7.6/10
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83 user 25 critic

Lilies of the Field (1963)

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

On TV

Airs Sun. Jul. 21, 4:00 PM on TCM

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

Director:

Ralph Nelson

Writers:

James Poe (screenplay), William E. Barrett (novel)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sidney Poitier ... Homer Smith
Lilia Skala ... Mother Maria
Lisa Mann Lisa Mann ... Sister Gertrude
Isa Crino Isa Crino ... Sister Agnes
Francesca Jarvis ... Sister Albertine
Pamela Branch Pamela Branch ... Sister Elizabeth
Stanley Adams ... 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:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Spanish

Release Date:

5 July 1963 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Piety in the Sky See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$240,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rainbow Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Cinematography (black and white). 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

Mother Maria: [the morning after a fiesta] Well, you are awake?
Homer Smith: Yeah, I guess so.
Mother Maria: Good.
[throws a cup of cold water in his face]
Homer Smith: Why'd you go and do that?
Mother Maria: The women last night, they say that is the only thing when a man has been mixing wine with tequila!
[walks away]
Homer Smith: I'm gonna mix you with tequila!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in American Horror Story: Dark Cousin (2012) 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 Place in Cinematic History.
27 July 2002 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

The film that until 2001 sported the only African-American Best Actor or Actress Oscar winner. Sidney Poitier (in an excellent Oscar-winning performance) stars as an unemployed handyman whose car breaks down in New Mexico. He is greeted by a group of German nuns led by Lilia Skala (Oscar-nominated). The nuns are in desperate need of a church and it just seems that Poitier is not going to be able to shake Skala and the various duties she imposes on him. A really great film that works due to Poitier more than anything else. He carried what could have been a disappointing production into cinematic history. Arguably the best film of 1963, "Lilies of the Field" continues to be a funny, dramatic and heart-warming film nearly 40 years after its initial release. 4.5 out of 5 stars.


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