope of his talent for directing actors. Judy Garland and Burt Lancaster give strong performances, as does Gena Rowlands, but what really stands out here is the interaction between the actors and the children, many of whom actually have the disabilities that their characters have. The relationships played here are so natural and honest and intimate - qualities that are so hard to pull off, but Cassavetes achieves them with these characters. Overall, a remarkable early work from a genuinely gifted filmmaker.
July 24, 2008
A mi parecer una de las primeras peliculas en tocar el autismo
½ May 3, 2008
Chronologically, this was the next Cassavetes movie that I had access to after Shadows. Unfortunately, this flick's about as far from Shadows as Metallica's Load is from Ride the Lightning. This is a pretty typical studio melodrama about a young autistic boy whose parents have abandoned to an institution. Judy Garland, a new worker, learns how to treat the boy after taking an intense interest in reaching him, something that the cold institutional vibe that's perpetrated by Burt Lancaster doesn't care to do. None of the characters are very interesting or rounded. After the brutal opening scene in which the autistic boy is lured out of his parents' car, the film pretty much handles itself with the seriousness of a weepie, leading to a plodding pace that remains throughout the rest of the film. Visually, Cassavetes keeps things more interesting than you might expect, but there's nothing really innovative or terribly interesting about the nice looking shots and graceful camera movements. They just serve to give you something to chew on while waiting for the taste to arrive. Unfortunately, it never does. Even when the plot starts shifting, none of the actors bother to care enough to make their characters dynamic, instead riding those stupid acting motifs that Shadows shattered with such proficiency. Some might applaud Cassavetes for his employing actual kids with disabilities as actors, but when everything around them rings of stupid Hollywood procedurals, it's kind of an empty gesture. ** and 1/2 * out've *****
½ April 22, 2008
A very interesting little film featuring a compelling performance by Garland. One of the few films to deal with autism and says a lot about communication between humans. One of John Cassavetes few stabs at conventional cinema.
April 14, 2008
Judy Garland is great. She shows great compassion and heartache for the children in the story.
½ November 24, 2007
Judy Garland is empathizing with disabled kids.
½ November 18, 2007
some interesting ideas on working with disabled kids. even has a happy end.
November 10, 2007
Lancaster seems to be preparing for or continuing his portrayel of Don Fabrizzio. Other than that, the film is less interesting.
½ September 22, 2007
Though Judy looks about 10 years older than her 40 years, she is still as magnetic and tragic as she was in 1939's 'The Wizard of Oz'.

Here she stars with Burt Lancaster in this film about a school of mentally disabled children. Garland plays a new teacher just learning to cope and become comfortable with the job while questioning the methods of Lancaster's psychiatrist.

This is not a love story, but a John Cassavetes movie about challenging our preconceptions, accepting what is rather than waiting for a miracle, and learning that so-called 'normal' people have much to learn from those less "fortunate".

It is a heart-wrenching film that I highly recommend to anyone interested in the issue. Cassavetes always made films to challenge rather than appease and this is no exception.
September 9, 2007
More interesting than I expected, namely for the use of actual "disabled children" than for any of the performances. Both Lancaster and Garland seem to be coasting, but Steven Hill does a really good job as Reuben's father.
September 5, 2007
The film succeeds perhaps because, rather in spite of its being as dated as it is. Nonetheless, Lancaster and Garland both deliver strong performances here, with Garland managing to evoke quite a fair measure of empathy. Surprisingly poignant and difficult to watch at times, and definitely has NOT been outdone by any recent attempt at similar material.
July 15, 2007
I don't know if its luck or sheer talent but Judy Garland, even on speed and cocaine, is really good at what she does.
July 3, 2007
An instant favorite - possibly the most inspiring, heartfult movie I have ever seen....LOVE it.
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