Lilies of the Field: Limited Edition (Blu-ray)

&#13
&#13

&#13 Ralph Nelson’s Lilies of the Field (1963), adapted from William Edmund Barrett’s novel from a year earlier, remains one of star Sidney Poitier’s most memorable and iconic roles. Of course, it is virtually better recognized as the one particular which earned him the Oscar for Ideal Actor that year, a historic win that hadn’t been matched since Hattie McDaniel’s efficiency in Gone with the Wind virtually 25 years earlier. Lilies of the Field is also notable for a folk-tinged, memorable score by the late Jerry Goldsmith, then just nine years into his prolific profession that would last four far more decades.&#13

&#13 The story is about as simple as motion pictures get: it really is got the absolute bare minimum of setup, permitting this character-driven drama to unfold at a relaxed pace. Ex-G.I. Homer Smith (Poitier) stops for water at a farm in Arizona, obliged by a group of European nuns led by “Mother Maria” (Lilia Skala). There’s an apparent language gap as the women know quite small English, but Maria instantly understands one point: the strapping young Smith (dubbed “Schmidt” by the group) has been sent by divine circumstances to create a chapel on the property. He’s a skilled handyman—a jack-of-all-trades, even—but reluctant to assist: it’s a large job for a single man, they have quite tiny funds, and he doesn’t share their Catholic faith. But pride wins out: before he knows it, “Schmidt” is laying bricks and sharing meals with his new hostesses, unsure of exactly where they’ll get the rest of the considerably-required supplies. He’s also teaching them a bit of English along the way, whether by means of conversation or song (in certain, Southern Baptist gospel music).&#13

&#13 Most movies, message-driven or otherwise, reside or die by their lead functionality and Lilies of the Field is no exception. Luckily, Poitier is his usual magnetic self and carries the film with a charismatic, quickly accessible performance. It’s the film’s most apparent saving grace (pun intended), and a single of the causes why Lilies of the Field is still enjoyable in spite of getting so firmly rooted in the previous. It may possibly as effectively be a hundred years old at this point, but that is just element of the charm. Goldsmith’s score is not far behind it’ll most likely be stuck in your head for hours afterward.&#13

&#13
&#13

&#13 New audiences unfamiliar with Lilies of the Field‘s message, on the other hand, may not be entirely won over. I first saw it throughout my late single-digit years and enjoyed the surface-level story, in no way fully processing that the film was truly playing to a particular kind of religious audience. Whilst the back-and-forth debating among “Schmidt” and the nuns can be appreciated by those of all beliefs (or lack thereof), there is a robust undercurrent of higher school-level philosophy that actually rubbed me the wrong way one particular man even describes his faith as “life insurance coverage” by way of Pascal’s paper-thin Wager. It is just one particular of several eye-rolling moments for those who cannot fully embrace Lilies of the Field‘s sometimes narrow sentiments…but to the film’s credit, it overcomes the restricted scope with (largely) 3-dimensional characters and a slow but steady pace that feels excellent for a relaxing weekend matinee. &#13

&#13 Initially released on DVD by MGM back in 2001, Lilies of the Field was offered a slight DVD upgrade by Kino significantly less than six months ago of course, any person familiar with MGM titles should’ve recognized a Twilight Time Blu-ray was right about the corner, as they at present hold exclusive high-def rights to the studio’s huge back catalog. It really is been worth the wait, too: Twilight’s Blu-ray serves up an improved A/V presentation, even adding a few thoughtful extras for very good measure. Those with fond memories of the film (followed by a 1979 sequel starring Billy Dee Williams, yet to be released on disc) need to definitely contemplate an upgrade, thanks to its straightforward charms and apparent replay worth.&#13

&#13
&#13
High quality Manage Department

&#13 &#13

Video &amp Audio High quality&#13
&#13

&#13 Presented in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio, this crisp 1080p transfer (supplied by MGM, and exclusive to this release) is a extremely good work that easily eclipses both Kino’s 2015 DVD release and the much older MGM disc. Image detail and texture are quite impressive with sturdy black levels (specifically throughout the numerous outdoor scenes), good contrast, and no glaring amounts of dirt and debris along the way. Digital imperfections are kept to a minimum in truth, my only nitpick is what appears to be trace amounts of noise reduction…despite the fact that to be quite truthful, it could just be that the film grain is much a lot more noticeable in particular shots. Either way, this is nonetheless best-tier function that represents Lilies of the Field‘s ideal property video presentation to date for that alone, lengthy-time fans must be thrilled.&#13


&#13
&#13 DISCLAIMER: These compressed and resized screen captures are strictly decorative and do not represent the Blu-ray beneath overview.&#13
&#13


&#13 The major option (aside from an Isolated Music Track with limited effects, presented in lossless two.) is a DTS-HD Master Audio 1. mix that preserves the film’s one particular-channel roots. This is a relatively strong work that attributes crisp dialogue and occasional moments of slight depth, even though background effects and Jerry Goldsmith’s music cues (and, of course, the on-screen singing) rarely fight for attention. Volume levels and dynamic variety are steady from start off to finish even though it’s naturally significantly less complete and wealthy in comparison to much more contemporary films, Lilies of the Field sounds a decade or two younger than its age implies. Optional English SDH subtitles have been included throughout the principal feature.&#13

&#13

&#13 &#13

Menu Design and style, Presentation &amp Packaging
&#13

&#13 The interface is plain but perfectly functional, with rapid loading time and the bare minimum of pre-menu distractions. This a single-disc release arrives in a standard keepcase with striking black-and-white artwork and a good little Booklet featuring production stills, vintage promotional artwork, and the usual essay penned by TT normal Julie Kirgo.&#13

&#13 &#13

Bonus Features
&#13

&#13 Aside from the Isolated Score described above, we also get a full-length Audio Commentary with film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo, and Nick Redman, as properly as the film’s lengthy Theatrical Trailer. The commentary, as expected, is a properly-rounded and entertaining track, with lots of historical tidbits and dissection of the principal themes. Even though more first-hand participation or vintage extras would’ve been appreciated (Poitier’s Oscar acceptance speech?), the simple reality that there’s far more work here than both prior DVDs ought to please die-hard fans of the film.&#13

Final Thoughts

&#13 Ralph Nelson’s Lilies of the Field isn’t star Sidney Poitier’s greatest film…but it is one particular of his ideal performances, and that alone makes it worth watching. The film’s charm can be a tiny deceptive, although: it tries attractive to all audiences but might distance those who never share its faith, drawing a line in the sand that most likely should’ve been left alone. Yet this clearly dated production still endures due to Poitier’s terrific (and rightfully award-winning) lead efficiency and Jerry Goldsmith’s memorable score. Either way, Twilight Time’s new Blu-ray must appeal to established fans, serving up a robust A/V presentation and more bonus characteristics than both earlier DVDs. Those new to the film should try out the considerably cheaper DVDs first, but interested parties will get their money’s worth. Suggested.&#13

&#13

&#13 &#13


Randy Miller III is an affable workplace monkey by day and film reviewer by evening. He also does freelance design function, teaches art classes and runs a website or two. In his restricted cost-free time, Randy also enjoys slacking off, juggling HD DVDs and writing in third person.&#13


Blu-Ray Critiques

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *