7.7/10
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Lilies of the Field (1963)

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

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ON DISC
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 ...
...
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:

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

Filmed on location in the City of Tucson. The church doors were borrowed from the Chapel in Sasabe, Arizona. See more »

Goofs

After Smith is passed the bread plate at his first supper with the sisters, it disappears and reappears on the table between shots. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Superb Film
5 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Of all the fine work done by Sidney Poitier during his heyday, this film stands out as the most accessible, the most likable and the most heartwarming. Poitier's portrayal of itinerant builder Homer Smith rings true throughout, a man living life on his own terms...yet still a humane and involved individual.

This film has everything that brings good humor to a movie. The classic "fish out of water" premise, amicable cross-cultural confusion, joyous music...but it is much, much more than a mere comedy; much more than a simple drama.

This film was made in the thick of the civil rights movement. A black man in close juxtaposition to a group of white nuns was an eyebrow raiser in the 60's, as was the overall multicultural setting. White, black, Mexican, Anglo, German, Hispanic - all are tossed together with such a deft hand that the occasional nod to the prevailing racist attitudes of the time is almost brushed aside as the film skillfully makes its point. The emphasis here is on people doing as people should do...working and living together, helping one another and learning and growing from the experience.

Perhaps this is the time for any of us who has seen this film to see it again, and ask ourselves how the lessons of "Lilies of the Field" can be applied to the recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the relief of all the human misery that has resulted.


41 of 46 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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