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Lilies of the Field (Widescreen)

28 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 106.28
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann, Isa Crino, Francesca Jarvis
  • Directors: Ralph Nelson
  • Writers: James Poe, William E. Barrett
  • Producers: Ralph Nelson, J. Paul Popkin
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
  • Release Date: April 1 2003
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056HEH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,605 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Sidney Poitier won an Oscar for this endearing movie about a handyman who thinks he's just passing through a little town in New Mexico, and ends up staying awhile to build a chapel for a cluster of German-speaking nuns. The renowned actor is highly entertaining in his combative exchanges with Lilia Skala, playing a Mother Superior who survived Hitler and makes no bones about bullying the goodhearted, itinerant worker into doing more and more for her. The film has an ambling, easygoing style with several memorable moments, not least of all is Poitier leading his holy hostesses through verses of the gospel song "Amen." Lilies is directed by the late Ralph Nelson, a pioneering director of live television who also made a number of popular feature films with notable performances (Jackie Gleason in Requiem for a Heavyweight, Cary Grant in Father Goose, Cliff Robertson in Charly) in the 1960s and 1970s. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: VHS Tape
A black man (Sidney) is passing through town minding his own business...but some German Sisters catch him in their grips like powerful sticky hooks, and will not let him go until God's plan is fulfilled.
The German Sisters feel that (Sidney) is a God-send. This is the man who will build their chapel, their black angel, God's carpenter. ALLELUIA!!!!!!!!!!
(Sidney) tries to leave many times, but God's plan is so apparent that something always stands in his way...not only that, but the sisters make him feel guilty about leaving. He was sent to them from GOD.
The relationship that develops between he and the sisters is beautiful and humorous at times. When he sings 'AMEN' one cannot help but Know he was meant to be there.
This is a movie about faith and love. How the most unconventional relationships can be the most fulfilling, brilliant, Godly, unforgotten.
A simple man passing through town learns that living for himself is not enough. He is in town long enough to build a chapel, build relationships, find a purpose.
When the chapel is built, he leaves once again to find whatever it was he was searching for...
but the viewer knows he shall never be the same. AMEN
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By Chris Aldridge on Oct. 22 2003
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
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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By NotATameLion on Sept. 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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