Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is encouraged by a mysterious voice to build a baseball pitch on his land. According to the celestial guide, this unusual step will result in the appearance of the ghost of his father's hero, the baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta). Bemused yet intrigued by the heavenly intervention, Ray risks his livelihood installing the pitch, and finds an unlikely, and unwilling, partner to help explain the reasons he is doing so: burned-out radical author Terence Mann (James Earl Jones).
A phenomenal hit when it was released in 1989, Field of Dreams
has become a modern classic and a uniquely American slice of cinema. It functions effectively as a moving drama about the power of dreams, a fantasy ode to the national pastime of the US, and a brilliant adaptation of W.P. Kinsella's exquisite baseball novel Shoeless Joe
. Kinsella himself found the film a delightful surprise, differing greatly from his novel but benefiting from its own creative variations. It is the film that cemented Kevin Costner's status as an all-American screen star, but the story resonates far beyond Costner's handsome appeal. As just about everyone knows by now, Costner stars as Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, who hears the mysterious words "If you build it, he will come," and is compelled to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield. His wife (Amy Madigan) supports the wild idea, but a reclusive novelist (modelled after JD Salinger and played by James Earl Jones) is not so easily persuaded. The idealistic farmer is either a visionary or a deluded fool, but his persistence is rewarded when spirits from baseball's past begin appearing on the ball field. Past and present intermingle in the person of "Moonlight Graham" (superbly played by Burt Lancaster), an unknown player who sacrificed his dreams of baseball glory for a dignified life as a small-town physician. What all of this means is unclear until the film's memorably heartfelt conclusion. A meditation on family, memory, and faith, the film balances humour and magic to strike just the right chord of thoughtful emotion, affecting audiences so deeply that the baseball field created for the production has now become a Mecca of sorts for dreamers around the world. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.