Lilies Of The Field

Year of release: 1963.
MPAA rating: not rated.
Run time: 95 minutes.

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      "Sidney Poitier won an Academy Award for best actor for his standout performance in this modest beautiful film.  Poitier plays the role of Homer Smith, a journeyman laborer, who is touring the countryside in his station wagon, drifting and working when the spirit moves him.  One day he stops at a farm to fill his radiator and meets up with five nuns.  They are members of an East German holy order who are attempting to work some land that has been left to them.  Lilia Skala is formidable and endearing as Mother Maria, the highest-ranking sister, who is convinced that God has answered their prayers and sent Homer to fix the roof.  Homer is convinced to stay for a while and an unexpected exchange results.  Directed tenderly with restraint by Ralph Nelson the movie was filmed entirely on location in the desert in Arizona.  The light-handed yet deeply effective screenplay, by James Poe, is based on a novel by William E. Barrett.  Look for the director in a cameo as Mr. Ashton."

      I first saw this movie in a film study class in high school taught by Mrs. Rhode.  I loved this movie from the first time I saw it.  Mrs. Rhode also showed us other classic films such as "Bullitt" (starring Steve McQueen) and "East Of Eden" (starring James Dean).  This film prompted me to watch several other films starring Poitier.  He has been one of my favorite actors ever since.

Sidney Poitier -- Homer Smith
Lilia Skala -- Mother Maria
Lisa Mann -- nun
Isa Crino -- nun
Stanley Adams -- Juan
Ralph Nelson -- Mr. Ashton

Distributed by: MGM
Director: Ralph Nelson
Producer: Ralph Nelson
Screenwriter: James Poe
Cinematographer: Ernest Haller
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Editor: John McCafferty
Source Writer: William E. Barrett

Academy Award:
Best Actor: Sidney Poitier

Academy Award Nominations:
Best Picture
Best Adapted Screenplay: James Poe
Best Cinematography: Ernest Haller
Best Supporting Actress: Lilia Skala

Golden Globe Award:
Best Actor (drama): Sidney Poitier

Berlin International Film Festival (1963)
Best Male Performance: Sidney Poitier
Catholic Film Office Award: Ralph Nelson

National Board of Review of Motion Pictures (1963)
Nominated for Year's 10 Best Films

New York Film Critic's Circle (1963)
Best Actor: Sidney Poitier
Best Direction: Ralph Nelson

Information gathered from numerous websites including:

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