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A Child Is Waiting

A Child Is Waiting(1963)

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  • An Unforgettable Film!

    • Raymond Banacki
    • 11/6/17

    A triumph for all - and a shout-out to little Bruce Ritchey as Reuben Widdicombe - it is one of the great perforrmances by a child

  • A Child Is Waiting

    • Steven Tuck
    • 8/20/15

    This movie covers a subject seldom touched in 1962. Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland are opposing actors with opposite views on how mentally challenged children should be treated. Lancaster is the school master and Garland a newly hired teacher. Lancaster wants them to make it in the world while Garland wants to protect them from it. I think Garland agreed to do this movie because of her troubled childhood without a father and a domineering mother who viewed her as a pay check. She defends and tries to protect Rubin, a boy who has bonded with her. This is definitely another reflection of her own difficult childhood. Garland would star in but one other movie before her death, this time the story line relates to her own illegitimate child. She was great in this film and her last, I Could Go On Singing.

  • a child is waiting

    • kevin sellers
    • 4/15/15

    Not the train wreck you would expect from the unholy combo of Kramer/Mann and Cassavetes. It's actually a fairly quiet picture (maybe a little too quiet, considering the combustible talents of Garland, Lancaster, and Cassavetes) that takes a thoughtful look at the best way to deal with mentally challenged (or as they were called when this film was made, "retarded,") kids. Lancaster takes the tough love, follow the rules approach, while Garland is the embodiment of Mother Nurture. Since this film was made in 1962, a good five years before Flower Power, and a good thirteen years before "Cuckoos Nest," it's no surprise that Lancaster's hard ass wins out over Garland's softness. The film drags in spots and doesn't come fully alive unless the actual institutionalized kids are on screen, but I found myself liking it more than I disliked it, especially Garland's restrained (for her) performance. I guess, like most actors, she responded to Cassavetes' direction. Give it a solid B. P.S. Surprisingly non soapboxy script, considering who wrote it.

  • a child is waiting

    • claudis williams
    • 4/15/15

    mr. Lancaster and miss garland are 2 of my all time favorites....and I never heard of the film until I saw it today.I kept sking my self were the children actors or really mentally challenged. I kept holding back tears especially judy garland would pass away only 6 years later..i rate this as one of her finest pieces

  • Great, heartwarming movie

    • Paul Barba
    • 11/22/13

    A movie I try to catch each time it is played on TCM. A wonderful movie about children shunned by many of their parents and society who find a home here that teaches them that they have value and gives them hope. Painful to watch the role of Ruben has he left behind by his father who is horrified to see him drive off and seemingly abandon him at this home. Later he sees his mother who he has not seen in over two years also drive off without seeing him. You can feel both his sense of confusion and pain. But its the home that gives him the understanding and sense of belonging and value he seeks and needs. Later his father who has not seen his son in almost two years after talking to another parent of a child in the school begins to realize the problem was not his sons but his own lack of understanding and compassion. His son simply wants his love and its very touching to see the recognition of how wrong he was as he watches his son perform in a school play and father and son reunited in a embrace as the movie closes.

  • amazing

    • Dorothy
    • 10/24/12

    I had never seen this movie before tonight! It was absolutely amazing. Judy Garland was absolutely fantastic in her role, and I had not had the chance to see her in many films at this stage in her life. While I am not a fan of Burt Lancaster, I can honestly say that I did like him in this film, and felt that his portrayal of the Dr. was fabulous. I would highly recommend this movie to everyone.

  • Well developed storyline

    • CA_dreaming
    • 10/23/12

    This movie is a balanced portrayal of children with disabilities. It is a surprise; a heartwarming ending that is still realistic and not overly sugary. It is well-written, and the filming is excellent - for example, you find yourself mindful of the child's perspective when the camera looks up at a stern parent. This is a very enjoyable movie, and it is a shame that it is not available for sale on DVD. I can only conclude that the shameful treatment of people with mental disabilities continues and even if we want to own this movie, we are unable to buy it because some movie executive considers the subject matter appeals to too small a market. I would buy it. I would like it to be packaged with the movie "Special People" about the Famous People Players Theatre group - that would be a lovely set to have.

  • realistic

    • rolf norlin
    • 10/23/12

    i can't say how brilliant this film is from a practical/medical point of view. the characters were true to form, and gutsy casting for the time was excellent.. i only wish i'd been able to see this before.

  • A Rare Gem

    • Tali S.
    • 8/28/11

    Even though I only saw the last twenty minutes of the film on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), I was instantly captivated by the storyline and its characters. Later that day after seeing it I looked it up and watched the rest online. From beginning to end, I found myself being drawn into the characters and sympathetic/understanding towards the situation. When I was younger, I volunteered at a hospital for medically-fragile children for five to seven years. There were so many events that I faced at the hospital that were portrayed in the movie. One example being the children's parents; some were very supportive and involved while others were quite the opposite. Those who became for close to the children found this to be incredibly heartbreaking...The professional actors portray their characters with sensitivity and ease. You never feel like they're forcing themselves into the characters or criticizing them. Instead, they give an honest and realistic depiction of the people who are personally involved with not only children, but people who are diagnosed with mental retardation, autism, asperger's, emotional disturbance, and other forms of disabilities. Despite this film being back in 1963, it remains relevant to todays continual struggle with understanding where these people belong and what they can contribute to this society. It is a rare gem and often untouched topic in the film industry. High praise to all those involved in this movie.

  • Truly beautiful

    • gipsiegirl
    • 8/27/11

    Why haven't I heard of this film before? It is one of the most compassionate, soulful films I have seen. I was aware of the inhuman conditions in many mental institutions at the time, but I had not thought about the flipside: a good institution fighting against society's apathy.Lancaster's and Garland's characters are fascinating, especially due to the tension between them, and beautifully acted. I would have loved to have seen more time spent on them. But the children were meant to be the real stars of the film, so more character development for the adults might have inappropriately shifted the focus.Initially, Lancaster's character struck me as a bit cold, but he won my respect as he fought to bring dignity to the lives of his patients, and protect his hospital from losing funds to more the education of more "useful" children. Although professional actors played the main characters, many of the children in the hospital were played by real kids with autism and other disabilities -- and they stole my heart. Which makes the callous attitudes of many other characters in the film even more appalling. The scene in which the loveless father calls his son "defective" sent me through the roof. I admire the filmmakers for being such strong defenders of children, who are completely vulnerable to the decisions of adults.

  • I love this movie!

    • Robert
    • 2/18/11

    i just wanted to say that i just bought this movie on DVD, from i will warn you that i could not play it on my DVD player, but i could play it on my PC. good luck......

  • A child is Waiting

    • Virginia Beagle
    • 7/26/09

    This movie was so great from the subject it covered to the acting/directing. My daughter is a Special Ed Teacher, and she was also enraptured by the emotions and subject matter. It is truly a Classic, and needs to be on DVD for classic collectors. Not enough subject matter is available on the mentally challenged, therefore, it still carries an unfair stigma that these people are not capable of human emotions.

  • Make this available on DVD

    • pat zubek
    • 7/8/09

    I work at a workshop for DD adults and couod relate to this movie totally. I think it would make a valuable gift for some of my close coworkers.

  • A child is waiting

    • raymond j.clark
    • 5/18/09

    I love this movie because i devoted my time helping children with mentally challedged.This movie reminded me of myself visiting 3 homes as well as schools full of children of mentally and physically challedged children ,how ms. garland did in the movie.I mean children with disabilities that we don't NEVER see in public view,because PARENTS keep them hidden and shunned them fear of public negetive attitude toward them from pointing,stares,teased,avold, and laughed at them front of their face.THEY ARE LOVABLE CHILDREN,they will hug you,will respect you, and treat you like you are part of the family.I don't get this treatment from NORMAL children and adults.not even my own family. ms.garland should win an award for this warm hearted story.UA/MGM should make this movie for DVD.Especially parents with children with mentally challedged.I WANT THIS MOVIE ON DVD.


    • Jordan
    • 5/17/09

    What a sad, enlightening and thought provoking movie about forgotten or discarded children (who we glimpse a view of as adults with the continued behaviors and mannerisms, just larger and more to deal with). I can't imagine that most of these children were actors, but real patients at an institution. Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland do a fine job in their roles as Doctor and Music Teacher. This is a more serious movie, requiring attention to view, not a happy date movie.

  • A Child is Waiting

    • Victoria
    • 12/1/07

    What an excellent and heart warming movie, played by an outstanding cast! Definitely deserving of availability on DVD.

  • Great Film

    • JFHouston
    • 9/6/07

    I just happened to turn TCM on when this movie was about 20 minutes in and found myself surprised to see Judy Garland in one of her later roles. Not always a fan of Ms. Garland, I was fascinated by the subject matter and the view of such an issue from the eyes of a 1960's standpoint. I think the film was amazing and I would love to see it again.


    • sally mckee
    • 9/5/07


  • Judy is extrodinary in this movie

    • Tabatha
    • 8/2/06

    I think this movie shows Judy at her more serious moments. She is just an excellent actress and I think she showed a side of her that she can do it all.

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