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Lilies of the Field (1963)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,770 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 18 critic

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

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Lilies of the Field (1963)

Lilies of the Field (1963) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Billy Dee Williams, Maria Schell, Fay Hauser
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lisa Mann ...
Isa Crino ...
Francesca Jarvis ...
Pamela Branch ...
...
Juan
Dan Frazer ...
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 | Comedy

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  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$240,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

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 "Schmidt" first takes the nuns to mass and he goes across the street to breakfast and orders pancakes, Juan pours the pancake batter on the griddle and continues his conversation with Smith. At no time does he ever flip the pancakes over and yet they don't burn. 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 40th Annual Academy Awards (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Amen
(uncredited)
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.


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