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shoeless joe jackson
ray kinsella
corn crop
field of dreams
mike tyson
baseball field
moviegoers
Sizing Up The Field Of Dream Movie
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Sizing Up the Field Of Dream Movie

What makes for a great movie? Ask 20 people that question and you'll likely get 20 different answers. Case in point: 'Hangover'. Some moviegoers consider it a comedy classic. Others, like me, thought the movie was decent, right up to the point where the guys stole Mike Tyson's tiger. Sorry, but that scene was a deal-breaker. It was just too unbelievable. Even more unbelievable is the fact my favorite movie is Field of Dreams. Rather ironic, huh? How can I dislike one far-fetched scene in one movie, and be mesmerized by impossible scenarios in another? There must be a key ingredient that makes the difference, but what is it? What does it take to make a great film? Does my Field of Dream movie have the right stuff?

I scoured the Internet, searching for the criteria to great movie-making. Opinions vary, of course, but by and large, the following ingredients appear mandatory:

PASSION: Rod Stewart said even the President needs passion, and the same holds true for movie directors and studio executives. To get them passionate about making a movie, there's generally got to be some passion in the movie. In Field of Dreams, Ray Kinsella was afraid responsibility and adulthood would rob him of passion, so he listened to the whispering voice and built a baseball field in the middle of his corn crop. When Shoeless Joe Jackson appeared on that field, he talked about his passionate love for baseball. Archibald 'Moonlight' Graham later expressed a passion for that elusive major league at-bat. Left in the on-deck circle in his only big-league appearance, Doc Graham spoke eloquently about his desire to connect with the ball, stretch a double into a triple, and wrap his arms around third base after a head-long dive. Yes, the Field of Dreams definitely has passion.

ACTING: Every movie needs good acting, the kind of acting that makes audiences forget they're watching a staged production. Kevin Costner fills the bill nicely in the lead role of 1960s-hippie-turned-farmer Ray Kinsella. Listening to a voice in his corn field, Kinsella sets out on a journey that will lead to self-discovery and eventually crystallize the really important things in his life. Perhaps the most perfectly-played role in the film belongs to legendary actor Burt Lancaster, who, in his final movie appearance, wins rave reviews for his heart-warming portrayal of lovable doctor Archibald 'Moonlight' Graham. Add Hollywood veterans Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan and Timothy Busfield to the mix, and there's no doubt Field of Dreams has serious acting chops.

SPECIAL EFFECTS: Ghosts vaporize in and out of a corn field, Terence Mann and Ray Kinsella see words on a Fenway Park scoreboard that no one else sees, and farmer Ray leaves a motel room in 1988 and walks down the street into 1972. Special effects? Check.

MUSIC: James Horner's stratospheric score for Field of Dreams was nominated for an Oscar and was also considered for the American Film Institute's list of the 25 best film scores spanning the past 100 years. Snippets of other popular songs are also heard in the movie soundtrack, including 'Crazy', Lovin' Spoonful's 'Daydream', 'Jessica' by the Allman Brothers, and the Doobie Brothers' 'China Grove'.

BLOOD AND GORE: Sorry, but I disagree with this requirement -- blood and gore do not a movie make. Blood and gore, although occasionally necessary, is what some movie directors resort to when they have no decent story line or credible script. There's no blood and gore in The Wizard of Oz (although they do throw some straw around). No blood and gore in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, or even Cool Hand Luke. None in E.T. or It's a Wonderful Life.

EMOTIONAL IMPACT: Brian's Song was the first movie that made me cry, and Field of Dreams followed years later. Squeezing love from the heart and a tear from your eye, the Field of Dream movie shines a spotlight on father/son relationships in a way few films can match. The American Movie Channel ranks Field of Dreams at number two on its Top Ten list of movies that make men cry. The BBC ranks it number nine. The Cable channel Spike places Field of Dreams at number six on its weep list. Emotional impact? Check.

Again, the requirements for a great movie vary widely among critics and fans. But measured by just about any yardstick, there's no doubt Field of Dreams has the 'right stuff', and it goes the distance with movie lovers everywhere.


Street Talk

franco1  

but stage production are also unique in their acting

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Teresa M  

Great article Bill!....I agree with Joyce, people will bound to be a fan of this film after reading this!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

GREAT article. Anyone that wasn't a fan of the movie before, certainly, will be now! Joyce aka Nana

Reply
  about 9 years ago

You always say the right things! :-)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Hi Bill, This is a very entertaining article and also very informative. Thank you very much.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks, Geoffrey. Looks like you're about the only fan I've got! :-)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Don't lose hope...People will change when they see what it's about

  
  about 9 years ago
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