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More Children Getting Key Hollywood Roles

Feb. 12, 1962 - Hollywood is betting millions that children in key roles will not ruin movies. This marks a reversal of the industry’s recent resistance to films that rely heavily on performances by children. Mainly, this reversal has resulted from the pressure for “family” movies and the success of Walt Disney films. At least seven movies released last year had children in important roles. Three more have been completed but have not yet been released, and five others are being filmed. Awaiting distribution are “The Miracle Worker,” “The Pigeon That Took Rome,” and “Point Blank.” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “A Child Is Waiting,” “Gypsy,” “My Six Loves,” and “Forty Pounds of Trouble” are being filmed or are about to go before the cameras. Probably the most daring enterprise involving children is “A Child Is Waiting,” in which John Cassavetes is directing mentally disabled children and a normal 12-year-old boy who portrays a child with a mental age of 5.

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