As a result of co-operation between Cassavetes and Hollywood's producers, A Child is Waiting was shown in the 1960s. Burt Lancaster, a psychiatrist, hires Judy Garland to work at a psychiatric facility for children. Garland uses an innovative method to teach a mentally retarded child, Gena Rowland, who the world has turned its back on. Patients in the film were from a real life psychiatric institution, where this group of forsaken children was being honestly presented to the audience.
City life is filled with all sorts of stress and problems. When facing the dark side of society, the mainstream community usually takes refuge in escapism. It is only after waves of social movements and media coverage that the people's attitudes about these problems would change and that they would take affirmative action about it. This process might take half century or longer. Children issue has always been a sensitive subject, yet Cassavetes has already chosen to show its untold stories in his film in the early sixties to arouse public discussion.
Cassavetes was a talented independent filmmaker who also engaged in Hollywood productions. His works emphasized on his actors, and through their characters, instead of traditional storytelling techniques, explored the realities of society. This film was hailed as the most daring piece of Cassavetes' works. Its realism was praised, especially of his inclusion of real life patients. The patients' difficulties were profoundly illustrated so as to eradicate the public's prejudice against them. From this avant-garde work, we can even reconsider the situation of these issues in Hong Kong.