Lilies of the Field - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lilies of the Field Reviews

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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! ",,,,! Sing it over..."
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!
½ November 25, 2012
Cutish story, but overacted. Interesting pairing of characters though.
½ September 5, 2012
Sidney Poitier acted great , and the movie as a whole was good too .
½ 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!
½ 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
½ April 10, 2012
Really good work from Poitier.
½ 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-
March 4, 2012
Thoroughly enjoyed this charming little film. Couldn't think of anyone, now or then, who would have played Homer Smith better than this Bahamian actor of so much grace. Even as I watched, I kept thinking that Poitier is cast here as a black Paul Newman, James Dean, Clint Eastwood for there was really nothing ethnically/racially specific about the role. In fact, the part could have been played by any white actor of the time, and Poitier did a splendid job of holding the film together, giving it levels of meaning and nuances that others could not have achieved. Funny, uplifting, and universal all at once, an ideal feel good film. Perfect Christmas viewing, but just as meaningful at any time of year. Great turn by Lilia Skala, too, as Mother Maria.
½ January 16, 2012
wonderful story of faith and trust
½ December 12, 2011
I didn't believe in the tolerant attitudes shown towards Poitier's character by the others in the film, this spoilt the film for me.
½ November 12, 2011
Great touching story
Lord Naseby
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2011
Wisenheimer's winning film.

Now, let's get one thing perfectly clear before we start. THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME AND A MUST SEE FOR EVERYONE!!!! this film probably has the most heart and charm of any film I have ever seen.

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. Matthew 6:28. King James Version.

Acting/characters: As I'm sure most, if not all of you know, Sidney Poitier became the first African American actor to win Best Actor at the Oscars. Now, I haven't seen any of the other contenders (except for Tom Jones and that movie was garbage) but from what I have seen, Poitier definitely deserved the award. Lilia Skala, who played the commanding Mother Superior did an excellent job as well and it was really fun to see their two head-strong personalities clash. But the real joy of this movie is watching Poitier interact with the other four nuns especially the scenes where he is teaching them English, particularly the first time. The performances were overall very very good and Poitier and Skala did excellent jobs as the lead characters. 10/10

Plot: it is one of the best, most heartwarming films I have ever seen. Once you get a good idea of what it is about, you generally know how it is going to end and where it is going to go. For a different kind of film, that can hurt it but not this one. I found myself laughing because I was so...touched by how the characters interacted with each other. even the moments where Homer Smith and Mother Maria are butting heads, I still get the feeling that they have a mutual respect for each other even if they don't know how to show it. The driving point of the plot is definitely character relationships and boy are they really well done here. It was a highly well done and very entertaining plot that kept my interest the entire time. 10/10

Screenplay: I got the feeling that this one took a backseat to the character aspect of the film but I think that it doesn't hurt the film at all. I think it was a perfectly fine screenplay and it was very well done. It was mostly in English but it also had bits and pieces of German in there too which I think worked very well as the four other nuns who weren't Mother Maria only spoke German. Them turning to Mother Maria eagerly waiting for her to translate the last thing Homer smith said to them was just awesome and it just made them more...lovable. I think the writer did a fine job writing this film. Behind good characters and performances there is a great screenplay. 10/10

Likableness: I highly enjoyed this one and it is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. I am glad that I watched it. for those of you out there who haven't seen this film, GO SEE IT SOON!! You will enjoy it very much. I promise you. The performances are stellar, the story is highly enjoyable and positively heartwarming. I highly enjoyed it and I would have no reservations about seeing it again. Poitier definitely deserved his Oscar for this one. It is just an all around very good film. 10/10

Final Score: 40/40 100% (P)
Tomatometer rating: 100%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 100%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Since the story's action was tied to the chapel's construction, crew had to work through the night to keep up with it "progress" in the film. The actual building was real and could have stood for decades, but because it was built on rented property, it had to be demolished immediately after the filming was completed.

2. Actor Sidney Poitier gave up his usual salary and agreed to do the film for a smaller amount and a percentage of the profits. He won the Best Actor Oscar for his efforts.

3. Director Ralph Nelson had to put up his house as collateral.
September 15, 2011
Charming movie with an awesome performance from Sydney Poitier, and the nuns learning english is priceless.
August 2, 2011
Looks a little dated, but still enjoyable.
July 5, 2011
Lilies of the Field is a heartwarming film. It is about an ex-GI who gets a temporary job as a handyman on a farm that is run by German nuns. Sidney Poitier and Lilia Skala give incredible performances. The screenplay is well written and touching. Ralph Nelson did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama. Lilies of the Field is a must see.
July 3, 2011
Well done film, and well worth your time.
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