7.3/10
1,766
41 user 18 critic

A Child Is Waiting (1963)

Approved | | Drama | 20 February 1964 (Mexico)
Psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute, one of the first boarding schools for developmentally challenged children. Dr. Clark is sympathetic ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ghost is an idealogical musician who would rather play his blues in the park to the birds than compromise himself. However, when he meets and falls in love with beautiful singer, Jess ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Bobby Darin, Stella Stevens, Everett Chambers
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A museum curator falls in love with a crazy parking attendant.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Seymour Cassel, Val Avery
Husbands (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together. But mindless enthusiasm for regained freedom will be ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes
Faces I (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An old married man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin
Gloria (1980)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, Julie Carmen
Opening Night (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An actress suffers an emotional uproar in her personal life after a fan dies trying to see her.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara
Love Streams (1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two closely bound, emotionally wounded siblings reunite after years apart.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Diahnne Abbott
Shadows (1959)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd
Comedy | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The black sheep of a family and the local minister discover their true vocations during the Revolutionary War.

Directors: Guy Hamilton, Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jenny Bowman is a successful singer who, while on an engagement at the London Palladium, visits David Donne to see her son Matt again, spending a few glorious days with him while his father... See full summary »

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Judy Garland, Dirk Bogarde, Jack Klugman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper
Big Trouble (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Insurance agent plots with client to kill her nutty husband.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Peter Falk, Alan Arkin, Beverly D'Angelo
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Sophie Widdicombe
...
Ted Widdicombe
...
Goodman
Gloria McGehee ...
Mattie
...
Douglas Benham
Bruce Ritchey ...
Reuben Widdicombe
...
Holland
...
Boy Counting Jean's Pearls
...
Miss Fogarty
Edit

Storyline

Psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute, one of the first boarding schools for developmentally challenged children. Dr. Clark is sympathetic but demanding of his teachers and students. His approach of tough love is controversial. He takes a chance at hiring former aspiring concert pianist Jean Hansen as the school's music teacher, Miss Hansen who has no background in nursing, teaching or dealing with the developmentally challenged. She herself is trying to find her own place in life. She immediately bonds with autistic student Reuben Widdicombe, who she sees as needing special attention in light of his parents having not visited him since they enrolled him in the school two years earlier. The Widdicombes divorced shortly thereafter because of the pressures their relationship faced in dealing with Reuben. Dr. Clark sees Reuben as the type of child the most difficult with which to deal: Reuben understands just enough to realize that he is ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Burt Lancaster & Judy Garland take an untouched theme - and make it touching and unforgettable!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 February 1964 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Un niƱo espera  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Noam Pitlik's film debut. See more »

Goofs

During a meeting between Judy Garland and Burt Lancaster towards the end of the film, Ms. Garland's coat disappears as Mr. Lancaster is walking behind her. Her light colored coat is briefly missing, revealing the dark outfit underneath. See more »

Crazy Credits

Following the last name in the cast list (Elizabeth Wilson) are the words "and The Children". See more »

Connections

Featured in Edge of Outside (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Snowflakes
Written by Marjorie D. Kurtz
Performed Judy Garland
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Groundbreaking Film
15 December 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I wouldn't want to bet the rent money on it, but I think A Child Is Waiting is probably the first film to deal with the subject of mental retardation. In any event Stanley Kramer, John Cassavetes, Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland all ought to be commended for the work in this film.

My sister-in-law happens to have a mentally retarded sister and a late mentally retarded brother. They were in fact institutionalized at the time this film would have been made and later on were able to be a part of the workforce. To be sure it's menial labor, but the point is they are living independently. In fact her sister lives in a home for retarded adults now. She's closing in on 50 now.

I also had a neighbor with a mentally retarded child and she was kept locked in at home like some of the failures described by Lancaster in the film. They moved away when I was young, I never knew what became of her.

According to a recent biography of Burt Lancaster, John Cassavetes and Judy Garland did not get along at all during the making of this. Judy was going through some bad emotional problems at this time(when was she not)and working with the retarded kids in the film was pretty difficult for her. It was Lancaster who got her through the film and got her to focus on the role, channeling her own problems in life to what those kids had to deal with. Years later Cassavetes and Lancaster met up and some event and Cassavetes confessed he was green at the directing game and should have been more compassionate.

It's mentioned in the film that the president of the United States has a mentally retarded sister. Since that president was John F. Kennedy at the time, I wonder if the Kennedy family didn't have a behind the scenes role here.

I'm also glad that there was no romantic subplot going between Lancaster and Garland. Would have diverted too much from the film's impact.

And folks even today, it still has an impact.


35 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Judy At Her Best! DVD? secreto_61
Cassavettes Cameo? asoloway
Wonder about Judy pathos613
Raising a Child with a Disability meltmyheart
architect to district attorney ljdj
The students scourge2005
Discuss A Child Is Waiting (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?