After yesterday’s glorious coloured visuals, let’s have some Black and White today.
The Lilies of the Field, 1963
Another film from my tender and formative early teenage days. Certainly seen on TV but it cannot have been long after its cinema release because I have a very clear memory resulting from this experience and I know exactly where and when I was at that point.
It is a wonderful film that struck an early chord with me and has stayed in memory for a very long time. I confess that the primary reason might have been its star, Sidney Poitier.
Oh, yes, to a healthy young teenage girl, this was a stirring moment indeed.
At school one day a group of girls were discussing their actor crushes. Lots of Newman and McQueen, of course. I ventured my thoughts on Sidney Poitier, having seen this film. I received the response “But… he’s black!” and I confess to having been rather bewildered by this. I struggled with it, to make sense of the statement, and replied “Yes. What does that have to do with anything?” Honestly, I still have no idea.
I may have been too liberal for the other young ladies of The Holt Grammar School for Girls… but, heck, looking back, I know what was right.
Anyway, the gorgeous Mr Poitier is on record as having been the first Black American to win the Best Actor Oscar and only the second African-American to win any of the Oscars at all. Reason enough to call this a landmark film, I reckon.
The crush may have faded long ago (maybe, maybe not) but the acting love has remained. So many very excellent films to enjoy…
The interplay between the travelling handyman, Homer Smith – a Baptist – and the Roman Catholic nuns, and their trading of Biblical passages are an absolute delight.
The Lilies of the Field is a truly memorable film.
Oh, heck. Yes, I am still a little bit in love with Sidney Poitier. Me and Lulu, eh?
|Directed by||Ralph Nelson|
|Produced by||Ralph Nelson|
|Written by||William Edmund Barrett|
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Cinematography||Ernest Haller, ASC|