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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 (251 customer reviews)

Price: $62.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Lilies of the Field + To Sir, With Love + In the Heat of the Night (40th Anniversary Collector's Edition)
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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 (251 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056HEH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,917 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
70 of 71 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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40 of 40 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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46 of 47 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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15 of 15 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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11 of 11 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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14 of 15 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Wholesome, good family movie, enjoyed the story ,actors were good in the parts ,all around good movie ,liked the black white floor mat
Published 3 days ago by K. Debusk
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie!
This is absolutely delightful. It is a feel good movie with Poitier at his best. It's one to keep and share.
Published 4 days ago by LornaFike
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done!
This movie was a pleasant surprise and throughly enjoyable. The casting , storyline, and the cinematography were all done very well. Read more
Published 5 days ago by John R. Wells
1.0 out of 5 stars Classic movie
I purchased this movie because it was a movie I remember watching as a little girl with my mother. However this DVD will not play in any of my DVD players or DVD/blue ray players. Read more
Published 6 days ago by rose moynier
5.0 out of 5 stars Lilies of the Field
Another movie that I would watch with my dad. Sidney Poiter is amazing as a traveling handyman who builds a church for some German nuns. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Gloria Keating
1.0 out of 5 stars not able to view
Why did you allow me to purchase this item with out telling me that it might not work due to the fact that it was from region 2.? I had no idea what region 2 was. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Beverly Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
I like Sidney Poitier. He was funny and the other ladies were funny. This story was good. Go watch it.
Published 16 days ago by A. Mosteiro
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies ever
Such a feel-good movie! Poitier is wonderful (and so handsome)! The nuns and supporting cast combine with Poitier to make this a true classic.
Published 17 days ago by Georgia DuPree
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great movie
One of the best movies, I've ever watched. Sidney Poitier is so good in this. I watch this movie once a year. Classic.
Published 18 days ago by Richard Delfranco
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
i will gequeath to my grand children - this movie is just great and what else can I say wesdfsdfef
Published 20 days ago by Edelmiro Rivas
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