Lilies of the Field
Lilies of the Field (1963)

In this film, a traveling laborer meets five nuns in the Arizona desert. The appearance of Homer Smith convinces the Mother Superior he is an answer to her prayers. He wins the hearts of the nuns and the thanks of the town, as initial… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1963
DVD Release Date: March 6, 2001
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Well-meaning rot.

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TV Guide

This was a small, low-budget picture that went straight for the heart and succeeded critically as well as financially.

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Emanuel Levy

Ralph Nelson's melodrama is best known for featuring the Oscar-winning performance of Sidney Poitier, the first black actor to win the male lead award.

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Variety Staff

Many factors combine in the overall success of the film, notably the restrained direction by Ralph Nelson, a thoroughly competent screenplay by James Poe, and, of course, Poitier's own standout performance.

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Tom Hutchinson
Radio Times

James Poe's simplistic screenplay might have become sluggishly sentimental without Ralph Nelson's discerning direction and Poitier's sharp humour.

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Christopher Null

[A] culture clash comprises both the film's lighter and more serious moments, with Poitier's simple, personal struggle over whether to leave or to stay and finish the job giving this small film a backbone of importance.

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Trevor Johnston
Time Out

It might be significant as an early independent movie made good, but Poitier got better when he got angrier for In the Heat of the Night four years later.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

There's not much dramatic urgency to the story, but that's perfectly fine: This is the sort of picture that gives wholesomeness a good name, and its life lessons are imparted in a leisurely and unforced manner.

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James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette

Charmingly offbeat

More reviews for Lilies of the Field

Flixster Audience Score: 86% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
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… More
Lord Naseby
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… More
Devon Bott
Sidney Poitier won an Oscar for his role in this story of the unusual collaboration between a group of german nuns and a traveling construction worker. He… More
Donna Dawson
What an endearing movie! A classic movie with great actor Sidney Poitier in this story of hope and faith. Great movie to watch especially around Christmas. :)
John Ballantine
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… More
monty hawes
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… More