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movie-4444-review

FIELD OF DREAMS (1989)

Nestled away in a sleepy Iowa farming town is Ray Kinsella and his prophetic corn field that whispered the words, "If you build it, he will come." Interpreting the message as a cue to build a baseball field, upon completion of the diamond the ghosts of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and seven other Chicago White Sox players from the 1919 World Series appear, whispering messages to the humble farmer.  Seeking help from a reclusive author, Kinsella works to unravel the mystery surrounding the mysterious messages and their purported relation to his corn field-turned-baseball diamond.  

The perfect cast includes: Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Gaby Hoffmann, Ray Liotta, Timothy Busfield, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Frank Whaley, and Dwier Brown.

FIELD OF DREAMS was nominated for the Best Picture award.

Director Phil Alden Robinson's "Field of Dreams" is a delightful modern fantasy tale.

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Promotional Line: "All his life, Ray Kinsella was searching for his dreams. Then one day,
his dreams came looking for him." "If you believe the impossible, the incredible can come true."



The basic story involves an Iowa farmer, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), a baseball diamond, and the ghosts of long dead ball players. Ray lives on his corn farm with his wife and little girl. When Ray is out in the middle of his corn field, he starts to here a disembodied voice, telling him, "If you build it, he will come!" Build What ? who will come? During one of these sessions, he looks over to the far end of his property, and sees a vision of a baseball field. He then gets the idea that perhaps the one who would come, would be the baseball great, "shoeless" Joe Jackson, a great baseball player. In the 1919 Black Sox scandal, Joe Jackson was accused with 7 of his teammates of deliberately loosing a game.

He mulls over this crazy idea of plowing under some of his crop and building this play field. After talking this over with his understanding wife, he proceeds to do so, under the watchful eye of his neighbors, who think that his cheese has slipped off his cracker. "He is going to loose his farm," one neighbor predicted.

When the same voice that told him to first build the diamond now tells him to leave in search of a long reclusive 60s baseball player, Joe Jackson (Ray Liota), the story takes some surprising twists and turns, leading to a wonderful, and unexpected, conclusion. Along the way, he meets reclusive activist Terence Mann (James Earl Jones), who helps him understand the meaning of these messages from the other side and what purpose "they" have in mind for his baseball field. The mysterious "Doc" Graham (Burt Lancaster) adds some poignant moments in his quite charming cameo.

Kevin Costner is great as the idealistic farmer, who was afraid of turning into his father, who never did a spontaneous thing in his life. In the spirit of Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," Costner convinces as a former student of the 60s fighting the system to order to bring an impossible dream to life.

Amy Madigan offers fine support as Madigan's supportive wife, Anni Kinsella. A scene where she challenges an uptight member of the community at a town meeting is great.

Burt Lancaster, in one of his last performances, plays a country doctor, Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, who once had a VERY brief major league career. A scene at night at his office, with Costner, has the air of a sweet, fondly remembered dream.

My favorite scene is the final one in the film. While you don't have to be a son to appreciate the full impact of the film's climax, I think it helps, as does the film's emotionally stirring Score by James Horner. This is a film about dreamers and schemers, fathers and sons, old time baseball and 60s rebellion, bitter words and unfulfilled promise. "Field of Dreams" is one of the few films that makes me cry at the end, but then I'm a sucker for father and son stories, particularly those with happy endings!

Quote: "If you build it, he will come!" "Field of Dreams isn't just about baseball, it's about life, family, reconciliation, and having a catch with Dad."

If you enjoyed FIELD OF DREAMS, you may like THE NATURAL, EIGHT MEN OUT, ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, TIN CUP, BULL DURHAM, and/or MAJOR LEAGUE.