Watch Christmas Lilies of the Field
- 1 hr 40 min
In the heartwarming and inspiring drama film "Christmas Lilies of the Field" from 1979, directed by Ralph Nelson, audiences are taken on a journey that explores the power of faith, compassion, and determination. Starring Billy Dee Williams, Maria Schell, and Fay Hauser, this remarkable story captivates viewers with its endearing characters and poignant message.
Set in the beautiful Arizona desert during the Christmas season, the film tells the tale of Homer Smith (Billy Dee Williams), a wandering ex-GI who finds himself on an unexpected adventure. As he drives through the vast landscape, his car breaks down near a remote farm. It is there that he encounters a group of nuns led by the strong-willed and kind-hearted Mother Maria (Maria Schell).
Homer, initially planning to fix his car and be on his way, soon finds himself coerced by the persistent nuns to assist in building a chapel. Although he is a man of few words, Homer's skills as a handyman quickly become evident, and he reluctantly agrees to take on the project. Despite his initial skepticism and desire to continue his journey, Homer finds his life intertwined with the nuns and their fascinating personalities.
As the bond between the characters grows, the film takes viewers on a heartfelt exploration of faith and the pursuit of a higher purpose. The nuns, made up of different nationalities and backgrounds, each bring their unique qualities to the story. Fay Hauser's character, Sister Susan, standing out with her vibrant personality and unwavering dedication to the cause.
Throughout "Christmas Lilies of the Field," we witness the transformative power of faith and how it can bring together people from all walks of life. The resilience of the nuns and their unwavering determination to build a chapel against all odds is not only inspiring but also showcases the strength that can arise from a shared vision. Homer, despite his initial reluctance, is profoundly affected by the faith and admiration the nuns have for him, making him question his personal beliefs and goals.
The film's direction by Ralph Nelson beautifully captures the vastness and serenity of the desert landscape, expertly highlighting the contrast between the isolated location and the bustling city life that Homer left behind. The cinematography captures the essence of the Christmas season, evoking a sense of hope, joy, and wonder that permeates the story. The sparse but purposeful musical score complements the narrative, enhancing the emotional impact of key scenes.
"Christmas Lilies of the Field" succeeds in presenting a story that delves beyond religious aspects and explores universal themes of compassion, perseverance, and the importance of community. The screenplay, based on the novel by William E. Barrett, balances moments of quiet introspection with lighthearted humor, creating a well-rounded narrative that appeals to a wide range of viewers.
Billy Dee Williams delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Homer Smith, portraying a man torn between his personal aspirations and the unexpected connection he forms with the nuns. Maria Schell brings a brilliant strength and genuine warmth to the character of Mother Maria, capturing the essence of a woman dedicated to her faith while also asserting her authority. Additionally, Fay Hauser shines in her role as Sister Susan, injecting the film with both energy and emotional depth.
"Christmas Lilies of the Field" is a poignant film that teaches us the importance of embracing opportunities, believing in ourselves, and the immeasurable impact one person can have on the lives of others. Whether it's through the heartfelt performances, the engaging storyline, or the visual beauty of the desert, this film has the ability to leave a lasting impression and remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas Lilies of the Field is a 1979 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.