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Lilies of the Field (1963)

Sidney Poiter , Lisa Skala , Ralph Nelson  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)

Price: $78.28 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sidney Poiter, Lisa Skala, Lisa Mann, Isa Crino, Francesca Jarvis
  • Directors: Ralph Nelson
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056HEH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,569 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lilies of the Field" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Featuring an Academy AwardÂ(r)-winning performance by Poitier*, and nominated** for four additional OscarsÂ(r), including Best Picture, Lilies of the Field is a funny, sentimental, charming and uplifting film (The Hollywood Reporter). Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier), an itinerant handyman, is driving through the Arizona desert when he meets five impoverished nuns. Stopping to fix their leaky farmhouse roof, Homer discovers that not only will the Mother Superior not pay him for the job, but she also wants him to build their chapelfor free! Hesitant at first, Homer soon finds himself single-handedly raising the chapel and the financing. But although hewill not receive a monetary reward, Homer knows that when his work is done, he'll leave that dusty desert town a much better place than when he found it. *1963: Actor **1963: Supporting Actress (Skala), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography (B&W)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars amen September 12, 2002
I have a soft spot for "Lilies of the Field." One of my favorite teachers first introduced me to this movie. I'll try (and probably fail) to be objective in my review.
First, and most obviously, Sidney Poitier is amazing as Homer Smith. Homer is a little larger than life. Yet Poitier brings him off as not only believable, he turns Homer into an everyman of sorts.
Beyond Poitier things get a little shaky.
Lilia Skala is impressive indeed as the mother superior. Her harsh seeming exterior conceals a tender heart. The dignity she uses to deal with Smith's first leaving and return is truly endearing.
That said, the other nuns and many of the villagers come off a little too cardboard-cut-outish for my taste. There is also some pretty "sixties" acting (where you can visibly see the actor acting). Luckily, these flaws are easily overcome by the immense heart of this film.
At its core, Lilies of the Field is about resurrection and unexpected fulfillment. Coming together under the guidance of an unseen hand ("he build the chapel"), disparate people find more to life than what had seemed to be there before. The scene with the Priest at the end still gets me after seeing it more than a few times.
I give "Lilies of the Field" my heartfelt recommendation.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lilies of the Field December 18, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I found Lilies of the Field to be one of the most powerful and inspiring movies I have ever experienced. It is a story about growth, sacrifice, faith, and the power of human beings to occasionally work a small miracle or two.
A group of German nuns believe that a black, baptist drifter has been sent to build a chapel for their remote, Mexican-American community in Arizona. He disagrees, but can't seem to bring himself to move on; and so the fun begins.
Yes, this is a serious story, but the movie is full of joy, good humor, and surprises. Although faith is an important part of the movie, it is not forced down your throat. Sidney Poitier is wonderful as the happy go lucky Homer Smith, and Lilia Skala is a delightfully tough Mother Superior. There are no car chases, guns, fights, romances, or scantily clad women This is just a great story that happens to be superbly performed. I recommend it most highly!
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Film for your Inner peace May 9, 2005
If you overload on frustration or anger and want to delete it, then go watch this film. It will take the load off you and give you some hope and peace in its place. All that I can say is that mere words fail me in praising this film!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amen. October 22, 2003
Simple, uncluttered, charming- sadly, this film could not be made today simply because the mentality of so many Hollywood studios is steeped in formulaic storytelling: more sensationalism (they would want Homer Smith to exude more action, and maybe have a hot romance), and more youth (the 36-year old Sidney Poitier would be considered too old for the role today; Hollywood would want a younger, and definitely "edgier" actor to do the role now. Ice Cube? Mekhi Phifer?) As it is, the story gets to the point in short order, and gives a stronger lesson about teamwork, tolerance, and faith in its 94 minutes than most modern films do today (I'm sure there are cynics who'll read this and pigeonhole it in so-called 'political correctness' because it dares to mention positive race relations, but whether you agree or not, that is part of the world we live in). One could even argue that Poitier's relationship with Mother Superior Lilia Skala never really reaches a warm-and-fuzzy breakthrough, but I accept that compromise based on the fact that the characterizations are tight as a drum, and leave little room for a 180-degree change. (After the completion of the chapel there are various facial ponders, but no further dialogue; only the chant of "Amen-" as it should be.) Check it out, and marvel at a film that cost less than a quarter million dollars to make.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I am still amazed every time I sit down to watch this film. I have never been able to find a single minute in the movie that is not enthralling. Every aspect is just perfect. The B & W cinematography is excellent, the acting and characterizations are perfect (Poitier won an Oscar for his role as a skeptical but proud man), and the dialogue is witty and amusing. And of course anyone who has seen this film remembers the "Amen" scenes. If you haven't seen the film, just imagine a bunch of German nuns singing a "down-home" gospel song, lead by Sidney Poitier. Speaking of music, Jerry Goldsmith's score is one of the more memorable in film history. The style fits the style of the whole film like a glove.
Enough said. I think you know my opinion on whether you should get this.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "EVERYONE stand up!" November 22, 2002
Let me start this off with one irreversible fact: I am not a religious person. Thus it is a pleasant surprise for me to be charmed by a film which, quite simply, is about faith. Not faith in the traditional evangelical sense, which is perhaps why it appeals to me; it's about faith in other people, in honesty and commitment, and...sappy as it doing good.
One key reason why I enjoyed "Lilies of the Field" is because my favorite films are character-centred dramas (especially black and white ones!). This is just one in a list of such films released under MGM's "Vintage Classics" DVD label, joining the ranks of such greats as "12 Angry Men", "Birdman of Alcatraz" and "Elmer Gantry". They are simple, well-scripted and directed films that, when all is said and done, sink or swim on the quality of one thing: an actor's performance, in this case the legendary Sidney Poitier. He carries the character of Homer Smith with expert precision, neither making him overly-compassionate or overly-selfish (a lesser actor might have gone one of these two directions), and very much deserving of the Academy Award he won. He is of course joined by several quality supporting actors, most notably Lilia Skala as the cantankerous Mother Maria and Stanley Adams in a rare dramatic role as the gas station owner, Juan.
Ultimately, the story is a little on the thin side - it is _very_ simplistic, even more so than most movies of its kind - and some characters, especially the other nuns, do little more than nod and smile, but the natural warmth and humor of the film carry it the full 95-minute length and leave the viewer feeling satisfied. It is a very charming picture and great for the whole family...especially during the holidays (despite having no actual holiday 'ties'). Even if you're a bit skeptical, give it a try - I don't think you'll regret it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Classic for the whole Family!
Just found this movie again and still love it! The nuns are so cute :) I remember watching this as a kid and loving it! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Suzanne L Sisco
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe and dream, and the means will come.
Lilies of the Field is an Academy Award winning film that was released by United Artist in 1963. Sydney Poitier, the film’s lead, won the Oscar for Best Actor, a historical moment... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Robb Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of his best movies!
Published 11 days ago by Patricia Carson
5.0 out of 5 stars Lilies of the Field review
Great movie! Highly recommend. I had always heard that Sidney Poitier was a good actor, but now I know. Good storyline.
Published 11 days ago by Julia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie!
Published 23 days ago by Eric G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great moving and great acting. For the faithful and inspiring to all
Published 1 month ago by Alta
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie
Published 1 month ago by Patrick Sordelet
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this movie!
Published 1 month ago by KMF
5.0 out of 5 stars I think every generation can identify with Poitier's character and...
This movie gets me everytime. I think every generation can identify with Poitier's character and enjoy this movie. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cecilia Hogan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A wonderful classic
Published 1 month ago by margie Zapata
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