Field Of Dreams


1h 47m 1989
Field Of Dreams

Brief Synopsis

Mysterious voices tell an Iowa farmer to build a baseball diamond in his backyard.

Photos & Videos

Field of Dreams - Movie Poster

Film Details

Also Known As
Campo de sueños, Drömmarnas fält, Jusqu'au bout du reve, Shoeless Joe
MPAA Rating
Genre
Romance
Drama
Fantasy
Sports
Release Date
1989
Production Company
Russ Neiderhauser
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Location
Galena, Illinois, USA; Dubuque, Iowa, USA; Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m

Synopsis

An Iowa farmer hears a voice in his cornfield accompanied by a vision of a baseball field. He takes it as a sign to build a baseball diamond which would ennable Shoeless Joe Jackson of the infamous Chicago "Black" Sox to play ball again.

Crew

Lynne Allison

Casting Associate

Al Amescamp

Assistant

Rob Apel

Assistant

Albert Aquino

Boom Operator

Enid Arias

Hair

Richard Arrington

Makeup

Paige Augustine

Set Decorator

J D Ault

Grip

Bill Badalato

Driver

Art Bartels

Grip

Stacey Basoff

Assistant

Linda M Bass

Costume Designer

Neil Beason

Construction

Don Beck

Driver

Richard Betts

Song

John Blackman

Swing Gang

Noah Blough

Sound Editor

Richard A Bond

Grip

Steve Bradarich

Video Playback

Todd Braden

Other

Ralph Bradofino

Assistant Camera Operator

Charles Brady

Other

Ricky Bravo

Director Of Photography

Ricky Bravo

Assistant Camera Operator

Ricky Bravo

Dp/Cinematographer

Ian Bryce

Production Manager

Don Buford

Assistant

Frank Byrne

Assistant Camera Operator

Michael E Cain

Driver

Jeff Carney

Driver

John F Carney

Electrician

Jim Cavarretta

Sound

Catherine Chase

Sound Editor

Brad Chelesvig

Other

Joseph Cicio

Assistant Camera Operator

Dick Clark

Video Playback

Allison Conant

Assistant

Ron Cook

Other

Mary Coyle

Production Assistant

Ian Crafford

Editor

Jeannette Cremarosa

Sound

Patrick Crowley

Craft Service

Richard Cruedo

Camera Operator

Raoul Dedeaux

Advisor

Bonita Dehaven

Makeup

Mary Delaney

Driver

Mike Demeyer

Other

Elizabeth Snyder Desantis

Adr

Robert Deschane

Adr Mixer

Jane Devries

Assistant

Doug Durose

Property Master Assistant

Bill Durr

Projectionist

James Early

Grip

Alan Edmisten

Assistant Director

Robert Edmondson

Foley

Lesly Ehrman

Makeup

Brett Eilers

Production Assistant

Duke Ellington

Song Performer

Elle Elliott

Hair

William M Elvin

Assistant Director

Jan Evans

Script Supervisor

Don Feeney

Driver

Joseph R. Feeney

Driver

Steve Feldman

Carpenter

Ken Ferris

Camera Operator

Jim Flamberg

Music Editor

Donald Flick

Foley Editor

Nancy Fogarty

Music Editor

Tim Forrest

Grip

Beth Fortenberry

Assistant

Douglas Fox

Property Master

Brian E Frankish

Unit Production Manager

Brian E Frankish

Executive Producer

Leigh French

Other

John Friday

Other

Jean Frye

Production Assistant

Scott Fuller

Assistant

Jerome Fynaardt

Other

Dennis Gassner

Production Designer

Claire Gaul

On-Set Dresser

Todd Gavin

Camera

Sandy Gendler

Sound Editor

Robert N Gersicoff

Camera Operator

Grant Gilmore

Assistant Director

George Glass

Other

Gary Goldman

Other

Charles Gordon

Producer

Larry Gordon

Producer

Melinda Sue Gordon

Other

Melinda Sue Gordon

Photography

Tim Gourley

Carpenter

William Gourley

Carpenter

Dale Grahn

Color Timer

Ralph Grierson

Soloist

Lee Grubin

Sound Editor

Bob Hagans

Color Timer

Nancy Haigh

Set Decorator

Paul Hauser

Other

Phil Heid

Carpenter

Jay Hemond

Technical Advisor

Jim Henrikson

Music Editor

Richard Hess

Carpenter

Beccie Hilliard

Accounting Assistant

Tony Hinnigan

Soloist

George Hinzo

Scenic Artist

Robert Hippard

Other

Ross Hobday

Driver

Pamela Hoffman

Production Coordinator

James Horner

Soloist

James Horner

Music

Bob Hudgins

Location Manager

Steve Humphrey

Driver

Peg Hunter

Photography

Joseph Huseman

Carpenter

Gregor Jackson

Camera

Pamela Jaeckle

Casting Associate

Dan Janssen

Swing Gang

Wendol Jarvis

Assistant

Nils C Jensen

Sound Editor

Joanna Jimenez

Assistant Editor

Derek Johansen

Production Assistant

Gilbert Johnquest

Other

Ken J Johnson

Sound Effects

Tom Johnston

Song

Mark Karen

Assistant Camera Operator

Lawrence Karman

Assistant Camera Operator

Jack Keller

Sound

Roger Kelzer

Carpenter

David Kessler

Assistant Camera Operator

W. P. Kinsella

Book As Source Material

Rick Kline

Sound

Robert L Knott

Special Effects

Pamela Knourek

Wardrobe Assistant

Steve Koch

Carpenter

Kim K Kono

Other

Lonnie Kragel

Driver

Ken Kringle

Craft Service

Ron Kunecke

Other

Jules Labarthe

Rigging Gaffer

Don Lansing

Assistant

Kelly Leclere

Production Assistant

Robert H Lemer

Assistant

Robert H Lemer

Other

Lloyd Levin

Associate Producer

John Lindley

Dp/Cinematographer

John Lindley

Director Of Photography

Leslie Linville

On-Set Dresser

Dan Loveless

Driver

The Lovin' Spoonful

Song Performer

Stan Maiers

Carpenter

Mitch Marcus

Apprentice

Mitch Marcus

Location Manager

Kim Marks

Camera Operator

Mark Martins

Other

James J Mccarthy

Production Accountant

Jim Mcconkey

Camera Operator

Kim Mcdonald

Carpenter

Leslie Mcdonald

Art Director

Sharon Mcdonald

Makeup

Janice Mcdonnell

Other

Michael A Mcfadden

Grip

Kathleen Mckernin

Set Designer

Mike Mcmahan

Driver

James Meehan

Swing Gang

Donald Meluth

Sound Editor

K Janice Metcalf

Grip

Jim Meyer

Casting Associate

Steven L Meyer

Construction Coordinator

John Miller

Driver

Tyree Miller

Grip

Donald O Mitchell

Sound

Steve Moes

Location Assistant

Susan Fritz Monahan

Production Supervisor

John Moore

Carpenter

Donald Morand

Hair

Jess Moreno

Swing Gang

John Morris

Sound Editor

P Kay Morris

Costume Supervisor

J Michael Muro

Other

Shawn Murphy

Music

Tracy Neftzger

Dolly Grip

Russ Neiderhauser

Cable Operator

Kimberly K Nelson

Effects Coordinator

Bruce Nicholson

Visual Effects Supervisor

Randy Nolan

Other

Peter Norman

Camera Operator

Kevin O'connell

Sound

Tim Osman

Grip

Tom Osman

Grip

Tyler Osman

Grip

William Palmer

Transportation Co-Captain

Jayme S Parker

Sound Editor

Dan Perri

Titles

Tim Perry

Driver

Daniel Pershing

Dolly Grip

Tim Pershing

Key Grip

Randy Peters

Stunt Coordinator

Randy Peters

Transportation Coordinator

Carol Petrick

Other

Brian Pollpeter

Other

Photo Collections

Field of Dreams - Movie Poster
Field of Dreams - Movie Poster

Film Details

Also Known As
Campo de sueños, Drömmarnas fält, Jusqu'au bout du reve, Shoeless Joe
MPAA Rating
Genre
Romance
Drama
Fantasy
Sports
Release Date
1989
Production Company
Russ Neiderhauser
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Location
Galena, Illinois, USA; Dubuque, Iowa, USA; Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m

Award Nominations

Best Adapted Screenplay

1989

Best Original Score

1989
James Horner

Best Picture

1989

Best Score

1989

Articles

The Essentials-Field of Dreams


SYNOPSIS

Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella is walking through his cornfields one evening when he hears a voice telling him "If you build it, he will come." Led by this intuition, Ray clears a large portion of his crop to build a baseball field that miraculously brings back the ghosts of the disgraced Chicago "Black" Sox team, accused of having thrown the 1919 World Series. He is most affected by the return of his father's favorite player, the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson. Finally, the appearance of another unexpected ghostly figure brings closure to a major unresolved issue in Ray's life.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Producer: Charles Gordon, Lawrence Gordon
Screenplay: Phil Alden Robinson, based on the book Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella
Cinematography: John Lindley
Editing: Ian Crafford
Production Design: Dennis Gassner
Art Direction: Leslie McDonald
Original Music: James Horner
Cast: Kevin Costner (Ray Kinsella), Amy Madigan (Annie Kinsella), Gaby Hoffman (Karin Kinsella), Ray Liotta (Shoeless Joe Jackson), Timothy Busfield (Mark), James Earl Jones (Terence Mann), Burt Lancaster (Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham)

Why FIELD OF DREAMS is Essential

Field of Dreams may not be among the greatest cinematic milestones of all time, but don't suggest that to its diehard fans. This is the rare movie with the capacity to make grown men cry. During its initial run, theaters all across the nation reported that male audience members, many of them rather macho guys who otherwise wouldn't be caught dead weeping in public, were reduced to blubbering into their hankies at the end of the show.

Although its framing story is about baseball, this is really a movie about fathers and sons and the bonds between them. According to the filmmakers--and the considerable myths that have grown up around this mythic movie--the film has caused men to reach out to their fathers and/or sons across miles, years, and various levels of estrangement to connect anew.

Perhaps not to the same extent or for the same reasons, but women are also affected by Field of Dreams's tender story about second chances and the power of dreams. It doesn't hurt that it's wrapped in the warm glow of the simple country-small town way of life (real or not, a powerful symbol) and the most nostalgic and American of all sports. The film and the book from which it was adapted take as their premise the destruction of faith and ideals inherent in the true early twentieth century story of the Chicago "Black" Sox ("Say it ain't so, Joe"), while offering the hope of redemption, the chance to go back and restore the world to a more unspoiled state before the Fall. It was the perfect film to come at the end of the Reagan years, when so much of the country had become caught up in the idea of "morning in America," a new dawn after the bitter experiences of Vietnam, assassinations, and Watergate. At the same time, it exhibited a nostalgia for the 60s, for the kind of passion, idealism, and commitment that was no longer very much alive in the late 1980s.

The story, both in book and movie form, also appealed to something even deeper and older, the hero myth that lies at the base of just about every religion and spiritual belief system. The structure is classical; the hero gets a mysterious message that compels him to leave home, making an often difficult journey filled with doubts and obstacles, until he fulfills his quest and returns home with the gift he needs to restore balance and grace to his world. Of course, so many of these myths involve a reconciliation with the Father, making the resonance here even stronger.

What Field of Dreams does best is couch these deep emotions and mythic structures in a contemporary, relatable, and very entertaining vehicle that proved potent at the box office. Now that it can be seen in the privacy of one's own home, men everywhere and across all generations can watch it and freely cry like babies out of the public eye.

By Rob Nixon
The Essentials-Field Of Dreams

The Essentials-Field of Dreams

SYNOPSIS Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella is walking through his cornfields one evening when he hears a voice telling him "If you build it, he will come." Led by this intuition, Ray clears a large portion of his crop to build a baseball field that miraculously brings back the ghosts of the disgraced Chicago "Black" Sox team, accused of having thrown the 1919 World Series. He is most affected by the return of his father's favorite player, the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson. Finally, the appearance of another unexpected ghostly figure brings closure to a major unresolved issue in Ray's life. Director: Phil Alden Robinson Producer: Charles Gordon, Lawrence Gordon Screenplay: Phil Alden Robinson, based on the book Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella Cinematography: John Lindley Editing: Ian Crafford Production Design: Dennis Gassner Art Direction: Leslie McDonald Original Music: James Horner Cast: Kevin Costner (Ray Kinsella), Amy Madigan (Annie Kinsella), Gaby Hoffman (Karin Kinsella), Ray Liotta (Shoeless Joe Jackson), Timothy Busfield (Mark), James Earl Jones (Terence Mann), Burt Lancaster (Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham) Why FIELD OF DREAMS is Essential Field of Dreams may not be among the greatest cinematic milestones of all time, but don't suggest that to its diehard fans. This is the rare movie with the capacity to make grown men cry. During its initial run, theaters all across the nation reported that male audience members, many of them rather macho guys who otherwise wouldn't be caught dead weeping in public, were reduced to blubbering into their hankies at the end of the show. Although its framing story is about baseball, this is really a movie about fathers and sons and the bonds between them. According to the filmmakers--and the considerable myths that have grown up around this mythic movie--the film has caused men to reach out to their fathers and/or sons across miles, years, and various levels of estrangement to connect anew. Perhaps not to the same extent or for the same reasons, but women are also affected by Field of Dreams's tender story about second chances and the power of dreams. It doesn't hurt that it's wrapped in the warm glow of the simple country-small town way of life (real or not, a powerful symbol) and the most nostalgic and American of all sports. The film and the book from which it was adapted take as their premise the destruction of faith and ideals inherent in the true early twentieth century story of the Chicago "Black" Sox ("Say it ain't so, Joe"), while offering the hope of redemption, the chance to go back and restore the world to a more unspoiled state before the Fall. It was the perfect film to come at the end of the Reagan years, when so much of the country had become caught up in the idea of "morning in America," a new dawn after the bitter experiences of Vietnam, assassinations, and Watergate. At the same time, it exhibited a nostalgia for the 60s, for the kind of passion, idealism, and commitment that was no longer very much alive in the late 1980s. The story, both in book and movie form, also appealed to something even deeper and older, the hero myth that lies at the base of just about every religion and spiritual belief system. The structure is classical; the hero gets a mysterious message that compels him to leave home, making an often difficult journey filled with doubts and obstacles, until he fulfills his quest and returns home with the gift he needs to restore balance and grace to his world. Of course, so many of these myths involve a reconciliation with the Father, making the resonance here even stronger. What Field of Dreams does best is couch these deep emotions and mythic structures in a contemporary, relatable, and very entertaining vehicle that proved potent at the box office. Now that it can be seen in the privacy of one's own home, men everywhere and across all generations can watch it and freely cry like babies out of the public eye. By Rob Nixon

Pop Culture 101-Field of Dreams


The movie's most famous quote and catch phrase, "If you build it, he will come," was ranked No. 39 in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotes. It's also one of the most misquoted lines in movie history (with such classics as the never-said "Play it again, Sam"). It's often quoted as "If you build it, they will come."

The phrase is now common even among those who have never seen the film. Variations of it have been used in many movies, television shows, and advertising.

The movie has been spoofed in various TV shows and films, including Wayne's World 2 (1993), Muppets from Space (1999), and in the series that has parodied countless aspects of popular culture, The Simpsons.

During a collective bargaining dispute in 2011, owners of the National Football League's 32 teams locked their players out of facilities and shut down league operations. The lockout lasted from March to July that year, leaving the new football season in doubt. Writers Alex Fernie, Ryan Perez, and Eric Appel, who often make shorts for the comedy web site Funny or Die, created a short trailer parody, under Appel's direction, called Field of Dreams 2: NFL Lockout (2011). Taylor Lautner plays a young Iowa farmer who hears ghostly voices instructing him to clear out his corn crop and build a football field. Several real-life NFL players show up to compete until the lockout is over. Ray Liotta, who plays Shoeless Joe in Field of Dreams, appears as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Dennis Haysbert plays a version of the character played by James Earl Jones, and Kevin Costner appears at the end as Lautner's father, offering a game of catch.

The land where the field was built, owned by farmer Don Lansing, was never replanted in corn. He maintained it as a tourist destination, drawing up to 65,000 people per year and earning revenues from souvenir sales. In 2011, the property was sold to a company called Go the Distance Baseball LLC for a rumored sum of more than $5 million with the intention of building a 24-field youth baseball and softball tournament facility called All-Star Ballpark Heaven. Neighbors of the site formed the Residential and Agricultural Advisory Committee in opposition to the development. In 2012, the company sued the citizens committee for interfering with the project, and a year later, the committee launched a counter suit. In October 2013, both parties mutually agreed to drop the suits. Although no construction had begun at the time of the dismissal, the company expressed hope that dropping the litigation would attract more investors to move forward. Among the current backers of the project are Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs and actor Matthew Perry.

A Facebook page called "Save the Field of Dreams" was created in October by film trailer editor David Blanchard opposing the company's development plans. Blanchard and his wife are big fans of the movie and visited the site in July 2012. The Facebook page says, "No words can describe the serenity one feels when you step out onto that baseball diamond and hear only the corn stalks rustling in the wind. But all of that is about to change if this development is allowed to be built, unless people take a stand and say NO!!"

In the novel, Ray Kinsella seeks real-life reclusive author J.D. Salinger. In Salinger's 1947 story "A Young Girl in 1941 with No Waist at All," there is a character named Ray Kinsella. In Salinger's most famous novel, The Catcher in the Rye, a classmate of the main character, Holden Caulfield, is Richard Kinsella, the name of Ray's twin brother in the book on which this film is based. That character and story line were not included in the movie.

Many myths and baseless stories have grown up around the legend of Shoeless Joe Jackson and his involvement in the 1919 World Series scandal. His complicity in "throwing" the series for money has long been in doubt and many efforts have been undertaken to reinstate him to baseball after his 1920 expulsion and place him in the sport's Hall of Fame. In 1991, the Hawaii state legislature passed a House resolution calling for Jackson's exoneration, referencing a quote from James Earl Jones's character in the movie about "the essence of an American tradition, baseball." Copies of the resolution were sent to director Phil Alden Robinson, producers Charles and Lawrence Gordon, and cast members Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, and Jones.

The story of the infamous Chicago "Black" Sox was told in an earlier movie by John Sayles, Eight Men Out (1988). D.B. Sweeney played Shoeless Joe Jackson in that film.

Shoeless Joe, played by actor Biff McGuire, was the focus of one episode of the early 1960s television series The Witness, in which a committee of real-life lawyers each week cross-examined actors playing actual people who had been connected to some criminal activity, including mobsters Lucky Luciano, Al Capone, and Arnold Rothstein, the man widely reputed to have arranged the 1919 World Series fix that got Jackson expelled from pro baseball.

By Rob Nixon

Pop Culture 101-Field of Dreams

The movie's most famous quote and catch phrase, "If you build it, he will come," was ranked No. 39 in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotes. It's also one of the most misquoted lines in movie history (with such classics as the never-said "Play it again, Sam"). It's often quoted as "If you build it, they will come." The phrase is now common even among those who have never seen the film. Variations of it have been used in many movies, television shows, and advertising. The movie has been spoofed in various TV shows and films, including Wayne's World 2 (1993), Muppets from Space (1999), and in the series that has parodied countless aspects of popular culture, The Simpsons. During a collective bargaining dispute in 2011, owners of the National Football League's 32 teams locked their players out of facilities and shut down league operations. The lockout lasted from March to July that year, leaving the new football season in doubt. Writers Alex Fernie, Ryan Perez, and Eric Appel, who often make shorts for the comedy web site Funny or Die, created a short trailer parody, under Appel's direction, called Field of Dreams 2: NFL Lockout (2011). Taylor Lautner plays a young Iowa farmer who hears ghostly voices instructing him to clear out his corn crop and build a football field. Several real-life NFL players show up to compete until the lockout is over. Ray Liotta, who plays Shoeless Joe in Field of Dreams, appears as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Dennis Haysbert plays a version of the character played by James Earl Jones, and Kevin Costner appears at the end as Lautner's father, offering a game of catch. The land where the field was built, owned by farmer Don Lansing, was never replanted in corn. He maintained it as a tourist destination, drawing up to 65,000 people per year and earning revenues from souvenir sales. In 2011, the property was sold to a company called Go the Distance Baseball LLC for a rumored sum of more than $5 million with the intention of building a 24-field youth baseball and softball tournament facility called All-Star Ballpark Heaven. Neighbors of the site formed the Residential and Agricultural Advisory Committee in opposition to the development. In 2012, the company sued the citizens committee for interfering with the project, and a year later, the committee launched a counter suit. In October 2013, both parties mutually agreed to drop the suits. Although no construction had begun at the time of the dismissal, the company expressed hope that dropping the litigation would attract more investors to move forward. Among the current backers of the project are Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs and actor Matthew Perry. A Facebook page called "Save the Field of Dreams" was created in October by film trailer editor David Blanchard opposing the company's development plans. Blanchard and his wife are big fans of the movie and visited the site in July 2012. The Facebook page says, "No words can describe the serenity one feels when you step out onto that baseball diamond and hear only the corn stalks rustling in the wind. But all of that is about to change if this development is allowed to be built, unless people take a stand and say NO!!" In the novel, Ray Kinsella seeks real-life reclusive author J.D. Salinger. In Salinger's 1947 story "A Young Girl in 1941 with No Waist at All," there is a character named Ray Kinsella. In Salinger's most famous novel, The Catcher in the Rye, a classmate of the main character, Holden Caulfield, is Richard Kinsella, the name of Ray's twin brother in the book on which this film is based. That character and story line were not included in the movie. Many myths and baseless stories have grown up around the legend of Shoeless Joe Jackson and his involvement in the 1919 World Series scandal. His complicity in "throwing" the series for money has long been in doubt and many efforts have been undertaken to reinstate him to baseball after his 1920 expulsion and place him in the sport's Hall of Fame. In 1991, the Hawaii state legislature passed a House resolution calling for Jackson's exoneration, referencing a quote from James Earl Jones's character in the movie about "the essence of an American tradition, baseball." Copies of the resolution were sent to director Phil Alden Robinson, producers Charles and Lawrence Gordon, and cast members Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, and Jones. The story of the infamous Chicago "Black" Sox was told in an earlier movie by John Sayles, Eight Men Out (1988). D.B. Sweeney played Shoeless Joe Jackson in that film. Shoeless Joe, played by actor Biff McGuire, was the focus of one episode of the early 1960s television series The Witness, in which a committee of real-life lawyers each week cross-examined actors playing actual people who had been connected to some criminal activity, including mobsters Lucky Luciano, Al Capone, and Arnold Rothstein, the man widely reputed to have arranged the 1919 World Series fix that got Jackson expelled from pro baseball. By Rob Nixon

Trivia-Field of Dreams - Trivia & Fun Facts About FIELD OF DREAMS


In the credits, The Voice (who whispers the instructions to build the field) is listed as being played by "Himself." The longstanding rumor is that the voice is actually Ray Liotta, who plays Shoeless Joe. Others claim it was Kevin Costner himself. Neither has been solidly confirmed, although it sounds more like Liotta than Costner.

The year after this film, star Kevin Costner directed and appeared in the Best Picture Oscar® winner Dances with Wolves (1990), which earned him a Best Director Academy Award and Golden Globe, as well as numerous other international honors. Immediately before Field of Dreams, Costner scored with a role in another baseball movie, Bull Durham (1988).

Writer-director Phil Alden Robinson's earliest work was as the writer of Rhinestone (1984), All of Me (1984), and the 1940s-set In the Mood (1987), his feature directing debut. None of his films since, including Sneakers (1992), The Sum of All Fears (2002), and the TV movie Freedom Song (2000), have had quite the impact of Field of Dreams.

Composer James Horner has been recognized numerous times by various film award groups, including an Oscar®: and Golden Globe for his work on Titanic (1997) and the music for its theme song, "My Heart Will Go On." He has also written the scores for Aliens (1986), Apollo 13 (1995), and Avatar (2009).

Gaby Hoffmann, who was six years old when she appeared as the Kinsella's daughter in her film debut, is the daughter of the actress Viva, best known for her association with Andy Warhol. Hoffmann has been nominated five times for the Young Artist Award for her television and film work, winning the first time for this picture.

Amy Madigan (Annie Kinsella) met her husband, actor Ed Harris, while both were working on the film Places in the Heart (1984). They have appeared in seven pictures together.

One of the biggest movie stars and most respected actors of his time, Burt Lancaster's small supporting role in this was one of his last. The four-time Academy Award nominee won his only Oscar® for Elmer Gantry (1960). His other notable works include his screen debut in The Killers (1946), From Here to Eternity (1953), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), 1900 (1976), and Atlantic City (1980).

The character Burt Lancaster plays, Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, only played in one game during his pro baseball career. He retired at age 30 and became a doctor.

Unknown at the time of this production, Boston residents Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were reportedly extras in the Fenway Park scene. The story goes that on the first day of filming The Sum of All Fears, star Affleck told director Phil Alden Robinson, "Nice working with you again."

Three actors from this production--James Earl Jones, Timothy Busfield, and Lee Garlington--appeared in Phil Alden Robinson's next movie, Sneakers.

Dwier Brown, the actor who plays Kevin Costner's father, had to travel to his father's funeral just before he was set to film his scenes. Immediately after the service, he went back to Iowa for the shoot. He said the fresh and painful emotions helped him play the scene with Costner.

Shoeless Joe Jackson was the first of the eight banned Chicago White Sox players to die. He passed away December 5, 1951 at the age of 64, still protesting his innocence. Years after his death, his disgraced teammates said he was never involved in meetings with the gamblers who arranged to fix the 1919 World Series.

Rod Dedeaux (1914-2006), who served as baseball coach for the production, played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1930s and coached the University of Southern California team for 45 seasons, winning more than 1300 games and ten NCAA titles. He also coached the U.S. Baseball Team to a silver medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Don Lansing, owner of the farm where the movie was shot, met a woman who came to New Years Eve at the field. He eventually proposed to her on first base.

By Rob Nixon

VOICE: If you build it, he will come.

ANNIE (Amy Madigan): If you build what, who will come?
RAY (Kevin Costner): He didn't say.
ANNIE: I hate when that happens.

ANNIE: What if the Voice calls while you're gone?
RAY: Take a message.

DR. GRAHAM (Burt Lancaster): This is my most special place in all the world, Ray. Once a place touches you like this, the wind never blows so cold again. You feel for it, like it was your child.

TERENCE MANN (James Earl Jones): Oh, my God.
RAY: What?
MANN You're from the sixties.
RAY: Well, yeah, actually...
MANN: Out! Back to the sixties! Back! There's no place for you here in the future! Get back while you still can!

MARK (Timothy Busfield): You build a baseball field, and you sit here, and stare at nothing.

MANN: It's not my fault you wouldn't play catch with your father.

MANN: The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

VOICE: Ease his pain.

RAY: I'm pitching to Shoeless Joe Jackson.

JOHN KINSELLA (Dwier Brown): Is this heaven?
RAY: It's Iowa.
JOHN: Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.
RAY: Is there a heaven?
JOHN: Oh yeah. It's the place where dreams come true.
RAY: Maybe this is heaven.

RAY: Hey, Dad. You wanna have a catch?

Trivia-Field of Dreams - Trivia & Fun Facts About FIELD OF DREAMS

In the credits, The Voice (who whispers the instructions to build the field) is listed as being played by "Himself." The longstanding rumor is that the voice is actually Ray Liotta, who plays Shoeless Joe. Others claim it was Kevin Costner himself. Neither has been solidly confirmed, although it sounds more like Liotta than Costner. The year after this film, star Kevin Costner directed and appeared in the Best Picture Oscar® winner Dances with Wolves (1990), which earned him a Best Director Academy Award and Golden Globe, as well as numerous other international honors. Immediately before Field of Dreams, Costner scored with a role in another baseball movie, Bull Durham (1988). Writer-director Phil Alden Robinson's earliest work was as the writer of Rhinestone (1984), All of Me (1984), and the 1940s-set In the Mood (1987), his feature directing debut. None of his films since, including Sneakers (1992), The Sum of All Fears (2002), and the TV movie Freedom Song (2000), have had quite the impact of Field of Dreams. Composer James Horner has been recognized numerous times by various film award groups, including an Oscar®: and Golden Globe for his work on Titanic (1997) and the music for its theme song, "My Heart Will Go On." He has also written the scores for Aliens (1986), Apollo 13 (1995), and Avatar (2009). Gaby Hoffmann, who was six years old when she appeared as the Kinsella's daughter in her film debut, is the daughter of the actress Viva, best known for her association with Andy Warhol. Hoffmann has been nominated five times for the Young Artist Award for her television and film work, winning the first time for this picture. Amy Madigan (Annie Kinsella) met her husband, actor Ed Harris, while both were working on the film Places in the Heart (1984). They have appeared in seven pictures together. One of the biggest movie stars and most respected actors of his time, Burt Lancaster's small supporting role in this was one of his last. The four-time Academy Award nominee won his only Oscar® for Elmer Gantry (1960). His other notable works include his screen debut in The Killers (1946), From Here to Eternity (1953), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), 1900 (1976), and Atlantic City (1980). The character Burt Lancaster plays, Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, only played in one game during his pro baseball career. He retired at age 30 and became a doctor. Unknown at the time of this production, Boston residents Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were reportedly extras in the Fenway Park scene. The story goes that on the first day of filming The Sum of All Fears, star Affleck told director Phil Alden Robinson, "Nice working with you again." Three actors from this production--James Earl Jones, Timothy Busfield, and Lee Garlington--appeared in Phil Alden Robinson's next movie, Sneakers. Dwier Brown, the actor who plays Kevin Costner's father, had to travel to his father's funeral just before he was set to film his scenes. Immediately after the service, he went back to Iowa for the shoot. He said the fresh and painful emotions helped him play the scene with Costner. Shoeless Joe Jackson was the first of the eight banned Chicago White Sox players to die. He passed away December 5, 1951 at the age of 64, still protesting his innocence. Years after his death, his disgraced teammates said he was never involved in meetings with the gamblers who arranged to fix the 1919 World Series. Rod Dedeaux (1914-2006), who served as baseball coach for the production, played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1930s and coached the University of Southern California team for 45 seasons, winning more than 1300 games and ten NCAA titles. He also coached the U.S. Baseball Team to a silver medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics. Don Lansing, owner of the farm where the movie was shot, met a woman who came to New Years Eve at the field. He eventually proposed to her on first base. By Rob Nixon VOICE: If you build it, he will come. ANNIE (Amy Madigan): If you build what, who will come? RAY (Kevin Costner): He didn't say. ANNIE: I hate when that happens. ANNIE: What if the Voice calls while you're gone? RAY: Take a message. DR. GRAHAM (Burt Lancaster): This is my most special place in all the world, Ray. Once a place touches you like this, the wind never blows so cold again. You feel for it, like it was your child. TERENCE MANN (James Earl Jones): Oh, my God. RAY: What? MANN You're from the sixties. RAY: Well, yeah, actually... MANN: Out! Back to the sixties! Back! There's no place for you here in the future! Get back while you still can! MARK (Timothy Busfield): You build a baseball field, and you sit here, and stare at nothing. MANN: It's not my fault you wouldn't play catch with your father. MANN: The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come. VOICE: Ease his pain. RAY: I'm pitching to Shoeless Joe Jackson. JOHN KINSELLA (Dwier Brown): Is this heaven? RAY: It's Iowa. JOHN: Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven. RAY: Is there a heaven? JOHN: Oh yeah. It's the place where dreams come true. RAY: Maybe this is heaven. RAY: Hey, Dad. You wanna have a catch?

The Big Idea-Field of Dreams


Still considered the greatest scandal in baseball history, the 1919 World Series made big news across the country when eight players from the Chicago White Sox, among them the great "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, were accused of taking money from big-time gamblers (rumored to be led by Arnold Rothstein, the basis for the Meyer Wolfsheim character in The Great Gatsby) to throw the series to the Cincinnati Reds. The extent to which each player on the team, nicknamed the Black Sox, was involved has never been clear, and they were acquitted of all criminal charges. All of them, however, were banned from baseball for life.

William Patrick (W.P.) Kinsella had been writing on and off since he was very young, but his formal education and career didn't really start until he was around 40. Although born and raised in Canada, he learned all about baseball from his Irish-American father, whose favorite player was Shoeless Joe Jackson. Kinsella used the story of Jackson and his Chicago "Black Sox" teammates as the basis for his first novel, Shoeless Joe. Kinsella had earned his master's degree in writing at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop and fell in love with the state. He set his novel there, a fantasy about a farmer who follows the bidding of a mysterious voice to build a baseball field on his land. Once completed, the field brings back the ghosts of the disgraced team as well as those of a man who played only one pro game in his career before becoming a doctor and the protagonist's father. In the book, the main character also decides to kidnap reclusive real-life writer J.D. Salinger and take him to a baseball game because of an interview Salinger once supposedly gave about baseball. (An interview that never actually happened in real life). He also has a twin brother he tries to reconcile with their father.

While immersing himself in Salinger's writing as research for his book, Kinsella discovered Salinger had created a character named Ray Kinsella in one of his stories and another named Richard Kinsella who appeared in his most famous book, The Catcher in the Rye. Kinsella decided to name his main character Ray Kinsella and the troubled twin brother Richard Kinsella.

"I like to mix fantasy and reality to the point where I can't tell whether it actually happened or not," Kinsella has said. Shoeless Joe contained just such a mix, including a character named Archibald "Moonlight" Graham based on a real-life ball player who only got to play one game in his career before retiring at 30 to become a doctor.

It took Kinsella nine months to write the novel. Editors at Houghton Mifflin publishing company loved it and gave him their prestigious fellowship for first-time novelists of great promise. They released the book in mid-April 1982 to coincide with the start of baseball season. It was very well received critically and commercially.

A friend recommended the book to Phil Alden Robinson, a screenwriter who had recently made his directing debut with In the Mood (1987). He wasn't interested. "I'm a city boy. I don't believe in ghosts or any of that mumbo jumbo," he later said about the "zero percent chance" he would read the book and like it. When his friend mentioned the story also contained a kidnapping of J.D. Salinger, he was intrigued. He read the entire book in one night and decided he had to make a film of it.

Several studios rejected the book as completely wrong for the screen. They found the concept too fragile and thought the story would seem bloated and silly. Lawrence Gordon, an executive at 20th Century-Fox, loved it. The studio signed Robinson to write and direct.

Although he had written screenplays, Robinson had never adapted a novel for film. He began by tearing out the book's pages and pasting them into a notebook where he could make extensive notes. He found himself going to great pains to stay absolutely faithful to the book. When Fox executive Scott Rudin saw Robinson's first draft, he said, "Congratulations, you've just written Bill Kinsella's first draft of the screenplay. Now go write your first draft."

Robinson set about streamlining the book, with Kinsella's blessing, by putting the focus on the father-son relationship. First he got rid of the twin brother and made the Ray character the one who had a strained relationship with his father after a falling out over baseball and Shoeless Joe Jackson, his father's favorite player but a criminal in Ray's eyes. In the book, Ray wants that reconciliation from the very beginning, but Robinson decided to make the father's ghost a surprise at the end.

J.D. Salinger was very unhappy about Kinsella's fictional portrayal of him in the novel and threatened to sue, but did not have enough of a basis for litigation. Nevertheless, his lawyers let it be known that they would be "unhappy if it [the story] were transferred to other media." To avoid any problem, the Salinger character was renamed Terence Mann. At first, Robinson made him a thinly veiled version of Salinger. Then he saw James Earl Jones in the play Fences on Broadway. With Jones in mind, he created a new character, a disillusioned former 60s radical journalist who had withdrawn from the public eye.

Kinsella read the screenplay with tears in his eyes and thought if Robinson could get it to the screen, it would be something quite wonderful.

The script struck a particular chord with Fox executive Larry Gordon, whose own father had died suddenly before he could witness his son's success.

All together, Robinson spent five years on developing the project. Just when he felt ready to film it, there was a shake-up at Fox, and the studio was no longer interested. Larry Gordon, who had left Fox during the change, made it his personal project to get it done. He and Robinson tried to pitch it elsewhere but no one was interested. Paramount almost signed on, but they wanted Robin Williams in the lead. Then Universal chair Tom Pollock read it and cried. He gave it a $14 million budget.

Universal wanted Kevin Costner for the lead but were afraid he would turn it down, having just done another baseball movie, Bull Durham (1988). Robinson said he really couldn't think of anyone who would be more believable in the role. Costner decided to do it.

James Earl Jones was immediately drawn to the role created with him in mind.

Robinson thought the role of Ray Kinsella's wife Annie was the hardest to cast. He had created scenes for her that weren't in the book (such as the PTA meeting) to show her strength and conviction and add depth and complexity to her character. He needed someone who could be tough and soft, smart and funny, and an equal to her husband. He found her in Amy Madigan.

Robinson cast Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe because "he could carry an air of mystery without trying too hard."

By Rob Nixon

The Big Idea-Field of Dreams

Still considered the greatest scandal in baseball history, the 1919 World Series made big news across the country when eight players from the Chicago White Sox, among them the great "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, were accused of taking money from big-time gamblers (rumored to be led by Arnold Rothstein, the basis for the Meyer Wolfsheim character in The Great Gatsby) to throw the series to the Cincinnati Reds. The extent to which each player on the team, nicknamed the Black Sox, was involved has never been clear, and they were acquitted of all criminal charges. All of them, however, were banned from baseball for life. William Patrick (W.P.) Kinsella had been writing on and off since he was very young, but his formal education and career didn't really start until he was around 40. Although born and raised in Canada, he learned all about baseball from his Irish-American father, whose favorite player was Shoeless Joe Jackson. Kinsella used the story of Jackson and his Chicago "Black Sox" teammates as the basis for his first novel, Shoeless Joe. Kinsella had earned his master's degree in writing at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop and fell in love with the state. He set his novel there, a fantasy about a farmer who follows the bidding of a mysterious voice to build a baseball field on his land. Once completed, the field brings back the ghosts of the disgraced team as well as those of a man who played only one pro game in his career before becoming a doctor and the protagonist's father. In the book, the main character also decides to kidnap reclusive real-life writer J.D. Salinger and take him to a baseball game because of an interview Salinger once supposedly gave about baseball. (An interview that never actually happened in real life). He also has a twin brother he tries to reconcile with their father. While immersing himself in Salinger's writing as research for his book, Kinsella discovered Salinger had created a character named Ray Kinsella in one of his stories and another named Richard Kinsella who appeared in his most famous book, The Catcher in the Rye. Kinsella decided to name his main character Ray Kinsella and the troubled twin brother Richard Kinsella. "I like to mix fantasy and reality to the point where I can't tell whether it actually happened or not," Kinsella has said. Shoeless Joe contained just such a mix, including a character named Archibald "Moonlight" Graham based on a real-life ball player who only got to play one game in his career before retiring at 30 to become a doctor. It took Kinsella nine months to write the novel. Editors at Houghton Mifflin publishing company loved it and gave him their prestigious fellowship for first-time novelists of great promise. They released the book in mid-April 1982 to coincide with the start of baseball season. It was very well received critically and commercially. A friend recommended the book to Phil Alden Robinson, a screenwriter who had recently made his directing debut with In the Mood (1987). He wasn't interested. "I'm a city boy. I don't believe in ghosts or any of that mumbo jumbo," he later said about the "zero percent chance" he would read the book and like it. When his friend mentioned the story also contained a kidnapping of J.D. Salinger, he was intrigued. He read the entire book in one night and decided he had to make a film of it. Several studios rejected the book as completely wrong for the screen. They found the concept too fragile and thought the story would seem bloated and silly. Lawrence Gordon, an executive at 20th Century-Fox, loved it. The studio signed Robinson to write and direct. Although he had written screenplays, Robinson had never adapted a novel for film. He began by tearing out the book's pages and pasting them into a notebook where he could make extensive notes. He found himself going to great pains to stay absolutely faithful to the book. When Fox executive Scott Rudin saw Robinson's first draft, he said, "Congratulations, you've just written Bill Kinsella's first draft of the screenplay. Now go write your first draft." Robinson set about streamlining the book, with Kinsella's blessing, by putting the focus on the father-son relationship. First he got rid of the twin brother and made the Ray character the one who had a strained relationship with his father after a falling out over baseball and Shoeless Joe Jackson, his father's favorite player but a criminal in Ray's eyes. In the book, Ray wants that reconciliation from the very beginning, but Robinson decided to make the father's ghost a surprise at the end. J.D. Salinger was very unhappy about Kinsella's fictional portrayal of him in the novel and threatened to sue, but did not have enough of a basis for litigation. Nevertheless, his lawyers let it be known that they would be "unhappy if it [the story] were transferred to other media." To avoid any problem, the Salinger character was renamed Terence Mann. At first, Robinson made him a thinly veiled version of Salinger. Then he saw James Earl Jones in the play Fences on Broadway. With Jones in mind, he created a new character, a disillusioned former 60s radical journalist who had withdrawn from the public eye. Kinsella read the screenplay with tears in his eyes and thought if Robinson could get it to the screen, it would be something quite wonderful. The script struck a particular chord with Fox executive Larry Gordon, whose own father had died suddenly before he could witness his son's success. All together, Robinson spent five years on developing the project. Just when he felt ready to film it, there was a shake-up at Fox, and the studio was no longer interested. Larry Gordon, who had left Fox during the change, made it his personal project to get it done. He and Robinson tried to pitch it elsewhere but no one was interested. Paramount almost signed on, but they wanted Robin Williams in the lead. Then Universal chair Tom Pollock read it and cried. He gave it a $14 million budget. Universal wanted Kevin Costner for the lead but were afraid he would turn it down, having just done another baseball movie, Bull Durham (1988). Robinson said he really couldn't think of anyone who would be more believable in the role. Costner decided to do it. James Earl Jones was immediately drawn to the role created with him in mind. Robinson thought the role of Ray Kinsella's wife Annie was the hardest to cast. He had created scenes for her that weren't in the book (such as the PTA meeting) to show her strength and conviction and add depth and complexity to her character. He needed someone who could be tough and soft, smart and funny, and an equal to her husband. He found her in Amy Madigan. Robinson cast Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe because "he could carry an air of mystery without trying too hard." By Rob Nixon

Critics' Corner-Field of Dreams


Universal scheduled the film for release the week before Memorial Day in 1989, in just a few theaters at first. It gradually opened wider over the summer and ran into December of that year, grossing $70 million at the box office.

The film received three Academy Award nominations: Best Film, Adapted Screenplay (Phil Alden Robinson), and Original Score (James Horner).

Field of Dreams received nominations from the Writers Guild of America (Phil Alden Robinson's adapted screenplay), Directors Guild of America (director Phil Alden Robinson), Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films (Best Fantasy, Best Writing), American Cinema Editors (for editor Ian Crafford), Casting Society of America (Margery Simkin for best drama feature casting), Chicago Film Critics Association (Supporting Actress Amy Madigan), and a nod for Best Dramatic Presentation from the World Science Fiction Society's Hugo Awards.

The National Board of Review named the picture one of its Top Ten for the year.

Gaby Hoffmann, who played the daughter of Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan, won a Young Artist Award for her supporting performance.

The film won Best Foreign Language Film from four different Japanese organizations: the Japanese Academy, Blue Ribbon Awards, Hochi Film Awards, and the Kinema Junpo Awards.

Composer James Horner won a Grammy Award for his soundtrack album.

The American Film Institute in 2008 ranked the film No. 6 in all-time Top Ten fantasy films. It was No. 28 in the AFI's 2006 ranking of the 100 most inspiring films, and the line "If you build it, he will come" was No. 39 in the 2005 list of 100 greatest movie quotes.

The now defunct entertainment magazine Premiere ranked this one of the "20 Most Overrated Movies of All Time." Others on the list included 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968), Gone with the Wind (1939), François Truffaut's Jules and Jim (1962), Robert Altman's Nashville (1975), and The Wizard of Oz (1939).

In a review of the movie for a Canadian publication, W.P. Kinsella gave it four stars out of five because he didn't think the character of Annie's brother Mark was villainous enough and because Gaby Hoffmann, in his opinion, did not look like she could be the daughter of Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan.

"I loved the finished movie. Most writers are unhappy with film adaptations of their work, and rightly so. Field of Dreams, however, caught the spirit and essence of Shoeless Joe while making the necessary changes to make the work more visual." - W.P. Kinsella, The Writing University website, January 5, 2012

"Movies are often so timid these days, so afraid to take flights of the imagination, that there is something grand and brave about a movie where a voice tells a farmer to build a baseball diamond so that Shoeless Joe Jackson can materialize out of the cornfield and hit a few fly balls. This is the kind of movie Frank Capra might have directed, and James Stewart might have starred in--a movie about dreams. ... It is very tricky to act in a movie like this; there is always the danger of seeming ridiculous. Costner and Madigan create such a grounded, believable married couple that one of the themes of the movie is the way love means sharing your loved one's dreams. Jones and Lancaster create small, sharp character portraits--two older men who have taken the paths life offered them, but never forgotten what baseball represented to them in their youth. Field of Dreams will not appeal to grinches and grouches and realists. It is a delicate movie, a fragile construction of one goofy fantasy after another. But it has the courage to be about exactly what it promises." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, April 21, 1989

"I won't spoil the outcome for those who know that, whatever the critics say, this is their kind of movie. To be honest, I started hearing things, too. Just when Jones was delivering an inexcusably sappy speech about baseball being 'a symbol of all that was once good in America,' I heard the words 'If he keeps talking, I'm walking.' Okay, it was just some disgruntled smartass behind me. But as Dreams drags on, that voice remains one well worth taking to heart." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, April 21, 1989

"Robinson has opted, commendably, for a straight-ahead, non-pyrotechnic approach, depending entirely on character oomph for his magical momentum. But Field of Dreams, you're no Bull Durham: The characters seem too transparent for the 'realistic' background they live in and the ghosts too fleshed in to be spectral. And none completely engages the heart, though you sort of like Costner and company (including Costner's wife Amy Madigan, Burt Lancaster as an old-time contender and Ray Liotta as the bright-eyed, intense 'Shoeless') for trying. This is one occasion when a little industrial-strength magic, Lucas-Spielberg style, actually might have helped--by lighting up the characters and making the otherworldly a little more wondrous." - Desson Howe, Washington Post, April 1989

"Director-writer Phil Alden Robinson certainly has his heart in the right place. He wants to make a film about loving your parents, chasing your wildest hopes, finding and accepting your past. He wants to heal all the wounds of the post-'60s, salve and soothe and bind them up. And he doesn't do any of this in a cheap or sensationalized way. Field of Dreams is about as heartfelt a movie as any major studio has given us recently. But there's something missing, something tentative and uncertain. In order to pull off a magic trick, you often have to distract the audience with smooth patter, clever detail or indirection. And this movie tries to play it so pure and unabashed that we can see right up its sleeves." - Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times, April 1989

"In spite of a script hobbled with cloying aphorisms and shameless sentimentality, Field of Dreams sustains a dreamy mood in which the idea of baseball is distilled to its purest essence: a game that stands for unsullied innocence in a cruel, imperfect world." - Variety, 1989

"Too idiosyncratic and witty merely to wallow in sentimentality, Field Of Dreams will surely stand as a classic update of what made Old Hollywood so magical. It's still a wonderful life." - Empire magazine, 1989

"A work so smartly written, so beautifully filmed, so perfectly acted, that it does the almost impossible trick of turning sentimentality into true emotion. ... Mr. Robinson, whose first film was last year's modestly charming In the Mood, is aware of the turns American ideals have taken since Jimmy Stewart's day, so he gives his story as much resistance and contemporary reality as a fable can bear. ... Audiences will probably believe in Mr. Costner's illusion or not, love or hate this film. It seems much easier to fall into Field of Dreams than to resist its warm, intelligent, timely appeal to our most idealistic selves." - Caryn James, New York Times, April 1989 "Taken in bare outline, the plot may appear faintly ridiculous, but this often beautiful film (John Lindley's cinematography is breathtaking)...embraces qualities which are skillfully amplified and not sentimentalized. Writer/director Robinson has embellished WP Kinsella's novel to examine the ideological conflict between the'60s and the '80s; together with moments of dry humour and fine performances, the political element lends the film gravity sufficient to counterbalance any sense of whimsy. Pure magic." - Collette Maude, Time Out, 2000

By Rob Nixon

Critics' Corner-Field of Dreams

Universal scheduled the film for release the week before Memorial Day in 1989, in just a few theaters at first. It gradually opened wider over the summer and ran into December of that year, grossing $70 million at the box office. The film received three Academy Award nominations: Best Film, Adapted Screenplay (Phil Alden Robinson), and Original Score (James Horner). Field of Dreams received nominations from the Writers Guild of America (Phil Alden Robinson's adapted screenplay), Directors Guild of America (director Phil Alden Robinson), Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films (Best Fantasy, Best Writing), American Cinema Editors (for editor Ian Crafford), Casting Society of America (Margery Simkin for best drama feature casting), Chicago Film Critics Association (Supporting Actress Amy Madigan), and a nod for Best Dramatic Presentation from the World Science Fiction Society's Hugo Awards. The National Board of Review named the picture one of its Top Ten for the year. Gaby Hoffmann, who played the daughter of Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan, won a Young Artist Award for her supporting performance. The film won Best Foreign Language Film from four different Japanese organizations: the Japanese Academy, Blue Ribbon Awards, Hochi Film Awards, and the Kinema Junpo Awards. Composer James Horner won a Grammy Award for his soundtrack album. The American Film Institute in 2008 ranked the film No. 6 in all-time Top Ten fantasy films. It was No. 28 in the AFI's 2006 ranking of the 100 most inspiring films, and the line "If you build it, he will come" was No. 39 in the 2005 list of 100 greatest movie quotes. The now defunct entertainment magazine Premiere ranked this one of the "20 Most Overrated Movies of All Time." Others on the list included 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968), Gone with the Wind (1939), François Truffaut's Jules and Jim (1962), Robert Altman's Nashville (1975), and The Wizard of Oz (1939). In a review of the movie for a Canadian publication, W.P. Kinsella gave it four stars out of five because he didn't think the character of Annie's brother Mark was villainous enough and because Gaby Hoffmann, in his opinion, did not look like she could be the daughter of Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan. "I loved the finished movie. Most writers are unhappy with film adaptations of their work, and rightly so. Field of Dreams, however, caught the spirit and essence of Shoeless Joe while making the necessary changes to make the work more visual." - W.P. Kinsella, The Writing University website, January 5, 2012 "Movies are often so timid these days, so afraid to take flights of the imagination, that there is something grand and brave about a movie where a voice tells a farmer to build a baseball diamond so that Shoeless Joe Jackson can materialize out of the cornfield and hit a few fly balls. This is the kind of movie Frank Capra might have directed, and James Stewart might have starred in--a movie about dreams. ... It is very tricky to act in a movie like this; there is always the danger of seeming ridiculous. Costner and Madigan create such a grounded, believable married couple that one of the themes of the movie is the way love means sharing your loved one's dreams. Jones and Lancaster create small, sharp character portraits--two older men who have taken the paths life offered them, but never forgotten what baseball represented to them in their youth. Field of Dreams will not appeal to grinches and grouches and realists. It is a delicate movie, a fragile construction of one goofy fantasy after another. But it has the courage to be about exactly what it promises." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, April 21, 1989 "I won't spoil the outcome for those who know that, whatever the critics say, this is their kind of movie. To be honest, I started hearing things, too. Just when Jones was delivering an inexcusably sappy speech about baseball being 'a symbol of all that was once good in America,' I heard the words 'If he keeps talking, I'm walking.' Okay, it was just some disgruntled smartass behind me. But as Dreams drags on, that voice remains one well worth taking to heart." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, April 21, 1989 "Robinson has opted, commendably, for a straight-ahead, non-pyrotechnic approach, depending entirely on character oomph for his magical momentum. But Field of Dreams, you're no Bull Durham: The characters seem too transparent for the 'realistic' background they live in and the ghosts too fleshed in to be spectral. And none completely engages the heart, though you sort of like Costner and company (including Costner's wife Amy Madigan, Burt Lancaster as an old-time contender and Ray Liotta as the bright-eyed, intense 'Shoeless') for trying. This is one occasion when a little industrial-strength magic, Lucas-Spielberg style, actually might have helped--by lighting up the characters and making the otherworldly a little more wondrous." - Desson Howe, Washington Post, April 1989 "Director-writer Phil Alden Robinson certainly has his heart in the right place. He wants to make a film about loving your parents, chasing your wildest hopes, finding and accepting your past. He wants to heal all the wounds of the post-'60s, salve and soothe and bind them up. And he doesn't do any of this in a cheap or sensationalized way. Field of Dreams is about as heartfelt a movie as any major studio has given us recently. But there's something missing, something tentative and uncertain. In order to pull off a magic trick, you often have to distract the audience with smooth patter, clever detail or indirection. And this movie tries to play it so pure and unabashed that we can see right up its sleeves." - Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times, April 1989 "In spite of a script hobbled with cloying aphorisms and shameless sentimentality, Field of Dreams sustains a dreamy mood in which the idea of baseball is distilled to its purest essence: a game that stands for unsullied innocence in a cruel, imperfect world." - Variety, 1989 "Too idiosyncratic and witty merely to wallow in sentimentality, Field Of Dreams will surely stand as a classic update of what made Old Hollywood so magical. It's still a wonderful life." - Empire magazine, 1989 "A work so smartly written, so beautifully filmed, so perfectly acted, that it does the almost impossible trick of turning sentimentality into true emotion. ... Mr. Robinson, whose first film was last year's modestly charming In the Mood, is aware of the turns American ideals have taken since Jimmy Stewart's day, so he gives his story as much resistance and contemporary reality as a fable can bear. ... Audiences will probably believe in Mr. Costner's illusion or not, love or hate this film. It seems much easier to fall into Field of Dreams than to resist its warm, intelligent, timely appeal to our most idealistic selves." - Caryn James, New York Times, April 1989 "Taken in bare outline, the plot may appear faintly ridiculous, but this often beautiful film (John Lindley's cinematography is breathtaking)...embraces qualities which are skillfully amplified and not sentimentalized. Writer/director Robinson has embellished WP Kinsella's novel to examine the ideological conflict between the'60s and the '80s; together with moments of dry humour and fine performances, the political element lends the film gravity sufficient to counterbalance any sense of whimsy. Pure magic." - Collette Maude, Time Out, 2000 By Rob Nixon

Field of Dreams


Writer and Director Phil Alden Robinson has had success with a variety of projects, from penning the Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin comedy All of Me (1984) to helming the Tom Clancy thriller The Sum of All Fears (2002). His greatest triumph, however, would begin with a story that he wasn't interested in. As Robinson explained in a 2002 interview, "A good friend of mine had given the book and I said, 'Great, what's it about?' She says, "It's about a farmer," and I say, 'Eh. . . I don't want to read it.' And then she says, "It's a farmer who hears voices, and I said, 'I really don't want to read it.' But I took it home, grumbling, and I started it and literally couldn't put it down until I finished it.' The book was Shoeless Joe, by W. P. Kinsella; the film became Field of Dreams (1989), the story of a man who builds a baseball diamond in the middle of nowhere to attract the ghosts of a dead baseball player was an unexpected but amazingly successful smash.

Robinson had been interested in the project almost immediately after the book's publication in 1982, but it would be a long road before the film's 1989 release. Fox eventually passed on the project, and Universal picked it up. Robinson had envisioned Kevin Costner for the lead role, but never thought that the actor would consider the part. Costner was flying high during this time period, beginning with The Untouchables, followed by No Way Out (both 1987), and, finally, Bull Durham (1988). Robinson was sure that Costner would not do two baseball-themed films back-to-back, but Costner had other ideas: "It was a great, great screenplay. I saw and believed in the fantasy of this movie." He was not alone; legendary actors Burt Lancaster and James Earl Jones also came aboard. Their presence was enough to attract a skeptical Ray Liotta, who played Shoeless Joe himself. In a 2002 interview, the actor confessed:

"When I first read the script I thought it was dumb. I didn't see the bigger picture, that there was a whole underlying message to it--I just took it really literally where here's this guy with a cornfield and he's making money on it and then a ghost comes--I just couldn't wrap around it, y'know. But y'know, Kevin [Costner] was attached to it and then James Earl Jones and then Burt Lancaster so I figured that there must be something to it that I didn't understand about the script and I was willing to accept that and go with it--I would've been silly not to do it."

The Lansing family farm in Dyersville, Iowa, was the chosen location for filming; about 200 miles west of Chicago, it offered the idea rural environment and, of course, the cornfields. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not cooperating: the 14-week shooting schedule coincided with a heat wave and a serious drought. In a 1989 Los Angeles Daily News article, he explained, "It was very physically uncomfortable - 105 degrees and very humid . . . and we had an extremely difficult schedule based on the projected growth of the corn." Robinson managed to shuffle the shooting order for the scenes around, giving the crops as much time as possible to grow, but time was running out. "I said, 'The first scene in the movie, when Kevin hears the voice, it's got to be up to his shoulders.' Two weeks before we hit the corn (scenes) it was ankle high".

During the delays, veterans Lancaster and Jones became friends. Jones recalls in Kate Buford's biography, Burt Lancaster: An American Life, "There was nothing we could do for each other. It was just being in touch with somebody of my generation who did the kind of work that I think actors go into acting for." Meanwhile, Robinson was facing a serious drought and desperate measures were needed. In the end, he spent thousands irrigating the land and ran two weeks over schedule - but the corn finally grew. The owners of the Lansing farm have maintained the baseball field throughout the year, and it is open, with free admission, to visitors from April through November.

In keeping with the theme, Robinson maintains a certain level of mysticism about certain aspects of the film, even today. The owner of "The Voice," responsible for the most memorable line of the script --"If you build it, he will come" --has never been revealed. In the cast notes it reads only, "Himself." Even the genesis of the film's title had a fantastical air about it. Robinson had earnestly campaigned for the film to carry the book's title of Shoeless Joe, but Universal had other plans. Robinson recalled, "They settled on Field of Dreams, and I hated that. What the hell is that? It's a room deodorizer--Now, Field of Dreams with lemon! But I was vetoed and had to call Bill [Kinsella] and had to tell him that the good news was that the film was testing great but the bad news was that we couldn't call it Shoeless Joe. And he says, "Oh, I don't care about that, that wasn't my title, that was the publisher's title." And I say, 'Oh yeah? What was your title?' He says: "Dream Field." And I thought, well, that works."

Producer: Brian Frankish, Charles Gordon, Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Screenplay: Phil Alden Robinson, W.P. Kinsella (book)
Cinematography: John Lindley
Film Editing: Ian Crafford
Art Direction: Leslie McDonald
Music: James Horner
Cast: Kevin Costner (Ray Kinsella), Amy Madigan (Annie Kinsella), James Earl Jones (Terence Mann), Ray Liotta (Shoeless Joe Jackson), Burt Lancaster (Dr. Graham), Timothy Busfield (Mark).
C-106m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning.

by Eleanor Quin

Field of Dreams

Writer and Director Phil Alden Robinson has had success with a variety of projects, from penning the Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin comedy All of Me (1984) to helming the Tom Clancy thriller The Sum of All Fears (2002). His greatest triumph, however, would begin with a story that he wasn't interested in. As Robinson explained in a 2002 interview, "A good friend of mine had given the book and I said, 'Great, what's it about?' She says, "It's about a farmer," and I say, 'Eh. . . I don't want to read it.' And then she says, "It's a farmer who hears voices, and I said, 'I really don't want to read it.' But I took it home, grumbling, and I started it and literally couldn't put it down until I finished it.' The book was Shoeless Joe, by W. P. Kinsella; the film became Field of Dreams (1989), the story of a man who builds a baseball diamond in the middle of nowhere to attract the ghosts of a dead baseball player was an unexpected but amazingly successful smash. Robinson had been interested in the project almost immediately after the book's publication in 1982, but it would be a long road before the film's 1989 release. Fox eventually passed on the project, and Universal picked it up. Robinson had envisioned Kevin Costner for the lead role, but never thought that the actor would consider the part. Costner was flying high during this time period, beginning with The Untouchables, followed by No Way Out (both 1987), and, finally, Bull Durham (1988). Robinson was sure that Costner would not do two baseball-themed films back-to-back, but Costner had other ideas: "It was a great, great screenplay. I saw and believed in the fantasy of this movie." He was not alone; legendary actors Burt Lancaster and James Earl Jones also came aboard. Their presence was enough to attract a skeptical Ray Liotta, who played Shoeless Joe himself. In a 2002 interview, the actor confessed: "When I first read the script I thought it was dumb. I didn't see the bigger picture, that there was a whole underlying message to it--I just took it really literally where here's this guy with a cornfield and he's making money on it and then a ghost comes--I just couldn't wrap around it, y'know. But y'know, Kevin [Costner] was attached to it and then James Earl Jones and then Burt Lancaster so I figured that there must be something to it that I didn't understand about the script and I was willing to accept that and go with it--I would've been silly not to do it." The Lansing family farm in Dyersville, Iowa, was the chosen location for filming; about 200 miles west of Chicago, it offered the idea rural environment and, of course, the cornfields. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not cooperating: the 14-week shooting schedule coincided with a heat wave and a serious drought. In a 1989 Los Angeles Daily News article, he explained, "It was very physically uncomfortable - 105 degrees and very humid . . . and we had an extremely difficult schedule based on the projected growth of the corn." Robinson managed to shuffle the shooting order for the scenes around, giving the crops as much time as possible to grow, but time was running out. "I said, 'The first scene in the movie, when Kevin hears the voice, it's got to be up to his shoulders.' Two weeks before we hit the corn (scenes) it was ankle high". During the delays, veterans Lancaster and Jones became friends. Jones recalls in Kate Buford's biography, Burt Lancaster: An American Life, "There was nothing we could do for each other. It was just being in touch with somebody of my generation who did the kind of work that I think actors go into acting for." Meanwhile, Robinson was facing a serious drought and desperate measures were needed. In the end, he spent thousands irrigating the land and ran two weeks over schedule - but the corn finally grew. The owners of the Lansing farm have maintained the baseball field throughout the year, and it is open, with free admission, to visitors from April through November. In keeping with the theme, Robinson maintains a certain level of mysticism about certain aspects of the film, even today. The owner of "The Voice," responsible for the most memorable line of the script --"If you build it, he will come" --has never been revealed. In the cast notes it reads only, "Himself." Even the genesis of the film's title had a fantastical air about it. Robinson had earnestly campaigned for the film to carry the book's title of Shoeless Joe, but Universal had other plans. Robinson recalled, "They settled on Field of Dreams, and I hated that. What the hell is that? It's a room deodorizer--Now, Field of Dreams with lemon! But I was vetoed and had to call Bill [Kinsella] and had to tell him that the good news was that the film was testing great but the bad news was that we couldn't call it Shoeless Joe. And he says, "Oh, I don't care about that, that wasn't my title, that was the publisher's title." And I say, 'Oh yeah? What was your title?' He says: "Dream Field." And I thought, well, that works." Producer: Brian Frankish, Charles Gordon, Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin Director: Phil Alden Robinson Screenplay: Phil Alden Robinson, W.P. Kinsella (book) Cinematography: John Lindley Film Editing: Ian Crafford Art Direction: Leslie McDonald Music: James Horner Cast: Kevin Costner (Ray Kinsella), Amy Madigan (Annie Kinsella), James Earl Jones (Terence Mann), Ray Liotta (Shoeless Joe Jackson), Burt Lancaster (Dr. Graham), Timothy Busfield (Mark). C-106m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning. by Eleanor Quin

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States April 20, 1989

Released in United States November 1989

Released in United States October 1989

Released in United States on Video March 8, 1990

Released in United States September 1989

Released in United States September 30, 1989

Released in United States Spring April 21, 1989

Wide Release in United States April 28, 1989

Shown at Deauville Film Festival September 1-11, 1989.

Shown at London Film Festival November 10-26, 1989.

Shown at Sitges Film Festival, Spain October 1989.

Shown at Tokyo International Film Festival September 30, 1989.

Began shooting May 25, 1988.

Completed shooting August 1988.

Released in United States on Video March 8, 1990

Released in United States April 20, 1989 (Premiered in Dubuque, Iowa April 20, 1989.)

Released in United States Spring April 21, 1989

Wide Release in United States April 28, 1989

Released in United States September 1989 (Shown at Deauville Film Festival September 1-11, 1989.)

Released in United States September 30, 1989 (Shown at Tokyo International Film Festival September 30, 1989.)

Released in United States October 1989 (Shown at Sitges Film Festival, Spain October 1989.)

Released in United States November 1989 (Shown at London Film Festival November 10-26, 1989.)

Re-released in Sydney February 22, 1990.