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Lilies of the Field (1963)

Unrated | | Drama | 5 July 1963 (West Germany)
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A traveling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Homer Smith
... Mother Maria
Lisa Mann ... Sister Gertrude
Isa Crino ... Sister Agnes
... Sister Albertine
Pamela Branch ... Sister Elizabeth
... Juan
... 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

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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title comes from the Sermon on the Mount. See more »

Goofs

When the nun is looking up verses in her large Bible with Homer, she obviously isn't turning to the correct passages. Proverbs is about center in a Bible, yet she turns to the beginning, and she finds Mathew too close to the end of the Bible. See more »

Quotes

[Splashing himself with water outside]
Homer Smith: Oh! Why couldn't they have asked me to build a bathtub? With nice, *hot* water?
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

 
Superb Film
5 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

Of all the fine work done by Sidney Poitier during his heyday, this film stands out as the most accessible, the most likable and the most heartwarming. Poitier's portrayal of itinerant builder Homer Smith rings true throughout, a man living life on his own terms...yet still a humane and involved individual.

This film has everything that brings good humor to a movie. The classic "fish out of water" premise, amicable cross-cultural confusion, joyous music...but it is much, much more than a mere comedy; much more than a simple drama.

This film was made in the thick of the civil rights movement. A black man in close juxtaposition to a group of white nuns was an eyebrow raiser in the 60's, as was the overall multicultural setting. White, black, Mexican, Anglo, German, Hispanic - all are tossed together with such a deft hand that the occasional nod to the prevailing racist attitudes of the time is almost brushed aside as the film skillfully makes its point. The emphasis here is on people doing as people should do...working and living together, helping one another and learning and growing from the experience.

Perhaps this is the time for any of us who has seen this film to see it again, and ask ourselves how the lessons of "Lilies of the Field" can be applied to the recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the relief of all the human misery that has resulted.


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