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Lilies of the Field (1963)

Unrated | | Drama | 5 July 1963 (West Germany)
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A traveling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert.

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Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lisa Mann ...
Isa Crino ...
Francesca Jarvis ...
Pamela Branch ...
...
Juan
...
Father Murphy
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Perhaps The Most Extraordinary Story Of Courage, Conflict And Devotion Ever Filmed! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

5 July 1963 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Piety in the Sky  »

Box Office

Budget:

$240,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot on Linda Ronstadt's father's small ranch. There was no art director, but the Property Master, Robert Eaton, actually supervised the construction of the chapel, adjacent to existing ranch buildings. The interiors of the Nun's abode were filmed in these buildings. Robert Eaton rented a prop organ, furniture, and other set dressing and hand props from the Hollywood Cinema Mercantile Property House, located on Santa Monica Blvd near Paramount Studios. Eaton drove a rental truck carrying all the props to Arizona for the shoot, returning all the props after the film's completion. Watching the main Nun's interior abode, the prop organ stands against one wall, with a painting hanging on an adjacent wall. There is absolutely no continuity in where the prop table and chairs, related organ and hanging picture belong. The props are choreographed to the actors' motivation or movement in each scene. In the summer of 1979, Ralph Nelson was the principle motivation in directing a NBC TV MOW "Christmas Lillies of the Field" featuring Billy De Williams (Homer Smith) and Maria Schell (Mother Maria). The film was planned as a pilot for a mid-season 1979-1980 series replacement which was to be based at the Provo, Utah, Osmond Family Television Studio Production facility. The Chapel and Nun's quarters were built on State owned land 75 miles from the studio. The production planned to use this location for the series, filming additional locations in the Salt Lake area. Ralph Nelson would produce and direct the TV series "Lillies of the Field". The December 29th, 1979, MOW's slim viewer ratings resulted in cancellation of any further series development. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mr. Ashton: Say, where'd you get all the material?
Juan: The people give them, Senor.
Mr. Ashton: What for?
Juan: A man, he gives wood... bricks. In time, what does he get? A chapel... a place where his children can receive the sacraments. To these men, for their children to have faith, it is important.
Mr. Ashton: Is that why you're here?
Juan: To me, it is insurance. To me, life is here on this earth. I cannot see further, so I cannot believe further. But, if they are right about the hereafter, I have paid my insurance, Senor.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Party Revolution (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Amen
(uncredited)
By Jester Hairston
Sung by Sidney Poitier dubbed by Jester Hairston
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sidney Poitier's portrayal is absolutely outstanding, winning him an Acadamy Award.
27 October 1998 | by (Brea, Ca.) – See all my reviews

A touching film about a handyman who finds himself in a small desert town helping nuns to build their prayed-for chapel. Poitier's performance is incredible which eleavates an average movie to an excellent one. It can be rented but insist on the black and white version. The theme song "AMEN" is delightful and fits the film perfectly.


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What was the model of Homer's car? JB-36
Is his skin color important? nielw
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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