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ray kinsella
w p kinsella
chicago white sox
shoeless joe jackson
baseball diamond
corn crop
1919 chicago white sox
field of dreams
second chances
loving father
Field Of Dream Movie: Baseball Rides The Bench
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Field Of Dream Movie: Baseball Rides The Bench

In 1982, Canadian author W.P. Kinsella wrote a novel, and his publishing company called it Shoeless Joe, even though the book wasn't really about a guy with no shoes. In 1989, cinema patrons watched the Hollywood adaptation of Kinsella's novel, and they called it 'a baseball movie', even though the movie wasn't really about baseball. Universal Studios, the company that bankrolled the movie, hit the nail on the head when they called it Field of Dreams. Some think baseball is the main topic, but in the Field of Dream movie, baseball takes a back seat to loftier aspirations--namely hope, redemption, second chances, and yes, dreams.

The movie centers around converted hippie-turned-farmer Ray Kinsella, a child of the 60s who smoked some grass, tried to like sitar music, and battled his baseball-loving father. At least until the day his father died.

One afternoon, farmer Ray hears a voice in his Iowa field, directing him to build a baseball diamond in his corn crop. The field would allow banned members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox, including his dead father's hero, the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson, to once again play baseball. Despite the craziness of it all, Kinsella complies and builds the field. Given a second chance, Shoeless Joe and his teammates do indeed emerge from Ray's corn stalks to play ball once again.

The voice isn't finished doling out second chances, however, and it guides farmer Ray on a cross-country venture that snares a burned-out social writer and a small-town physician who made it to the majors but never got to bat. They all end up back at the ball field in Iowa, where everyone gets a second chance to fulfill their dreams. Even Ray gets a second chance to 'have a catch' with the ghost of his deceased father.

Still sounds like a baseball movie, right? Let's see what fans of the movie have to say.

Zachary Koenig of Forest Lake, MN says it's the "emotion of the experience" and the bond between sons and fathers that makes the movie great. "Raw and pure emotion at its finest."

Leon Cabos of San Jose, CA left the movie with a lump in his throat and a tear in his eye. His father recently died, and he still dreams of a second chance to tell his father how much their backyard baseball activities meant to him. "This film is about redemption and family. Be sure to watch this with your children and your father. I sure wish I could."

Nicholas Henning of Sydney, Australia says "the theme and storyline go well beyond baseball. But it's the vehicle of baseball that permits dreams to be realized, and that's very beneficial to everyone who dares to use their imagination." He further explains that Ray Kinsella thought his noble act would provide others with the opportunty to fulfill their dreams, when, in fact, Ray building the ball field culminated in his own second chance at redemption with his father. "Things may be lost in life, but they're never lost in dreams."

Nick France of Florida calls Field of Dreams "a timeless classic, a well-written story that shows dreams are worth pursuing at all costs. We get to glimpse each character's dreams, and we get to see the fulfillment of those dreams."

The Field of Dream movie may use baseball as a vehicle, but the movie's really about love, second chances, and the power of hope. Imagination, left untethered, can free the mind to dream and hope things never thought possible. Give an individual the faith to believe, and the freedom to dream, and the impossible really can come true.


Street Talk

I think the ten-best movies I will watch first will be "Shoeless Joe" I'm curious

Reply
  about 9 years ago

You've already seen 'Shoeless Joe', Daniel. You might try reading the book, though. Thanks for commenting!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I agree, this movie is about much more than baseball. See it with your kids or your Dad if you still have him

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Dom Wells  

I've not seen it but glad it's not solely about baseball as that's not really my thing

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Non-baseball fans everywhere love this movie, Dom. Give it a try. And pay no attention to McConaha. :-)

  
  about 9 years ago

I'm glad you get it, John. The movie IS much more than just baseball. Thanks for commenting.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

A very good synopsis. And it's a baseball movie! Why do you think I love it so much. Moneyball is another baseball movie that has some powerful extra message. Ok, ok I cried the first time I saw FOD... and it does carry an awesome father-son message, but that's only because of the way my Father and I used to butt heads and never really made it right before he passed. IT"S a BASEBALL movie... it's a baseball movie.....baseball movie....baseball....base.......ball.....movie.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Do you always cry after baseball movies, Pat? If Field of Dreams is a baseball movie, then The Shawshank Redemption is a prison movie. The defense rests, Your Honor. LOL

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I even teared up a bit when I watched Moneyball...lol And Shawshank is a prison movie....

  
  about 9 years ago

One of my favorite movies - Costner did a great job - Never read the book - Does it come in 400 word posts that I can read on the web somewhere?

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Haven't been able to find those posts, Bo! But if you've seen the movie, you pretty much have the book covered already. See my comments to Jim below. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Excellent points here....I know when I see this movie again I'm going to appreciate it so much more since you have described it so succinctly. I love that it's about second chances; everyone needs a second chance at times and without them it's hard to have hope.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Exactly, Lisa. How can we have hope if there's no second chances? Without a second chance, we'd all be toast after the first screw-up, and Lord knows that happens fairly quickly in life. Thanks for commenting!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Now, I feel like I have really missed out on something special having never seen the movie, especially reading such a well thought out review. Would you recommend reading the book first as people often do?

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for the kind words, Jim. Actually, movie director (and screenwriter) Phil Alden Robinson's adaptation stays fairly true to the novel. Robinson did eliminate a few characters from his movie, and he created a fictional writer to replace Kinsella's use of legendary novelist J.D. Salinger (the reclusive Salinger suggested lawsuit should his name be used in the film), but none of the changes affect the movie's basic storyline or magnetism. The book is a great read, but not at all necessary to fully enjoy Field of Dreams. I'm still waiting for the day, Jim, when you post a comment on my website that says, "Bill, I watched Field of Dreams. You were right. What a great flick!" :-)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I wish I could watch it, but for some reason it is unavailable for streaming at netflix, although they had it at one time as it comes up with a Google search and has reviews. iTunes has it but I often have streaming problems with them and they won't refund me. I tried to watch the trailer there and it keeps hanging up. Do you know anywhere else I can watch it online?

  
  about 9 years ago

I wish I knew another online source, Jim. Renting the DVD is all I got left up my sleeve. Sorry. :-(

  
  about 9 years ago

Enjoyed the movie enough to watch it many times over the years. Thanks for the article!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for reading, Shawn! :-)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

i thought the movie dragged on occasion but overall i really liked it - the fact that they used baseball as a venue made it more appealing for me however like you stated - it's not really about baseball - i rate the move 4 stars out of 5 but i rate this article 5 out or 5 - well written, unbiased and interesting - well done

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks, Steve! Is it safe to assume you're a 'Bull Durham' fan as well?

Reply
  about 9 years ago

that's a big 10-4

  
  about 9 years ago
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