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Lilies of the Field

4.6 out of 5 stars 426 customer reviews

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(Mar 06, 2001)
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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)

Special Features

None.

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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (426 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056HEH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,314 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lilies of the Field" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By NotATameLion on September 12, 2002
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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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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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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
Sidney Poitier was already a star when this film came around. But what this film did is prove that he was a great actor. This film has no flash or technical sophistication. This is a film with a simple, direct and compelling story of faith and good deed.

Homer Smith is a casual laborer who stops to help out a small convent and winds up building a chapel.

Poitier plays homer with humanity. Lilia Skala plays the reverend mother who uses her faith and iron will to get Homer to build the chapel.

This is a movie of pure emotion and extreme heart. If this film does not give the feel goods, nothing will.
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