7.6/10
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91 user 27 critic

Lilies of the Field (1963)

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

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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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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. 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 principal motivation in directing a NBC TV MOW Christmas Lilies of the Field (1979) featuring Billy Dee 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

In the last scene when Homer is about to leave the sisters, they sing Amen. It is obvious that their voices are dubbed. Their lips are not moving to the music. See more »

Quotes

Mother Maria: The Lions.
Sister Gertrude: Ya.
Mother Maria: The Elks.
Sister Gertrude: Ya.
Mother Maria: The Order of Moose.
Sister Gertrude: Ya.
Mother Maria: Kiwani's, what kind of animal is that?
Sister Gertrude: American.
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 »

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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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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