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Father’s Day Movies Don’t Get Any Better Than ‘Field of Dreams’

Photo by Dave Spencer

Using this post to remember the 1989 cinema classic “Field of Dreams” could very well be tantamount to preaching to the choir. Not only was it a huge critical success–it was nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture of that year (and should’ve won)–but it was a big box office hit as well. And thousands, if not millions, more have had the chance to see it over the last 22 years. But if you never have and you have some free time this Father’s Day, you just gotta watch it.

The film is based on W.P. Kinsella’s novel “Shoeless Joe” and stars Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella, an Iowa farmer who plows up his cornfield to put in a regulation baseball diamond. And that’s because a (now legendary) disembodied voice told him, “If you build it, he will come.”

Photo by Dave Spencer

He automatically believes that means the late Chicago White Sox pitcher “Shoeless” Joe Jackson will come play in his field if he builds it. Jackson, by the way, was disgraced by the infamous 1919 Black Sox Scandal in which White Sox players were banned from baseball for life for throwing games. Ray Kinsella’s father (with whom he rarely got along) worshipped Jackson, so you get the impression that this and other messages Ray receives throughout the movie are leading to a major epiphany regarding Ray and his late father. And, sure enough, those messages lead Ray on a journey across America that bring him and us to one of the greatest finales ever put on film. Even hardened criminals will weep, and probably have. “Field of Dreams” is one of the greatest movies ever made and my second favorite movie of all time–behind “L.A. Confidential.” In fact, two years ago, I made a pilgrimage to Dyersville, Iowa where “Field of Dreams” was filmed. I bought an official baseball and just sat there on those bleachers and soaked it all in for a couple of hours. Sound corny? Maybe, but I loved it. The house used in the film was still there, as was the diamond and, of course, the cornfield. Who knew that when that mysterious voice said “If you build it, he will come” to Kevin Costner in 1989, it could have been talking about me 20 years later.

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