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Field of Dreams: If you watch it, you will cry



Say what you like about the current state of Kevin Costner's career ("sad," "disappointing" ... "over") or the inability of today's Hollywood to put together a decent sports movie (even "Friday Night Lights" was lame). There was a time -- adapting some prose here -- when the cosmic clickers all were aligned and the universe opened up for a brief moment to show us what was truly possible.

And that was 1989's Field of Dreams, my top pick for greatest movie to watch on Father's Day. So inspiring is this movie that I'm now on my third copy of it (2 worn-out VHS tapes and now the special edition DVD).

How moving is it? When the Stuck in the 80s podcast using the infamous "Dad, wanna have a catch?" scene for an episode about guy movies, the production team - myself included - couldn't stop sobbing between editing takes.

How much of a landmark was it for the actors involved? It might contain all the best performances of each actor involved -- Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan, Tim Busfield, with the exception of Ray Liotta (whose work as Shoeless Joe is only topped by his job in Goodfellas).

Sadly, like much great work, the film was unrewarded by the industry at the time. Nominated for only three Oscars (none for acting), it came home with no statues. ("Driving Miss Daisy" beat it out for Best Picture). Even the author of the book it's based on, W.P. Kinsella, gave it a less than perfect review when asked by a Canadian newspaper for his opinion. (Somebody throw a brushback pitch his way!)

We at Stuck in the 80s would never bench this classic.
Top 5 lines from Field of Dreams (aside from the obvious "If you build it, he will come" and "Ease his pain" mantras):
5. "You know we just don't recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought there'll be other days. I didn't realize that that was the only day."
4. "This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again."
3. "Hey rookie ... you were good."
2. "Is there a heaven?" ... "Oh yeah. It's the place where dreams come true."
1. "Hey dad ... you wanna have a catch?"

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:18pm]


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