7.6/10
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89 user 26 critic

Lilies of the Field (1963)

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

On Disc

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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:

"He is not of our faith nor of our skin," said Mother Maria. "But his is a man of greatness..." 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

Considered to be one of fifteen films that changed American cinema. See more »

Goofs

Sidney Poitier "sings" throughout the movie. In his autobiography, he states he is tone-deaf- unable to sing on key. 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 »


Soundtracks

Amen
(uncredited)
By Jester Hairston
Sung by Sidney Poitier dubbed by Jester Hairston
See more »

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User Reviews

 
you can always trust Sidney Poitier
15 May 2005 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

While driving through Arizona, Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier) stops at a chapel run by a group of East German nuns. He intends to stay only briefly, but ends up building most of the chapel for them. Naturally, both sides are a bit unfamiliar with the other side: Homer has to explain to the nuns his life as a black man in America, and the nuns have to explain to Homer their mission in life.

As always, Sidney Poitier does a splendid job as a man forcing people to look into their own prejudices. In fact, his character is someone still looking for his path in life. Maybe some people might say that Poitier was essentially playing the same character that he always played, but we have to remember that this was a total break from the Stepin Fetchit mold that had dominated the image of black people for so long, so movies like "Lilies of the Field" were pretty important. Poitier's Oscar win for this movie was well-deserved.


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