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Lilies of the Field 1963

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

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Lilies of the Field (1963)
Duration: (94 min)
Release Date: (July 5, 1963)
Genre: (Drama | Comedy)
IMDb Rating: ( 7.6 (4,460 votes))
Director: (Ralph Nelson)
Starring: (Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann)
Plot:
An unemployed construction worker (Homer Smith) heading out west stops at a remote farm in the desert to get water when his car overheats...
WONDERFULLY SIMPLE FILM, SUBTLY ACTED, GREAT PACE. POITIER IS GREAT AS IS SKALA. NICE CINEMATOGRAPHY.
Sidney Poitier carries this small and simple movie. Its not a classic, but it is damn fine film.
Review of Lilies of the Field (1963)
10 out of 10
Starring: Sidney Poitier and Lilia Skala.

"Lilies of the Field" is an amazing simple good-hearted film about a young black man (Sidney Poitier) and his relationship with a small group of nuns. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Lilia Skala. Sidney Poitier won his only competitive Academy Award for Best Actor for "Lilies of the Field." The film, which is rather short, shows how Sidney Poitier's character builds a chapel for the East German nuns out in the middle of the desert in the west of the United States. At first he refuses to do it, but through the film he decides to and in the end he completes his goal and the chapel is built. I highly recommend this film to anyone who wants an entertaining and heart felt story.
This is the simplest-plotted movie I've seen in quite some time. Nuns pray for someone to build a church. Nuns decide Sidney Poitier has been sent to do it. Sidney Poitier whines a lot. Sidney Poitier disappears for a while. Sidney Poitier builds a church.

It's really quite soothing as an interlude between all the Hitchcock and the further Hitchcock (plus Monster's Ball and The Accused) to come. A nice, peaceful movie with a nice, peaceful ending. Amen, indeed.

And, of course, there's the Sidney Poitier factor. Even now, he's a very attractive man (and apparently, a knight; IMBD lists him as "sometimes credited as" Sir Sidney Poitier). He was simply yummy back in '63. This movie gets an extra rating point for the Poitier factor.

Apparently, the best word to describe the budget for this movie is "pittance." Sidney Poitier gave up his salary. The director put a mortgage on his house. The entire film was shot in 14 days. And I can't think they paid the screenwriter very much, given how simple this movie is.

But its very simplicity, its very pittance-budget, is one of the great strengths of this film. It doesn't need splashy effects. It doesn't even need colour film. This is, in short, about a community--starting with one man who isn't even part of it--taking a journey of faith together. Even the nuns are progressing in their faith, and certainly in their English. Now all they have to do, given the community in which they live, is learn Spanish.

Heck, the physical journey of the nuns is something spectacular. I mean, we're talking East German nuns in '63. Somehow--it's never really explained how--they make it past the Wall (which I watched the fall of from an emergency room waiting area!) to take claim of some land someone--it's never really explained why--has left them in middle-of-nowhere Arizona. Even the climate shift is an admirable difference to overcome, but the nuns have to go through much more.

The Goddess smiles on such efforts, I think--both the movie and what happens in it. I believe it is Her will that we come to understand one another more, to learn to work together. Such is this film.
While this film is sometimes repetitive and annoying, Poitier's performance is excellent. With a few humorous moments, the movie is mildly entertaining. Might be worth a look, but don't expect much.
The Verdict
Directed by: Sidney Lumet



I saw the first 15 minutes of this film a long time ago and was board out of my mind. I must just have not been in the mood. While this film isn't an action-packed blockbuster, it's hardly borning.

It's a funny, telling and well constructed film about faith, conscience, duty and dedication. Sidney Potier has done better performances, he probably shouldn't have won his oscar for this, but he's still excellent.

The definition of a 'small' film, but a terrific 'small' film.

8.5
:fresh:4/4. I will start by saying this was a great movie. A whole lot better than Poiter's other star role in "In the heat of the Night". The story was alot better and i was just alot better paced. Sidney Poiter plays a worker for higher,who when's car breaks down stops among a house full of nuns.The main nun Mother Superior Maria,is played by Lilia Skala,who is convinced Homer Smith(Poiter) has been sent to her from God to build a much needed chapel.The movie itself is very well done to say the least.Especially being made in 1963.I liked how the movie was made in 1963, but it felt like it was a film done back in the late 1940's.Defintaley good touch from Ralph Nelson. I would go as far as saying its one of the best films of the early 60's along with West Side Story and To Kill a Mockingbird.It was funny touching and it held a strong religous message behind it.




The acting between Mother Maria and Sidney Poiter was great.He just wanted his pay check to leave and she had to convince him to stay and build this chapel for free.The actors fed off each other in a way that audiences responded.I am not surprised Poiter won best actor for this film.He really paved the way for future african-american acting.Is character is very likeable and easy to relate to. He wants to get paid and these nuns don't have a penny to their name.Just suberb acting by Poiter.Also the restaunt owner Jaun,played by Stanley Adams was very good in his role. The dialogue between him and Poiter really made the movie funny.The director of this film is a new one to me,Ralph Nelson.Im going to have to look into his films more after seeing this.I really gove me a good feeling after watching it.It put me in a real good mood.I love movies that can change your mood like that.This movie is a must see. Dont rent,"In the Heat of the Night" rent this.You will be rewarded greatly by this sharp,charming,little film.I'll sum this up by saying great story, great acting, and great overall film.I defiantley give my highest of recommendation.
Lilies of the Field is a simple film, most notable for Sidney Poitier's Academy Award winning performance, the first time an African American won the award. Review below.

Lilies of the Field (1963) - 6.2/10
Director - Ralph Nelson
Starring - Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Stanley Adams, Lisa Mann, Isa Crino, Francesca Jarvis, Pamela Branch.

A young black drifter named Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier) takes a temporary handyman job for 5 German nuns. Mother Superior (Lila Skala) thinks Homer has been sent from the heavens above to build a chapel. Unbeknownst by Homer, he is being charmed to build an entire chapel. After much hesitation he agrees, taking great pride in his work.

Lilies of the Field is a charming yet inconsequential film which would likely have been forgotton if not for Sidney Poitier's Oscar winning performance. Indeed he is a likable character, one made palatable to white audiences. However other than his award it certainly isn't a groundbreaking role for an African American, nor is it my favorite Poitier role. Enjoyable, but inconsequential.

Lilies of the Field (1963)

This is another movie I saw at least 10 years ago and it's definitely my favorite performance from Sidney Poitier that I have seen although it's not my favorite of his movies.