[[caption-width-right:300:"If you build it, he will come."]]

->''"Is this Heaven?"''
->''"No... it's Iowa."''

A 1989 fantasy film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, starring Creator/KevinCostner, Amy Madigan, Creator/JamesEarlJones, Creator/RayLiotta, and Creator/BurtLancaster.

Adapted from the 1982 novel ''Shoeless Joe'' by Creator/WPKinsella, the film is built on a unique story idea about an Iowa farmer who decides on a whim to build an expensive baseball field.

Ray Kinsella (Costner) is an honest farmer with a nice family, but explains in the prologue that he had a falling out with his father (who was a baseball fanatic) and they were unable to reconcile before his death. One day, Ray was out in his corn field when he hears a voice saying "If you build it, he will come." Surprised, he is later given a vision that what he is supposed to build is a baseball field, and that "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (Liotta) would return from the dead to play baseball. For obvious reasons, Ray is wondering how he could ever get such a bizarre idea. But after a long talk with his wife Annie (Madigan), Ray decides that he wants to do something outrageous because it feels right and not because he is afraid of what others think.

Barely making a profit as it was, the cost of building the baseball field and the land it takes over puts them financially in trouble. But after a few months, Shoeless Joe does appear, bewildered himself but with an honest desire to play some baseball. Eventually more dead baseball players from his time period return to play. Unfortunately, Ray and his family are the only ones who see the players and the bank is looking down on them.

Eventually Ray receives another insight ("Ease his pain") and comes to believe that this means he has to track down aging author Terence Mann (Jones) and take him to a baseball game. Even he doesn't have a clue why, but decides to continue acting on these strange impressions.

''Field of Dreams'' has a very strange concept, but what it carries is an underlying metaphor of faith and redemption, along with the simple joy of a father and son playing catch. It is one of Costner's most well-known films and also one of James Earl Jones' most famous roles outside of voicing [[StarWars Darth Vader]] and [[Disney/TheLionKing Mufasa]].

It was nominated for several Oscars including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
!!! "Field of Tropes":

* ActualPacifist: Terence, which is how Ray is able to call Terence's bluff when he attacks him.
* AdaptationDistillation: In the book, Ray meets [[spoiler:his father]] in the last third of story, rather than at the climax. Terence Mann in the film is a LawyerFriendlyCameo of Creator/JDSalinger in the book. In addition to Mann, Ray's goalie is his twin brother Richard and an aging ex-ballplayer named Eddie Scissons.
* AdaptationExpansion: There was no book banning scene in the book. The entire scene was created to give Amy Madigan's character something to do.
* ArcWords: "If you build it, he will come." "Ease his pain" and "Go the distance" are secondary arc words, but just as important.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: Terence Mann. Either that, or he got to see Ebbets Field again -- though the film implies both are the same thing.
-->'''Annie:''' Far out.
* TheAtoner: Ray.
-->'''Terence:''' ''(smiling)'' This is your penance.
* AwkwardFatherSonBondingActivity: Baseball, for Ray and his dad.
* BewareOfHitchhikingGhosts: Ray and Mann pick up the younger Moonlight Graham while driving through the Midwest and take him to the field so he finally gets a chance to play baseball.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Annie is very nice and supportive of Ray, despite nearly bankrupting his farm to make a baseball field. Yet when a MoralGuardian accuses her husband of being un-American for supporting Terence Mann, she's willing to kick her ass.
--> '''Annie:''' [[PreAsskickingOneLiner All right, Beulah, do you want to step outside?]]
* BookBurning
-->'''Annie:''' Really subversive books, like ''[[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz The Wizard of Oz]]'', ''Literature/TheDiaryOfAnneFrank''...
* BrandishmentBluff: Ray, out of desperation, tries to kidnap Terence with a finger in his jacket. Terence isn't fooled for a second.
* ChekhovsSkill: While the ghosts appear in the prime of their baseball careers, they retain the memories and skills throughout their entire lives. Fortunately for [[spoiler: Karin, Moonlight Graham spent the majority of his life as a doctor]].
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Terrence Mann does this at Fenway Park.
--> '''Ray Kinsella:''' So, what do you want?\\
'''Terence Mann:''' I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves. I want my privacy.\\
'''Ray Kinsella:''' I mean, what do you want? [Gestures toward concession stand.]\\
'''Terence Mann:''' Oh. A dog and a beer.\\
'''Ray Kinsella:''' Two.
%% * GameOfNerds: Terence Mann. Moonlight Graham also applies, he is a doctor after all.
* FilmOfTheBook: Based on the novel ''Shoeless Joe'' by Creator/WPKinsella.
* FingerGun: Ray tries this to get Terence Mann to come to Iowa. It doesn't work, but he's able to convince Terence, anyways.
** Later becomes an InUniverse NeverLiveItDown for Ray.
--->'''Terrence:''' You said your ''finger'' was a ''gun''.
* HeroicSacrifice: Graham steps off the field to save Karin's life, at the cost of being able to play on the field again.
* HippieVan: The Kinsellas are shown to have been very liberal hippie-types in their youth (both went to Berkeley, both were fans of a radical author named Terence Mann, Ray jokes that his major was "the 60's"). True to their roots, Ray drives a VW bus.
* InvisibleToNormals: The ballplayers, apparently. It isn't until [[spoiler: Moonlight transforms back into his old doctor form that Mark can see them.]]
* {{Irony}}: Moonlight's sacrifice fly means he ''still'' hasn't gotten an official at bat against major leaguers, but hey, he got an RBI and a plate appearance.
** You could also read it as God doing a bit of psychotherapy to help Moonlight come to terms with his one major regret.
%% * MagicRealism
* ManlyTears: Ray has to fight back some tears when [[spoiler:he asks his father's ghost for some time to play catch.]]
** In a meta sense, this movie is infamous among sports fans for making guys tear up watching the finale.
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent: When Ray goes out for a walk in Chisholm after learning that Moonlight Graham died in 1972, [[spoiler: Graham walks right past him in the background before Ray realizes that he's stepped back in time.]]
* MeaningfulEcho:
** Combined with a MeaningfulName.
--> '''"Moonlight" Graham:''' Tell me, Ray Kinsella. Is there enough magic in the ''moonlight'' to make my wish come true?
** When Ray hears "If you build it, he will come", [[RedHerring Ray assumes]] that "he" is Shoeless Joe Jackson. He also assumes that "Ease his pain" refers to Terrance Mann and "Go the distance" refers to Moonlight. When those ArcWords are said near the end of the movie (including by Jackson himself), the "he" being referred to is revealed to be someone else entirely.
%% * MelancholyMoon
* MonochromeCasting: One of the criticisms leveled at the film is that apparently baseball is just as segregated in the afterlife as it was in the real-life early 20th century.
* MoralGuardians: The townspeople who wish to ban the work of Terence Mann.
%% * NeverLiveItDown: [[invoked]] "You said your finger was a ''gun''!"
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The famously reclusive author Terence Mann was the famously reclusive author Creator/JDSalinger in the original book, but Salinger threatened to sue if he was featured in any adaptation of the novel. Also counts as a RaceLift.
** Somewhat ironically, given the reason for the name change, there is a fairly well-known American stage performer named Terrence Mann in real life!
** Averted in the case of Moonlight Graham, who really did exist.
%% * OffscreenAfterlife
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: Only believers can see them.
** There's also the whole question of the ghosts' age. They appear as they did in their playing days, but seem perfectly aware that they're dead and even talk about how long it's been since they last played, frequently cracking jokes about it. They also apparently have their entire life's worth of experience within them, as evidenced by [[spoiler: Moonlight Graham knowing that he can save Karin despite not studying medicine yet, and Ray's father recognizing his son despite being younger than Ray himself when they meet.]]
* PapaWolf: Ray's a pretty laid-back guy, but when Mark grabs at Karin towards the end of the film, he ''immediately'' loses his cool and starts physically attacking him.
* PetTheDog: After the newspaper editor reads the obit she wrote for Graham in 1972, Mann tells her, "You're a good writer." She smiles and replies, "So are you."
* PragmaticAdaptation: In the novel, Ray builds the field bit by bit (starting with the left field); in the movie, Ray builds the entire field all in one go. Plus, the movie focuses more on the magic of the field, the romanticism of baseball, and Ray's relationship with his father. It gets rid of confusing plot elements from the book such as Ray's identical twin brother Richard, and a depressing storyline with an old former ballplayer named Eddie Scissons.
** They also changed J.D. Salinger to Terrence Mann when it became apparent that Salinger would sue, making the adaptation both financially and legally pragmatic.
** The entire PTA book banning scene was invented for the film to give Annie some characterization, and also to establish Terrance Mann as a radical author from the 1960's whose work was offensive to some.
* PrecisionFStrike: Mark (Timothy Busfield) clearly mouths "What the fuck?" [[spoiler: when Moonlight (Burt Lancaster) crosses the gravel.]]
* PsychicDreamsForEveryone: Ray receives most of the visitations from the Voice, but Annie gets in on the act as well--when Ray has a dream about going to Fenway Park with Terence Mann and tells her about it, Annie remarks that she had the exact same dream and starts helping him pack. At the end of the film, it's little Karin who casually discusses how the baseball field will make the family money, and it's clear that she's getting this information from an external source.
* PutMeInCoach: Moonlight Graham.
* RealityEnsues: PlayedForLaughs with the case of Terence Mann; after Ray "kidnaps" him, the author's father makes repeated calls to his Boston residence and, when he doesn't answer, reports him as missing, which makes the national papers. Mann decides to contact him...then wonders aloud, "What do I ''tell'' him?"
* RedHerring: The voice. Ray thinks that "If you build it, he will come" refers to Shoeless Joe, "Ease his pain" refers to Terence, and "Go the distance" refers to Moonlight. [[spoiler:The voice meant Ray's father in all three instances.]]
** Moonlight ''doesn't'' hit a triple like he fantasizes about during his speech.
* SceneryPorn: The field itself was built on two separate properties to allow for uninhibited sunset shots, several scenes set during "Magic Hour" (very late twilight) were actually shot over the course of several days to preserve the lighting. Also makes effective use of the Driftless Area to represent the Eastern U.S.
* ShoutOut: "As a small boy, he had a bat named [[Film/CitizenKane Rosebud]]."
** "[[Film/TheWizardofOz I'm melting! I'm melting!"]] followed by a mention of [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz the novel]] a few minutes later.
** A shout out is given when Shoeless Joe Jackson mentions "the thrill of the grass," another book by [[Creator/WPKinsella Bill Kinsella.]]
* StrawmanPolitical: The MoralGuardians, who are depicted as racist and authoritarian as well as prudish.
--> "And I say '''SMUT''', and filth like this has no place in our schools!"
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The Japanese poster described the film as a man who is on a quest to [[spoiler:meet with the ghost of his baseball playing father.]] It was sort of a cultural shift in focus, since the Japanese always emphasized ancestry.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: [[http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/grahamo01.shtml Moonlight Graham]] was in fact a ballplayer who appeared in only one MLB game, before becoming a doctor in Chisholm, Minnesota. The film takes some liberties with his story; Graham died in 1965, but producer Creator/FrancisFordCoppola wanted to see ''Film/TheGodfather'' on a marquee, so Ray goes back to 1972 to find him. Additionally, while it's true that Graham did not get a chance to bat, he played two innings on defense instead of one.
** Creator/RayLiotta hits right-handed. Apparently, TPTB felt Liotta looked too awkward hitting lefty like Shoeless Joe Jackson did. Liotta was apparently not happy with the decision.
** The degree of Shoeless Joe Jackson's culpability in the Black Sox Scandal remains controversial to this day. It is known that he attended meetings of the fixers and that he took the money.
** Also, unlike what both this movie and the previous year's ''EightMenOut'' claim, after he was expelled, he never played under "a made up name in some 12th rate league".
*** The reason for that last mix-up is probably the result of a story told well after his playing days. Jackson was the proprietor of a liquor store, and one day Ty Cobb (the Hall of Fame player) and Grantland Rice (legendary sportswriter) walked in to make a purchase. Joe never made any sign that he recognized them, even though they had crossed paths before during their playing days. Finally, Cobb had to ask:
----> Cobb: Don't you know me Joe?
----> Jackson: Sure I know you, Ty, [[{{Tearjerker}} but I wasn't sure that you wanted to know me. A lot of them don't.]]
** Ty Cobb is also described offhandedly as so unlikable a character, no one wanted to play with him and that being the reason he's not among the ghosts of other greats. This interpretation is more in line with the public's conception of Ty Cobb from a sensationalized biography about him than his actual self.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Ray is seeking the approval of his father.
* YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious: Sort of. Doc Graham knows something is up with Ray, when he asks him if he's "Moonlight" Graham.
--> '''Doc Graham''': No one's called me "Moonlight" Graham in 50 years.