Field of Dreams (1989)
Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), a corn farmer, living in a small farming community in Iowa with his beloved wife Annie (Amy Madigan) and his daughter Karin, who is hearing a repeated ghostly phrase while working in his precious corn fields. A phrase that would change his life, as well as a group of old timey disbanded ghosts of baseball players forever. The haunting spirit-like voice preaches to Ray, “If you build it, he will come.” Ray is not exactly sure who “he” is or what he has to build exactly, but is determined to figure this omen out. Ray soon receives another message while tending to his crop, but this time in the form of a vision. A mirage of a baseball diamond appears off in the distance within his crop of corn, and now it is exactly clear to Ray must this task is …but now he is not sure who will come. Building the baseball diamond is not easy for Ray, due to the lack of general funds and overall general knowhow; however, Ray is determined to not strikeout swinging as his wife and daughter are his support, no matter who disapproves of his cockamamie scheme of building a baseball diamond.
As time goes by, and as the seasons change from winter to spring and back again, Ray builds the diamond but still no sign of this mystical “Him”. Then by the sighting of Ray’s daughter, a man appears standing in the greenest grass in left field and she quickly alerts her dad of what she sees and as quick as rabbit Ray bolts outside. Ray runs to left field and greets the man in an old fashioned wool baseball uniform, who is none other then the ghost of the great Shoeless Joe Jackson.
Ray thinks that everything is done and complete and has paid his dues to the voice but he soon receives another message from the ghostly voice from the Iowa sky. An adventure unfolds, like the middle innings of a baseball game, in the form of a road trip to Boston’s Fenway Park, as Ray knows now that he must complete this task. This time Ray is not alone, as he has the company of an outcast, ostracized, and now hermit living author. The trip to Fenway now leads to another road…the road to Minnesota, as another message is received by Ray and his new companion while watching the Red Sox play the Twins. Ray knows he must go on this trip to Minnesota, with his new companion or not, because he came this far, what more is a little more…even though the fate and livelihood of his family and his farm is in the balance.
This is the classic baseball film that will live on and test the pendulum of time within the minds of baseball fans. Based off the book by W.P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe, the movie is pretty dead on with the original story. Field of Dreams has just about everything you could want in a movie. This movie has a fantastic plot, a great script, and wonderful acting throughout from Costner, Jones, and especially Burt Lancaster – playing Dr. Archibald ‘Moonlight’ Graham – which is my favorite character from the film. This movie even has a few laughs scattered throughout, a touch of dramatic effects between family and characters, and even an emotional scene at the end that chokes me up every time.
There is only one minor detail that truly keeping me from giving this movie a perfect game of a rating, being 3 guys. For those that are not that deep into baseball you may feel that I am a bit nuts, and for those that know me I’m sure you can support that feeling with facts, but Shoeless Joe Jackson (played by Ray Liotta) was shown hitting and throwing right handed in this film. The real Joe Jackson was a left handed hitter, and great one to say the least. He was so great of a hitter that Babe Ruth copied his swing and if you see pictures of both Jackson and Ruth, they look nearly identical. Because The Great Bambino copied the swing of the great Joe Jackson, I feel that this movie should have shown Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) hitting left handed instead of right handed. This is a minor detail and most will never pick up on it, but for the hard core baseball fan this movie went from a perfect game to a no hitter, which is pretty good. Field of Dreams earns two and half guys from me.
Homerun Line of the movie:
John Kinsella: “Is this heaven?”
Ray Kinsella: “It’s Iowa.”
– The Blade Abides –