MovieChat Forums > A Child Is Waiting (1963) Discussion > Billy Mumy -- edited version on TCM?

Billy Mumy -- edited version on TCM?


A big "Lost in Space" fan, I was looking forward to seeing Billy Mumy in this film, but I saw him in only one brief shot. On the IMDb page, he is credited as "Boy Counting Jean's Pearls," but there was no scene like that in the version of the movie shown in August on TCM. Billy Mumy's name was fairly prominent in the credits at the beginning of the film, which also leads me to think he had a larger part in the movie. Does anyone know if Mumy had a bigger role in this film than in the version shown on TCM? Thank you.

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Haven't seen the film in a while, but I do remember there were several child actors among the developmentally challenged children. Many of the children had a few lines here and there (more like extras), but none of them had what you would call a "bigger role."

I honestly don't recall Billy "counting Jean's pearls" and have no idea why it would have been edited out. If the scene existed, it would have just been a momentary exchange between Jean and the children. As you've seen the film, you know when Jean arrives, the children are curious about her and want to interact with her.

If his name was prominently displayed, it may have been contractual.

"Billing" can be a tricky thing. More than one actor has received billing in the opening credits, and their part wound up on the cutting room floor -- but the credits were never changed! -- Sloppiness, laziness, or cheapness on the part of the producers.

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I closely watched the film, and the only time Billy Mumy is clearly seen in the film is when Judy Garland first enters the main building before she meets Burt Lancaster. She is surrounded by many students, and one of them is Billy, sounding like he was dubbed by a boy in a lower voice, and he is pointing at her pearls and counting them, although it may not be clear because of the indirect sound. I have a strange feeling I once heard Bill Mumy explain his lack of any further scenes in the picture, but I don't recall specifics. I could speculate he was deemed too professional an actor and his scenes were cut, but I really don't know.

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Lots of scenes involving the kids were edited out, because producer Stanley Kramer was uncomfortable with anything involving humour. Mumy may have taken part in such scenes along with the kids with actual learning difficulties, and thus been a casualty of this interference. John Cassavetes felt that being able to laugh at the kids the same as you might at anyone else was according them respect, treating them as real people.

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