Field of Dreams (1989)

PG | 106 mins | Drama, Fantasy | 5 May 1989

Cinematographer:

John Lindley

Editor:

Ian Crafford

Production Designer:

Dennis Gassner

Production Company:

Gordon Company
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HISTORY

       A 2 Mar 1983 HR brief announced that film rights to W. P. Kinsella’s novel, Shoeless Joe (Boston, 1982), were optioned by producers William Blaylock and Peter W. Rea of Ocelot. According to a 22 Nov 1985 Publishers Weekly brief, the option was dropped two years later, and Twentieth Century-Fox obtained the film rights on the day they became available, with Phil Alden Robinson slated to adapt the novel.
       As reported in a 21 Jun 1988 LAT news item, production in Dyersville, IA, was delayed due to a drought. Executive producer Brian Frankish explained that corn growing on the Dyersville farm location which stood in for the home of “Ray Kinsella” was only two feet tall and needed to be much higher. A 23 Oct 1989 article in People stated that filmmakers paid Don Lansing a $10,000 location fee in addition to living expenses to use his farm, and made improvements to his home, adding air conditioning, a white picket fence, a porch extension, and two bay windows. The baseball diamond was built in four days by professional baseball field designers. Principal photography began earlier in Dubuque, IA, where $5.2 million was spent, as stated in a 29 Mar 1989 Var brief. Production moved from Dubuque to Boston, MA, on 18 May 1989, according to a 10 Jun 1988 HR brief, which reported that filming in Boston would be completed 27 May 1988. Production charts in the 8 Jun 1988 Var noted that filming had returned to Iowa that month.
       The world premiere took place 20 Apr 1989 in Dubuque, as ... More Less

       A 2 Mar 1983 HR brief announced that film rights to W. P. Kinsella’s novel, Shoeless Joe (Boston, 1982), were optioned by producers William Blaylock and Peter W. Rea of Ocelot. According to a 22 Nov 1985 Publishers Weekly brief, the option was dropped two years later, and Twentieth Century-Fox obtained the film rights on the day they became available, with Phil Alden Robinson slated to adapt the novel.
       As reported in a 21 Jun 1988 LAT news item, production in Dyersville, IA, was delayed due to a drought. Executive producer Brian Frankish explained that corn growing on the Dyersville farm location which stood in for the home of “Ray Kinsella” was only two feet tall and needed to be much higher. A 23 Oct 1989 article in People stated that filmmakers paid Don Lansing a $10,000 location fee in addition to living expenses to use his farm, and made improvements to his home, adding air conditioning, a white picket fence, a porch extension, and two bay windows. The baseball diamond was built in four days by professional baseball field designers. Principal photography began earlier in Dubuque, IA, where $5.2 million was spent, as stated in a 29 Mar 1989 Var brief. Production moved from Dubuque to Boston, MA, on 18 May 1989, according to a 10 Jun 1988 HR brief, which reported that filming in Boston would be completed 27 May 1988. Production charts in the 8 Jun 1988 Var noted that filming had returned to Iowa that month.
       The world premiere took place 20 Apr 1989 in Dubuque, as reported in a 14 Apr 1989 HR news item. The film opened one day later in seventeen cities and, in its opening weekend, grossed $531,346 on twenty-two screens for a $24,152 per screen average, as reported in a 28 Apr 1989 HR item. The release was scheduled to expand to 109 screens in the second weekend, with a wide release on roughly 650 screens slated for 5 May 1989. An article in the 21 Jul 1989 LAT stated that the film had grossed more than $55 million, helping set a second-quarter earnings record for MCA, Inc., the parent company of Universal, which took in $861.4 million in revenue for the quarter ending in Jun 1989, earning a $42 million profit.
       Field of Dreams received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Music (Original Score), and Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium). The film was ranked twenty-eighth on AFI’s 2006 100 Years…100 Cheers list of the most inspiring films of all time, and thirty-ninth on AFI’s 2005 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes list for the quote, “If you build it, he will come.”
       A 23 Aug 1989 LAT news item reported that the Iowa Department of Economic Development licensed the lines, “Is this heaven?” and, “No, it’s Iowa” to promote tourism and filming in the state. The logo, on T-shirts, coffee mugs and buttons, was set to debut at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines late Aug 1989.
       According to the 23 Oct 1989 People, Don Lansing chose to keep the baseball field on his property and allowed visitors to come view the location for free, although donations were accepted. Lansing sold T-shirts and soft drinks to visitors in addition to providing bats and baseballs for those who wanted to play baseball. Left field, which was on a neighbor’s property, was replanted with corn. As of Oct 1989, Lansing estimated 5,000 people had come to see the field. According to a 26 Aug 2007 LAT brief, a group of locals calling themselves “the ghost players” began performing there, emerging from the cornfields in 1919 Chicago White Sox uniforms and playing games, sometimes inviting onlookers to join. In 1991, Lansing hosted a Fantasy Baseball Camp and charity game, as noted in a 3 Jul 1991 HR item, with former Major League players Randy Hundley, Bob Gibson, and Reggie Jackson in attendance. The charity game was reprised in 1992, according to a 5 Sep 1992 Long Beach Press-Telegram item, which stated that rock and roll musician Meat Loaf sang the national anthem before the game, and television stars Kelsey Grammar and Mark DeCarlo played against retired Major League players, including Jackson and Gibson, who were there for the second year in a row. A 3 Aug 2006 LAT item reported that Kevin Costner and his band were slated to play at an 11 Aug 2006 outdoor screening of the film on Lansing’s field, organized by Netflix. A year later, the ghost players performed for the last time on 30 Sep 2007, and on 14 May 2010, LAT reported that Lansing was selling his farm for $5.4 million, after it had been in his family for over a century. The baseball diamond was still intact and drawing tourists. According to several contemporary sources, including the 16 Jun 2014 Concord, NH Concord Monitor, a three-day event beginning 13 Jun 2014 celebrated the film's twenty-fifth anniversary, drawing cast members, including Kevin Costner and Timothy Busfield, and professional baseball players once more to the field in Dyersville. Over the weekend, celebrity softball games, concerts, and an outdoor screening of the film took place.
       A 7 Feb 1990 DV news brief stated that Kevin Costner sued Prism Entertainment Corp. for featuring a picture of the actor in a baseball uniform on the home video cover of the 1985 film Chasing Dreams, in order to profit from the popularity of Field of Dreams. Although Costner had appeared in Chasing Dreams, he played a minor role and did not depict a baseball player. Universal Pictures acted as Costner’s co-plaintiff. The outcome of the lawsuit could not be determined as of the writing of this Note.
      End credits include the statement: “Special Thanks to: Waveform Corporation; Major League Baseball, the Boston Red Sox, the Oakland A’s; Wendol Jarvis and Susan Reynolds, Iowa Film Office; Rob Apel, Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce; Connie Trencamp, Dyersville Chamber of Commerce; and especially to Don Lansing, Al Amescamp, and the people of Dubuque County, Iowa and Galena, Illinois.” The following dedication appears on a title card following end credits: “...For Our Parents.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
[Concord, NH] Concord Monitor
16 Jun 2014.
---
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1989
p. 4, 7.
Daily Variety
7 Feb 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Mar 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Apr 1989
p. 4, 23.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 1991.
---
LAHExam
22 Jul 1988.
---
Long Beach Press-Telegram
5 Sep 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
21 Jun 1988
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
21 Apr 1989
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jul 1989
Section IV, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
23 Aug 1989
Section E, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
3 Aug 2006
Calendar, p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
26 Aug 2007
Section D, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
14 May 2010
Calendar, p. 3.
New York Times
21 Apr 1989
p. 8.
People
23 Oct 1989
pp. 120-121.
Publishers Weekly
22 Nov 1985.
---
Variety
8 Jun 1988.
---
Variety
29 Mar 1989.
---
Variety
19 Apr 1989
p. 24, 26.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Gordon Company Production
A Phil Alden Robinson
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Boston 2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Lamp op
WRITER
Written for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
Addl 1st asst cam
Addl 1st asst cam
Addl 1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam loader
Cam loader
Cam loader
Panaglide op
Panaglide op
Panaglide asst
Panaglide asst
Panaglide asst
Aerial photog
1st asst cam [Aerial photog]
Best boy elec
Rigging gaffer
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
2d grip
Grip
Grip
Grip
Grip
Still photog
Video playback
Video playback
Video playback
Musco Mobile lighting gen mgr
Tech, Musco Mobile lighting
Tech, Musco Mobile lighting
Tech, Musco Mobile lighting
Tech, Musco Mobile lighting
Tech, Musco Mobile lighting
Tech, Musco Mobile lighting
Tech, Musco Mobile lighting
Tech, Musco Mobile lighting
Dir of photog, Boston 2d unit
Cam op, Boston 2d unit
1st asst cam (Focus), Boston 2d unit
2d asst cam, Boston 2d unit
Panaglide op, Boston 2d unit
Panaglide asst, Boston 2d unit
Film processing
Grip & elec equip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
Prop prod asst
Set dec
Asst set dec
Lead dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set des
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord, Set
Const foreman, Set
Gang boss, Set
Carpenter, Set
Carpenter, Set
Carpenter, Set
Carpenter, Set
Carpenter, Set
Carpenter, Set
Scenic artist, Set
Scenic painter, Set
Const coord, Farm
Const foreman, Farm
Lead carpenter, Farm
Carpenter, Farm
Carpenter, Farm
Carpenter, Farm
Carpenter, Farm
Carpenter, Farm
Carpenter, Farm
Carpenter, Farm
Carpenter, Farm
Carpenter, Farm
Const elec, Farm
Farm adv
Gardener
Baseball field const
Baseball field const
Baseball field const
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Ward asst
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus scoring mixer
Addl orch
Instrumental soloist
Instrumental soloist
Instrumental soloist
Instrumental soloist
Instrumental soloist
Mus ed
Mus ed
Assoc mus ed
SOUND
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Post-prod facilities
ADR mixer
Loop group
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Sd FX rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec visual eff by
Visual eff supv, ILM
Visual eff cam op, ILM
Visual eff cam op, ILM
Eff prod mgr, ILM
Eff prod supv, ILM
Eff coord, ILM
Opt photog supv, ILM
Matte artist
Matte visual consultant
Matte coord
Title des
Titles and opticals
Opt supv
MAKEUP
Key make-up artist
Key hair stylist
Hair stylist to Amy Madigan
Hair consultant
Addl make-up artist
Addl make-up artist
Addl make-up artist
Addl make-up artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Helicopter pilot
Head baseball coach
Asst baseball coach
Iowa baseball coach
Baseball trainer
Casting asst, Los Angeles
Iowa casting coord/Bat girl
Casting asst, Iowa
Casting asst, Iowa
Casting asst, Iowa
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Promotional coord
Unit pub
Loc projectionist
Key set medic
Set nurse
Teacher
Craft service
Craft service
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Filmtrucks driver
Chapman crane driver
Prop truck driver
Shotmaker op
Honeywagon driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Opening montage
Montage historical source
Montage historical source
Montage historical source
Montage historical source
Montage historical source
Montage historical source
Montage historical source
Boston 2d unit prod
Asst to Lou Puopolo, Boston 2d unit
Prod assoc, Boston 2d unit
Insurance
Completion bond
Asst to Phil Alden Robinson
Asst to Phil Alden Robinson
Asst to Lawrence Gordon
Asst to Lawrence Gordon
Asst to Charles Gordon
Asst to Brian Frankish
Asst to Kevin Costner
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella (Boston, 1982).
SONGS
"Crazy," written by Willie Nelson, performed by Beverly D'Angelo
"Daydream," written by John Sebastian, performed by the Lovin' Spoonful, courtesy of Buddah Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Jessica," written by Dickie Betts, performed by the Allman Brothers Band, courtesy of Polygram Records, Inc.
+
SONGS
"Crazy," written by Willie Nelson, performed by Beverly D'Angelo
"Daydream," written by John Sebastian, performed by the Lovin' Spoonful, courtesy of Buddah Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Jessica," written by Dickie Betts, performed by the Allman Brothers Band, courtesy of Polygram Records, Inc.
"China Grove," written by Tom Johnston, performed by the Doobie Brothers, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Lotus Blossom," written by Billy Strayhorn, performed by Duke Ellington, courtesy of Bluebird Records/RCA Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
5 May 1989
Premiere Information:
World premiere: 20 April 1989 in Dubuque, IA
Los Angeles and New York openings: 21 April 1989
Production Date:
late spring/summer 1988 in Iowa, Boston, MA, and Galena, IL
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
2 August 1989
Copyright Number:
PA423046
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stereo SR™ in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Panaflex® camera and lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
106
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29682
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Ray Kinsella recalls his late father, John, a one-time minor league baseball player and devoted fan of the sport. After Ray’s mother died, John Kinsella took care of his son, but Ray ultimately clashed with him and went to college in Berkeley, California, far away from their home in New York City. Ray joined the hippie movement, then married his college sweetheart, Annie, just before his father died. The young couple had a daughter, Karin, and when Ray turned thirty-six, Annie convinced him to buy a farm in Iowa. Ray claims he never did anything crazy until he heard “the voice.” One day, walking through the cornfields on his farm, Ray hears a voice whisper repeatedly, “If you build it, he will come.” Later, the voice wakes him up and Ray responds by asking what he should build. The next day, as the voice speaks to him, Ray hallucinates a baseball field and the late “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, an outfielder who was ousted from the Major Leagues after his team, the Chicago White Sox, were found guilty of conspiring to lose the 1919 World Series. Back in the house, Ray tells Annie the voice wants him to build a baseball field so Shoeless Joe can play again, and she responds that it is the craziest idea she ever heard. However, Ray fears becoming like his father, who aged too quickly and never followed his dreams. Annie offers to support him, even though he must plow down a large portion of their corn to build the field. Neighbors watch in disbelief as Ray begins plowing. His daughter, Karin, joins him as he recounts the story of Shoeless Joe, who earned ... +


Ray Kinsella recalls his late father, John, a one-time minor league baseball player and devoted fan of the sport. After Ray’s mother died, John Kinsella took care of his son, but Ray ultimately clashed with him and went to college in Berkeley, California, far away from their home in New York City. Ray joined the hippie movement, then married his college sweetheart, Annie, just before his father died. The young couple had a daughter, Karin, and when Ray turned thirty-six, Annie convinced him to buy a farm in Iowa. Ray claims he never did anything crazy until he heard “the voice.” One day, walking through the cornfields on his farm, Ray hears a voice whisper repeatedly, “If you build it, he will come.” Later, the voice wakes him up and Ray responds by asking what he should build. The next day, as the voice speaks to him, Ray hallucinates a baseball field and the late “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, an outfielder who was ousted from the Major Leagues after his team, the Chicago White Sox, were found guilty of conspiring to lose the 1919 World Series. Back in the house, Ray tells Annie the voice wants him to build a baseball field so Shoeless Joe can play again, and she responds that it is the craziest idea she ever heard. However, Ray fears becoming like his father, who aged too quickly and never followed his dreams. Annie offers to support him, even though he must plow down a large portion of their corn to build the field. Neighbors watch in disbelief as Ray begins plowing. His daughter, Karin, joins him as he recounts the story of Shoeless Joe, who earned his nickname when he removed an uncomfortable pair of spikes during the middle of a game and played barefoot. Recalling the 1919 World Series controversy, Ray insists there was no evidence that Shoeless Joe conspired to lose, given his exemplary performance in the games. Ray tells Annie that his father once saw Shoeless Joe playing in the minor leagues under a different name, and Annie notices Ray is smiling. She says it is the first time she has seen her husband look happy when talking about his father. The baseball field is completed, but Shoeless Joe does not appear for some time. One night, Annie tallies the bills and announces that the farm is losing money due to the lost acreage. She also reminds Ray that they spent all of their savings on the field, which they should now replant with corn. Karin interrupts, saying a man is standing outside. Ray finds a young Shoeless Joe standing on his baseball field and greets him in disbelief. He hits balls for the outfielder to catch, then pitches to him. After hitting a homerun, Shoeless Joe comments about how much he misses baseball. Annie and Karin come to greet their guest, but he cannot walk past the border of the baseball field. He mentions that seven other players would like to join him next time, and Ray says they are welcome. Before he disappears into the cornfield, Shoeless Joe asks if he is in heaven, and Ray responds, “No, it’s Iowa.” Later, Annie’s brother, Mark, informs Ray that he is going to lose his farm and offers to buy the property before the bank forecloses on it. Karin announces that “the game is on,” and Ray leaves the room with her. Mark follows, and sees them watching Shoeless Joe and his seven companions warming up on the field. However, Mark cannot see the players and mocks Ray as he leaves. When the voice speaks to Ray again, it says, “Ease his pain.” Confused by the instruction, Ray attends a Parent Teachers Association (PTA) meeting with Annie, where a concerned mother named Beulah discusses her desire to ban 1960s counterculture books written by Terence Mann. Annie defends Mann and convinces the majority of the crowd to side with her before Ray drags her out of the meeting, announcing that he has had an epiphany. He reminds Annie that Mann is his favorite author as well as hers, and believes the voice was telling him to ease Mann’s pain. The novelist, now a recluse, once gave an interview in which he described a recurring dream of playing baseball at Ebbets Field with Jackie Robinson. Thus, Ray thinks he must bring Mann out of hiding to attend a baseball game. Annie forbids him going on a trip because they cannot afford it, but when she remembers the dream she had the night before in which Ray attended a Boston Red Sox game with Mann, he reveals he had the same dream. Changing her mind, Annie offers to help him pack. In Boston, Massachusetts, Ray bribes a mechanic for Mann’s home address and goes to the author’s apartment. There, he informs Mann of his mission and persuades him to attend a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, even though the author denies having had a recurring dream about Ebbets Field. At the game, Ray sees the statistics of 1922 New York Giants player Archibald “Moonlight” Graham on the Jumbotron. Graham, who only played one game and never went to bat, was from Chisolm, Minnesota. Ray deduces that he must go to Chisolm, and offers to take Mann home early, apologizing that he was not needed after all. However, just after Ray drops him off, Mann blocks the car and reveals that he also saw the message about Graham. He joins Ray on the trip to Chisolm, where they learn that Graham, who became a doctor and devoted husband, died in 1972. That night, Ray takes a walk in town and realizes he has been transported back to 1972. He sees Graham walking down the street and follows him to his office, where he tries to convince the doctor to come to Iowa with him for another chance to play baseball. However, Graham refuses to leave his wife, even for a short trip. Ray calls home to Annie, who reports that Mark has taken over the loan on their house and will foreclose if they do not agree to sell to him. Rushing back to Iowa, Ray is joined by Mann and a young hitchhiker, who turns out to be a younger version of Graham who calls himself “Archie” and aspires to play baseball. When Archie falls asleep, Ray tells Mann that he played baseball as a child but quit at age fourteen when he read Mann’s novel, The Boat Rocker, and decided to rebel against his father’s wishes, including the desire for him to play baseball. Ray laments that he left home at seventeen after telling his father he could never respect a man who idolized a criminal like Shoeless Joe. For years he did not speak to his father, too ashamed to apologize, and the next time he saw him was at his funeral. That night, they arrive at the farm and discover Shoeless Joe on the field with two full teams. Mann and the Kinsellas watch as Archie joins the seasoned players for a game. The next day, Mark arrives to find Ray and the Kinsellas on the sidelines, watching another game. Karin announces that her father will not have to sell the farm because people will pay to watch the game. Believing the girl is delusional, Mark shakes her, causing her to fall from the bleachers and lose consciousness. Annie goes to call for help, but Ray stops her, certain that Archie can aid their daughter. Archie approaches, and at the edge of the field, transforms into the older Dr. Graham, who discovers Karin is choking and slaps her back to dislodge a hot dog. Having witnessed the rescue, Mark changes his mind and agrees that Ray should keep the farm. When the baseball players retire for the day, Shoeless Joe invites Mann to join them. Ray wants to come too, but Mann reminds him he has a family and claims this is an opportunity for him to write a new story. Mann finally admits he did dream about playing at Ebbets Field, and Shoeless Joe reminds Ray, “If you build it, he will come,” before leaving the field. One last player remains, and Ray realizes it is his father. Upon Annie’s encouragement, he introduces John to his wife and daughter, but does not reveal that he is his son. John compliments the beauty of the field and says it is a “dream come true.” The men discuss whether or not it is heaven or simply Iowa, and Ray finally calls him “Dad” when he asks him to play catch. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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