In the back country of South Africa, black minister Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) journeys to the city to search for his missing son, only to find his people living in squalor and his son a ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
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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