MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 857 this week

A Child Is Waiting (1963)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,512 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 15 critic

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)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 images
created 15 Jun 2011
 
list image
a list of 32 titles
created 23 Oct 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 08 Mar 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Child Is Waiting (1963)

A Child Is Waiting (1963) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Child Is Waiting.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Love Streams (1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Diahnne Abbott
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Musical remake of 1940 "Shop Around the Corner" by Lubitch.

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, Buster Keaton
Stars: Judy Garland, Van Johnson, S.Z. Sakall
Johnny Staccato (TV Series 1959)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Johnny Staccato is a jazz pianist and private detective.

Stars: John Cassavetes, Eduardo Ciannelli, Frank London
The Clock (1945)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Soldier Joe Allen is on a two-day leave in New York, and there he meets Alice. She agrees to show him the sights and they spend the day together. In this short time they find themselves ... See full summary »

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason
Girl Crazy (1943)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Rich kid Danny Churchill (Rooney) has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to ... See full summary »

Directors: Norman Taurog, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A district attorney investigates the racially charged case of three teenagers accused of the murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy. He begins to discover that the facts in the case aren't ... See full summary »

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dina Merrill, Edward Andrews
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Judy Garland, Van Heflin, Fay Bainter
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An emotionally remote recovering alcoholic and his dowdy, unambitious wife face a personal crisis when they take in an attractive lodger.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Shirley Booth, Terry Moore
Summer Stock (1950)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small-town farmer, down on her luck, finds her homestead invaded by a theatrical troupe invited to stay by her ne'er-do-well sister.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken
Comedy | Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On a train trip West to become a mail order bride Susan Bradley meets a cheery crew of young women traveling out to open a " Harvey House " restaurant at a remote whistle stop to provide ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, John Hodiak
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:

Bekleyen çocuk  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director John Cassavetes (for whom this was his first major studio production) and Producer Stanley Kramer had many creative / economic differences and during the editing phase, Cassavetes was fired. See more »

Goofs

Fourteen minutes into the movie, the teacher asks "what time is it when the big hand is on the six and the little hand is on the twelve?" and a student answers "Six o'Clock" (which is incorrect), though when the camera pans to the blackboard, the big hand is on the twelve and the little hand is pointing to six (which is correct). 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 painful but compelling study about retarded children.
16 February 2001 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

A CHILD IS WAITING (United Artists, 1963), directed by John Cassavetes, is a groundbreaking study about mentally retarded children (today called mentally challenged), as seen through the eyes of Jean Hansen (Judy Garland), a new music teacher. Besides the top-billed Burt Lancaster, excellent as Matthew Clark, a strict but fair superintendent doctor of a state institution, the central character here is a 12-year-old-boy named Reuben (Bruce Ritchey), a borderline case, who is abandoned at the institution by his father (Steven Hill), who cannot accept his son's state of condition, which puts a conflict on his marriage. Although he and his wife (Gena Rowlands) also have a younger daughter, the father is the one who tries to forget about Reuben's existence. Two years pass with the silent and sad-faced Reuben seen patiently waiting, in hope that one of his parents will some day come to see him on visiting day. He fails to make friends with the other kids and remains mostly to himself, sometimes becoming difficult in the classroom, but after he meets Miss Hansen, he soon bonds with her. In spite of Dr. Clark advising her to stay out of the family affair, Miss Hansen tries to see what she can do to get one of the parents to come to visit with him. After tense moments between Miss Hansen and Reuben's mother, as well as with Dr. Clark, a compelling scene ensues when Reuben's mother leaves without making an effort to see Reuben. She gets in her car, drives away only to be spotted by Reuben, who tries to chase after the car.

What makes this movie particularly interesting to watch is not only seeing Judy Garland, known for her musical film roles in her glory days at MGM, tasking a difficult role with warmth and conviction, but the use of retarded children, actual patients of the Pacific State Hospital in Pomona, California, where most of the movie was filmed. Baby boomers who grew up watching the 1960s TV show, LOST IN SPACE, will notice young Billy Mumy of that same program appearing very briefly as one of the patients who greet Miss Hansen at the early portion of the story after arriving at the institution.

While the movie itself was a commercial failure when released, mainly due to its sensitive subject matter, I find that it was ahead of its time, and only Stanley Kramer, who produced this, could challenge such a project and make it work so well. Yes, there are moments when a viewer will try to refrain from getting all teary-eyed, but be warned, it's impossible not to do, especially before the fadeout. The scene with Miss Hansen directing a Thanksgiving play with the children performing for the audience, their parents, is also moving, as is the scene where Reuben, after appearing in the show, stepping down from the stage and being surrounded by a crowd of people only to look up and find that special person there to greet him. A CHILD IS WAITING, available on video, can also be seen occasionally on Turner Classic Movies. When last aired on that station, host Robert Osborne has mentioned that the movie was originally a 1957 television play. But as for the 1963 screen adaptation, done tastefully with conviction, it should be seen and studied, for that a movie such as this only comes around once. And let's not forget young Bruce Ritchey as Reuben in a great performance of his short-lived acting career. (****)


23 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Cassavettes Cameo? asoloway
Judy At Her Best! DVD? secreto_61
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:
?