Lilies of the Field (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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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.
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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
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a fantastic film. One of the few an entire family can watch. Academy Award winning performance which is well deserved. Every supporting role superbly played. Read morePublished 2 months ago by tallguy58
Fantastic acting, a great storyline and we get to hear Sydney sing. What more do you need? The nuns are sweet and Sydney is charming and determined. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Denise Sevier-Fries
Lili of the field était défectueux. Pour retourner le dvd j'ai suivit vos instruction, mais les 2 tentatves ont échouées et j'ai fini par payer pour le... Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2012 by claude husereau
Mostly its just Poitier showing his acting chops. He is awesome. One of his finest roles. Wise & funny. A simple man thrust into an absurd situation rises to the occasion. Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by J
The reason for that is simply because this movie is great. It's simple. Simply great. It's an all around nice movie, unlike so many ridiculous, time and money wasters being vomited... Read morePublished on July 5 2002
Although highly regarded in its day, "Lilies of the Field" is now considered a relic of the civil rights era or Hollywood's token Oscar "gesture" to a Black... Read morePublished on May 24 2002
In 1962 Sidney Poitier won the Academy Award for Best Actor for director Ralph Nelson's LILIES OF THE FIELD. Read morePublished on March 20 2002 by hille2000
There isn't much more to say about it. It's a simple movie, to the point. Simple but great.Published on Oct. 19 2001