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May 20, 2011

Field of Dreams just too unreal




By DARRELL BERGER

I like Field of Dreams as a movie, it just doesn't make my top ten baseball list. It may be unfair to say that a movie about dreams is not grounded, but that is why. I don't really relate to the baseball in the movie, which seems to me more a metaphor for communication between generations and immortality than the game itself. Again, this is entirely fine as a theme, but it makes the baseball part of the movie just too unreal to me and I guess I rate baseball movies according to how REAL they are, not how poetically moving they are.

For instance, I get that Ray Liotta may be the Shoeless Joe Jackson of someone's dream, but I don't think he is anyone's idea of how Joe really was. For this he should have been played by someone like Randy Quaid, and let Liotta star in the Pete Reiser or Tony Conigliaro story or something.

Therefore I prefer Pride of the Yankees, for instance, despite Cooper's terrible swing, because of the few shots of real Yankees to Field of Dreams, which is rather unreal as far as baseball is concerned. Again that doesn't make for a bad movie, it just doesn't make my personal list. I can respect anyone who would include it in theirs.

That said, I love the Moonlight Graham theme! He would be included in my top 10 characters in baseball movies.
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The bottom photo is of Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella with Moonlight Graham played by Burt Lancaster. The movie was released in 1989.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

From Toni Gelfer, San Antonio, Texas

"This movie is very unsatisfying to me...It seems to hover between fantasy and reality..and it can't make it's mind up... neither can the audience..If you build it..I don't think they'll come..I rate it C-..."

Anonymous said...

Susan Padgett Termini wrote...
I love this movie for the exact reasons you two found it unsatisfying. I love the fantasy/reality aspect of it. I particularly loved the Archie Graham scene walking across the foul line and turning into old Doc Graham. I loved the old ballplayers coming out of the corn fields. Oh, and I almost forgot....did I mention I LOVED Kevin Costner?? One of my all time favorite movies. I rate it A....

Anonymous said...

John Kinstrey wrote:
Best line in the movie?...
"Hey dad! ... Wanna' have a catch?"

Frank Barning said...

Reply to John Kinstrey:

John, that line brings tears to my eye. Anyone who loves baseball and misses his or her dad might feel that way. Thanks for posting it.