A Child Is Waiting. 1963. USA. Directed by John Cassavetes. Screenplay Abby Mann. First produced as a television drama for the CBS series Studio One in March 1957
16mm. 102 min.
Jean Hansen, a failed pianist searching for purpose in her life, responds to a help-wanted ad for the Crawthorne State Training Institute, a facility for the care and education of mentally challenged children. There she becomes fond of Reuben, a 12-year-old boy considered beyond help by institute administrator Dr. Clark. Undeterred, Jean instinctively believes the child needs the attention and love of the mother who has abandoned him. Other than Reuben, played by actor Bruce Ritchey, the children in the film were real patients at the Pacific State Hospital.