booyah The Film

© 1997 by Universal City Studios, Inc.
In the film Field of Dreams, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is an Iowa corn farmer with a wife, Annie (Amy Madigan), and their little girl, Karin (Gaby Hoffmann). He has never resolved his conflicts with his baseball-loving father, John Kinsella (Dwier Brown), who died many years before. Then one day, Ray hears a mysterious voice as he wanders through the fields on his farm, saying: "Build it, and he will come." Ray decides to build a baseball stadium in his best cornfield.

© 1997 by Universal City Studios, Inc.
When the field is finally constructed, the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) and other frustrated ballplayers soon appear out of the cornfield. The resulting games played on the field "ease the pain" of the outcasts, who have been lost without baseball's healing power. Joe asks Ray, "Is this heaven?" Ray answers, "No, it's Iowa."

Finally, after the resolution of various subplots, Joe Jackson reveals the identity of the "he" that would come if the field was built, and then "he" and Ray "have a catch". Through the events in the film, Kinsella becomes reconciled to his father's memory and his own feelings of guilt about their relationship. "He" asks, "Is this heaven? Ray sees his wife and daughter on the porch of his home in the fading light. "I guess it is," he says.

Baseball brings them together.


The Voice: "If you build it, he will come."

Many locations were considered to film the movie, and with the help of the Iowa Film Board, the producers finally decided to shoot the picture on the Lansing farm in Dyersville... but because director Phil Alden Robinson wanted to film the sun setting directly over the magical cornfield, the baseball field was actually built across two farms, extending onto the property of the Ameskamps, next door. Both families were thrilled to be involved in the production -- but like young Ray and his father in the story, estrangement and bitterness would follow.

Shoeless Joe Callsheet
© MyCapture, Inc. - A Second Street Media, Inc. Solution.
Filming lasted 14 weeks during the middle of a drought in the Summer of 1988. Although the conditions were less than ideal (the grass on the field soon died and had to be painted green, and the corn didn't grow, so the filmmakers were in danger of having Shoeless Joe step out of foot-high corn stalks), production finished just about on time.

The actors, crew and residents all got along splendidly. Construction crews turned the Lansing house into one large film set, while Mrs. Ameskamp cooked meals for the filmmakers next door.

© 1997 by Universal City Studios, Inc.
The finished film, starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Ray Liotta, Timothy Busfield, and Frank Whaley, almost took the name of the original book, "Shoeless Joe". However, test audiences were not fans of this title, claiming it sounded like a movie about a "hobo." The finished film, retitled "Field of Dreams", received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score.

But the film site itself would tear two neighboring homes apart. Could SportsHollywood (and, okay, baseball) bring these formerly friendly neighbors back together?

Factions CHAPTER TWO: "If you build it, they will come." And they did! 750,000 of them! But which side of the field should they be on? Here's the back story on the two rival sides of the Field of Dreams.
Production MAIN PAGE: "If you build it, the other guy won't leave." How baseball didn't bring two people together.
Costner BUY THE MOVIE: Buy the DVD or video. (The DVD contains a documentary about the field.)

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