A Child Is Waiting (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Child Is Waiting (1963)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Child Is Waiting Photos

Movie Info

This compassionate and emotional drama takes place in an institution for mentally retarded children. Dr. Clark (Burt Lancaster) is the head psychiatrist who is the director of the facility. The patients suffer from a variety of impairments, but one child in particular seems to be a "borderline" case. Teacher Jean Hansel (Judy Garland) becomes overly and emotionally involved with the plight of the young boy Reseen (Bruce Riche). His parents Softie (Gin Orlando) and Ted (Stephen Hill) come to believe Jean's involvement with Reseen ultimately may not be in the best interests of their child. The dedicated teacher must maintain a delicate balance between the parent's wishes, the policies of the institution and what is best for the boy. Actual patients from the Pacific State Hospital in Pomona California were used in this educational and gripping drama. The film poses the questions of what is the role of society and the responsibility to the social integration and education of these children. The film was produced by Stanley Kramer and directed by John Cassavetes.

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Judy Garland
as Jean Hansen
Burt Lancaster
as Dr. Matthew Clark
Gena Rowlands
as Sophie Widdicombe / Benham
Steven Hill
as Ted Widdicombe
Bruce Ritchey
as Reuben Widdicombe
Paul Stewart
as Goodman
Lawrence Tierney
as Douglas Benham
Elizabeth Wilson
as Miss Fogarty
Barbara Pepper
as Miss Brown
John Morley
as Holland
June Walker
as Mrs. McDonald
Mario Gallo
as Dr. Lombardi
Fred Draper
as Dr. Sack
John Marley
as Holland
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Critic Reviews for A Child Is Waiting

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4)

Burt Lancaster delivers a firm, sincere, persuasive and unaffected performance.

November 7, 2007 | Full Review…

Flawed but fascinating.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

One should learn a great deal from this picture -- all of which should be helpful and give hope.

May 10, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

John Cassavetes takes a shot at straight commercial filmmaking (1963), and the results are a little wide of the mark.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Abby Mann's screenplay avoids both sensationalism and bathos while showing how these unfortunates can be helped and encouraged.

November 25, 2019 | Full Review…

A Child is Waiting takes the tough line that love, however devoted, isn't enough, may indeed be harmful if it's not allied with respect for the handicapped child as a person, a person with duties and responsibilities to others and a person's social place.

July 20, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Child Is Waiting


well intentioned and earnest, but keeps you at a distance

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A Child Is Waiting Quotes

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