7.3/10
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45 user 25 critic

A Child Is Waiting (1963)

Approved | | Drama | 11 May 1963 (Italy)
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:

John Cassavetes

Writers:

Abby Mann (screenplay), Abby Mann (story)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Dr. Matthew Clark
Judy Garland ... Jean Hansen
Gena Rowlands ... Sophie Widdicombe
Steven Hill ... Ted Widdicombe
Paul Stewart ... Goodman
Gloria McGehee Gloria McGehee ... Mattie
Lawrence Tierney ... Douglas Benham
Bruce Ritchey ... Reuben Widdicombe
John Marley ... Holland
Bill Mumy ... Boy Counting Jean's Pearls
Elizabeth Wilson ... Miss Fogarty
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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:

If This Were Flesh Of Your Flesh - Would You Hold It Close ...Protect It ...Love It ...Or Would You Turn Your Back And Run... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1963 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Un niño espera See more »

Filming Locations:

Pomona, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Noam Pitlik's film debut. See more »

Goofs

The narrator tells us Reuben was placed in the State Mental Hospital 6 September 1959, but the automobile in which he arrives bears very visible 1962 New York license plates. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Matthew Clark: I think you can find what you're looking for here, Miss Hansen. Because it's not what you can do for these children; it's what they can do for you.
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

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User Reviews

Supportive, descriptive.
14 October 2001 | by sedakaSee all my reviews

A truly heartwarming look at the every day lives of children at a mental facility. Judy Garland gives a great performance as Jean Hansen, a lonely woman on the look out for just the right kind of job.

Burt Lancaster is very convincing as the hospital psychiatrist. He is strict but in many ways kind to the kids. However, the one standout child in this movie is Bruce Ritchey who portrays "Reuben Widdecombe". The boy dislikes Lancaster for his strictness.

I thought Billy Mumy "Lost In Space" and "Twilight Zone" would have had a bigger part in this, yet he is only in a supporting role. Bruce Ritchey looks like "the boy next door", like any other normal kid. Judy Garland takes a great interest in Ritchey and gets his parents to come out to the hospital to see him.

The dad, Steven Hill, wants to forget that his son ever existed and refuses to come see the boy until the mother, played by Gena Rowlands, tearfully persuades her ex-husband to visit he son. She comes to the hospital herself but refuses to see Reuben.

All in all, the movie is wonderful. You will definately need to have a box of kleenex nearby. Ritchey will win your heart! I give it an enthusiastic 2 THUMBS UP!


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