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Lilies of the Field (1963)

Unrated | | Drama | 5 July 1963 (West Germany)
3:12 | Trailer

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A traveling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert.



(screenplay), (novel)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Lisa Mann ...
Isa Crino ...
Pamela Branch ...
Father Murphy


Homer Smith, an unemployed construction worker heading out west, stops at a remote farm in the desert to get water when his car overheats. The farm is being worked by a group of East European Catholic nuns, headed by the strict Mother Maria, who believes that Homer has been sent by God to build a much-needed church in the desert... Written by Christopher J. Thompson <thompson@amath.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sidney Poitier as the life-loving ex-GI who one day encounters five nuns escaped from behind the Berlin Wall... See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

5 July 1963 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Piety in the Sky  »

Box Office


$240,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Actor Sidney Poitier gave up his usual salary and agreed to do the film for a smaller amount and a percentage of the profits. He won the Best Actor Oscar for his efforts. See more »


When Homer leaves the nuns for the first time, the nuns must walk to mass along the road downhill. The sun is shining left to right across their faces casting a shadow on the ground to the right of screen. In all close-ups of the nuns, the sun is shining right to left (the complete opposite direction) across their faces. See more »


Mother Maria: [ringing the dinner bell] Schmidt! Schmidt!
Homer Smith: Old Mother gonna feed the slaves?
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the film, the word "Amen" is seen, rather than "The End". See more »


Referenced in American Horror Story: Dark Cousin (2012) See more »


By Jester Hairston
Sung by Sidney Poitier dubbed by Jester Hairston
See more »

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User Reviews

Simply an Inspiration.
8 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A classic in the deepest sense. No movie I have ever know has inspired more people to go and act on their beliefs. This movie inspires the deepest feeling of hope and faith. It proves that from almost nothing great things can happen. It makes you really believe everything has a purpose even the most unassuming situations as long as one keeps their mind and heart open. Albert Einstein would have LOVED this movie. It fits well with some of his theories on Life. Everything is a miracle in this movie. This is Sidney Poitier greatest work. He shows that even just traveling through life amazing things are always possible. Simple things like unemployment as the Mr. Smith finds out open avenues to adventures never even thought of. I would highly recommend everyone just to watch this movie at least one time in their life.

22 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is his skin color important? nielw
What was the model of Homer's car? JB-36
If it gets any better than this I haven't seen it.... SurprisingWoman
Lyrics of 'Amen' nstrap
Where did Homer come from? Fasteddy1985
they dont make them like this anymore lamplightz
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