Lilies Of The Field (1963)

RALPH NELSON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 1963.  Rainbow Productions.  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Ralph Nelson.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

In this very sweet-natured drama, a construction worker (Sidney Poitier) in need of a job has car trouble and ends up among a group of Catholic nuns who have recently fled from Eastern Europe. They give him help, and in return they rope him in to a whole slew of construction work for them that is needed in their humble little convent. Lilia Skala shines as the wise and wry Mother Superior who believes that Poitier was sent directly by God for the purposes of helping her and her sisters out. Lots of deliciously fun moments, as well as meaningful ones, this one made its place in cinema history forever when Poitier became the first African-American actor to win an Oscar in a leading-role category (which wasn’t repeated again until Denzel Washington won Best Actor for Training Day, the same night that Poitier received his Honorary Academy Award).

Academy Award:  Best Actor (Sidney Poitier)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actress (Lilia Skala); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography-BW

Golden Globe Award:  Best Actor-Drama (Sidney Poitier)
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Supporting Actress (Lilia Skala)

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