• Unrated, 1 hr. 34 min.
  • Drama, Classics, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Ralph Nelson
    In Theaters:
    Jan 1, 1963 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 6, 2001
  • Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


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Lilies of the Field Reviews

Page 2 of 13
May 27, 2014
One of the more inspirational feel-good movies you'll ever see

Super Reviewer

May 21, 2014
A laborer accepts a group of nuns' requests to build a church.
Is it possible for a film to be both evangelical and light-hearted? They seem like a contradictory adjectives, but somehow the delightful exuberance of Sidney Poitier make the film work. He has an easy charm that contrasts nicely with the nuns' severity. The film's themes, include faith and stewardship, aren't heavy-handed or explored in any depth, but they're there, and the film is as catchy as the gospel tune that Poitier repeatedly sings.
Overall, this isn't a canonical, except for the fact that Poitier became the first African-American to win Best Actor, but it's a fine time and entertaining couple of hours.
February 17, 2014
More proof for me to realize the awesome legend that is Sydney Poitier.....and what is nice is that his role is not a "black" character.......but a human character......
February 13, 2014
A charming Oscar-winning performance by Sidney Poitier and an equally strong performance by Lilia Skala as Mother Superior tales the small tale about a traveling handyman who helps a group of nuns build a church. It's one of those stories where two people from different worlds collide, yet in the end are changed for the better by the other. It's one of those feel-good films that actually makes you feel good.

Grade: A-
John B

Super Reviewer

November 26, 2013
Poitier does his usual thing..this time giving a grand performance with a bunch of nuns. While the move is good, it does border on poor sentimentality. For this reason alone, I deduct a half star.
Four Star Film Fan
November 21, 2012
Starring Sidney Poitier, the film opens with a black construction worker who has an overheated car in the middle of a desert. He spots at the residence of some European nuns to get water. Homer is intent on making a quick pit stop but the mother superior has other ideas. She sees him as a gift form God so that their Chapel might be built. He reluctantly decides to stick around for a little while to help them out and teach them some English. The stubborn Mother Superior wants everything her way and Homer ends up leaving them. Although he realizes he will not get paid, Homer's ambition to be an architect leads him to eventually start the Chapel for the nuns. He takes on a part time job and starts the undertaking while the nuns request materials. Soon the locals want to help but Homer is adamant that he do everything. Eventually they do join in and more materials come. Progress picks up and Homer becomes the foreman. The building is finally put up and yet the proud Mother will not thank Homer. That night she is finally tricked into thanking him and Homer leads them in a spiritual one last time before driving off into the night. This film is a battle of sorts between two strong-willed people. In the end it brings a great deal of good.
December 9, 2012
Everyone in the film seems to be a fish out of water, and this makes for a compelling mixture of humor and poignancy. The nuns are barely conversant in American culture and require assistance to procure supplies, travel to mass, and build their chapel. Sidney Poitier's Homer (is the name an "Odyssey" reference?) needs a steady job, though he may not want to admit it. The English lessons he gives the nuns, and the Baptist hymn he teaches them, are the film's highlights. The narrative loses momentum as the chapel slowly takes shape, but at a mere 94 minutes it is not too long a movie.
February 22, 2013
Sidney Poitier was fine, and the movie was good, but it was just unmemorable.
January 9, 2013
Why I waited so long to see such a wonderful film, I will never know. What's important is that I've seen it and been genuinely touched by it. Poitier is magnificent, as is the entire cast. Like the chapel built therein, this film feels like a labor of love. It's every bit as poignant now as ever.
January 1, 2013
I loved this movie from the first time I saw it, and would watch it for nothing else but one song. but, the humor is wonderful, with a beautiful storyline. Poitier is fabulous, as he ALWAYS is! "A....men, A....men, A....men, A....men, A....men! Sing it over... A...men"
December 17, 2012
Excellent film with Sidney Poitier in an Oscar winning performance as Homer Smith, an ex-GI now traveling contractor. Homer is making his way through a small town in Arizona when his car overheats. He pulls into a place and encounters a group of East German Catholic nuns led by the strict Mother Superior Maria (Lilia Skala). All Homer wants is some water for his radiator but he ends up staying at the request of Mother Maria to help out around the place. And when Mother Maria asks him to build a chapel cause she thinks God has sent him for that task, Homer reluctantly agrees. Lilies of the Field is a wonderful film mixing drama with some humor and a great performance by Mr. Poitier. I used to think Sidney's best acting work was in Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. I stand corrected, Lilies is by far his best work and he deservedly was named Best Actor for 1963. He makes Homer such an engaging character that most people can identify with. And all the actresses portraying the nuns give worthy performances also. Lilies is a small but immensely enjoyable film. One of the best scenes in the film is when Homer teaches the nuns how to sing an old time church hymn called Amen. It's heavenly, rousing, and funny all at once. A great music score by Jerry Goldsmith is a plus also. Add this Poitier's list of films that he made in the 1960's and you have one of the best stretches of film acting ever delivered. His other films during this period include A Raisin in the Sun (1961); The Bedford Incident (1965); To Sir, With Love (1967); Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967); and In The Heat Of The Night (1967). All equally impressive films during a six year span. And Lilies is right up there with them.
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!
September 8, 2012
Cutish story, but overacted. Interesting pairing of characters though.
September 5, 2012
Sidney Poitier acted great , and the movie as a whole was good too .
August 26, 2012
Great touching story
July 11, 2012
excellent family movie at it's best. Sidney Potier is such an awesome actor. i don't know how many guys would have pulled of this role. such a touching film that really wished today's movies were this good. Sidney did win the first black actor to win the Oscar for Best Actor with this film. bravo!
Adrian B.
May 31, 2012
Dated, but decent story of an African-American handyman (Sidney Poitier) who stumbles onto a convent in the middle of the desert. His intent is to stay one night with at the convent, run by five German nuns, but they end up taking advantage of him by putting his skills towards building a church. Oddly, he reluctantly does so, even though the head nun (Lilia Skala) doesn't really treat him with much respect. "Lilies of the Field" was probably much more effective back in 1963, but now it has kind of fallen into the background. It isn't terrible. It's just not great mainly because it is silly. Poitier's performance is likable enough, however, to carry through the film.
April 12, 2012
a very touching story, faith, prayer and spirit filled, very good movie
February 9, 2009
Really good work from Poitier.
Ameens Film Reviews
March 19, 2012
Lilies of the field - "A pleasant and soothing film about godly love and happiness."

Godly love cements the happiness in this world . It can unite together and inspire all the people to achieve anything possible. The movie Lilies of the field tells the story of a Catholic Chappell being built by a whole town together inspired by a man named Homer Smith's effort. The movie imparts a sense of immaculate pleasure in viewing the Chappell being built with integrity in a very inducing way. The pure happiness that we get from the movie at the end makes up for most of the movie's minor glitches here and there. The movie adapted from the works of novelist William F Barrett by James Poe is simply graceful and aesthetic in its unique way. The performances by the Cast is top notch and superb. The potential of the legend Sydney Poitier was first praised through this movie which incidentally got him an Academy award for Best actor. The Charismatic and energetic screen presence of this man is extraordinary. The open and confident style of this man is unique and inspiring. The inspiration imparted by him to the modern actors can be experienced when watching Lilies of the field. The stories base or foundation is thin and might not be strong and can be despised for a lack of originality. But the well supervised and accurately written script guarantees true and unabridged entertainment. Although this is in a way a Christian movie the basic message intended towards humanity is to praise the lord whoever it is that you believe. The director Ralph Nelson has done a good job in bringing a low budget simple movie in the most elegant and polished state of art. The pleasing and emotional performance by Sydney Poitier and Lilia Skala makes this movie a must watch and an assured entertainer for everyone .

My rating : A-
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