Retro Review: Field Of Dreams

Still holds up well after nearly 30 years.

Synopsis: “If you build it… he will come.” With those words, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella is inspired by a voice he can’t ignore to pursue a dream he can hardly believe.

Supported by his wife  Annie. Ray begins the quest by turning his ordinary cornfield into a place where dreams can come true.

Review: Made back in 1989. ‘Field of Dreams’ is one of those rare films that came along, which mixed Baseball, people and the supernatural to tell a really grounded but magical story.

The Story

When Iowa Farmer Ray Kinsella begins to hear voices in his cornfield he is spurred on to building a baseball field in the centre of his cornfield. He believes that building the field will resurrect Baseball Legend Shoeless, Joe Jackson. A hero of Ray’s late father who was a minor league ballplayer.

The film sees Ray go on a journey, which helps him reconcile with his anger and resentment towards his late father. Along the way, he meets a 1960’s writer and activist who long dreamed of playing baseball and an old-school family Doctor who always wanted to play Baseball, but missed his chance to do so.

This film works really well as a fantasy story, which incorporates the American spirit and Baseball, and it even works if like myself you are not particularly a fan of baseball. In a nutshell, this is what I’d regard as a modern fairytale.

The Acting

Kevin Costner puts in one of his career-defining performances as Ray Kinsella and is supported by a very spirited Amy Madigan as Rays extremely supportive wife Annie, who has a really memorable scene where she takes on the local school board who plan to discontinue the books of Terrence Mann from their library.

Ray Liotta puts in a wonderfully subtle performance as Shoeless Joe Jackson who helps guide Ray on his journey of reconciliation. Liotta’s speech about his love of Baseball and the traveling from town to town still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up with its truth.

Also putting in memorable performances are James Earl Jones and the late Burt Lancaster as Terrence Mann and Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham respectively.


It’s been nearly 14 years since I last watched this movie and it still holds up. If anything it holds up better now than it did when it was made. The combination of one mans personal journey to reconcile his feelings with his dead father and the supernatural combined with baseball is a masterstroke and its a lovingly made movie, which though sentimental isn’t overly so.

The film also has a gorgeous soundtrack, which was composed by the late James Horner.

If you haven’t seen this movie. I’d highly recommend you do. For my money its right up there with ‘Its A Wonderful Life’.

Field of Dreams
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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