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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
35 of 38 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?