IMDb > Lilies of the Field (1963)
Lilies of the Field
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Lilies of the Field (1963) More at IMDbPro »

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Lilies of the Field -- Trailer for this black and white classic


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7.7/10   7,182 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
James Poe (screenplay)
William E. Barrett (novel)
View company contact information for Lilies of the Field on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 July 1963 (West Germany) See more »
Sidney Poitier as the life-loving ex-GI who one day encounters five nuns escaped from behind the Berlin Wall... See more »
A traveling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 13 wins & 10 nominations See more »
(96 articles)
1963 Convo Pt 2: Lilies of the Field
 (From FilmExperience. 15 August 2017, 3:00 PM, PDT)

On This Day: Basquiat, Last Temptation, Cleopatra
 (From FilmExperience. 12 August 2017, 6:00 AM, PDT)

Meet the Panelists - Smackdown '63
 (From FilmExperience. 11 August 2017, 2:15 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
My 'perfect' movie. See more (79 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sidney Poitier ... Homer Smith

Lilia Skala ... Mother Maria
Lisa Mann ... Sister Gertrude
Isa Crino ... Sister Agnes

Francesca Jarvis ... Sister Albertine
Pamela Branch ... Sister Elizabeth

Stanley Adams ... Juan

Dan Frazer ... Father Murphy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ralph Nelson ... Mr. Ashton (uncredited)

Directed by
Ralph Nelson 
Writing credits
James Poe (screenplay)

William E. Barrett (novel "Lilies of the Field")

Produced by
Ralph Nelson .... producer
J. Paul Popkin .... associate producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Ernest Haller (director of photography)
Film Editing by
John W. McCafferty 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joe Popkin .... assistant director
Harry R. Sherman .... assistant director
Art Department
Robert Eaton .... property master
Sound Department
C.W. Faulkner .... sound engineer
Del Harris .... sound effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Norman C. McClay .... gaffer
Leo McCreary .... head grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Wesley Sherrard .... wardrobe (as Wesley G. Sherrard)
Music Department
Jester Hairston .... music arranger: vocal arrangements
Albert Shaff .... music editor (as Albie Shaff)
Robert Bain .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Tommy Morgan .... musician: harmonica soloist (uncredited)
Other crew
Larry Hampton .... production coordinator (as Lawrence A. Hampton)
Stanley Scheuer .... script supervisor (as Stanley K. Scheuer)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:Atp | Canada:G (Manitoba/Quebec) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:S | South Africa:(Banned) | South Africa:PG (re-rating) | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (original release) | West Germany:6 (f)

Did You Know?

The large wagon driven by Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier) throughout the movie and which he apparently lives in while on the road is a 1959 Plymouth Sport Suburban.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: After Homer gets a drink of water from Mother, as he pulls away in the car, the camera's shadow is visible on the car. Also a large white rectangular reflector is reflected briefly in the window.See more »
Mother Maria:[upon first meeting Homer] God is good. He has sent me a big strong man.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Party Revolution (2004) (V)See more »
AmenSee more »


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48 out of 53 people found the following review useful.
My 'perfect' movie., 8 July 2000
Author: roarshock from Oregon USA

If someone were to ask me for the 'perfect' movie, this is the one I would choose. Not 'greatest', not 'best', but something better... an utterly flawless film. It's lean and spare, set in the desert and filmed in B&W. Both the humor and the drama are low-key, but are all the more moving for that, presented without clutter. It uses a small cast to create a rich diversity of characters from different religions, races, and cultures. But these differences aren't what creates the drama, they are simply a wonderful part of the background texture. The conflict lies purely in the clash of personalities between two good people, Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier) and Mother Maria (Lilia Skala), both with their own personal flaws and virtues.

I really can't begin to describe how much I like "Lilies of the Field". It could have been one of those awful preachy 'message' films, but it isn't. It is purely fine story telling. Which isn't to say you can't find meaning in it. Far from it. For me, I've always been taken by how the common human goodness of all the characters is brought out without being dependent on, or sacrificing, their many differences of religion or culture. They remain the same people at the end of the movie as at the beginning, except they're all a bit better, a bit less flawed. And that's pretty close to perfection.

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