You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

25 years after debut, 'Field of Dreams' an enduring 'parable of male longing'

It's now been 25 years since we first met Ray Kinsella, a child of the ‘60s turned reluctant Iowa farmer, who embarks on an illogical, fantastical journey that ends with a magical game of catch with his deceased father.

“Field of Dreams” debuted on April 21, 1989, and won critical and audience acclaim with its fanciful story and strong cast performances.

The movie featured memorable moments from stars Kevin Costner (as Kinsella), James Earl Jones as reclusive writer Terence Mann, Burt Lancaster as "Moonlight" Graham and Ray Liotta as the mysterious “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

Based on a novel by W.P. Kinsella, “Field of Dreams” follows the story of Ray, who hears a voice in his cornfield and builds a baseball field believing it will bring back disgraced (and long deceased) baseball player “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

The film introduced us to such memorable lines as “If you build it, he will come,” and “No. It’s Iowa (in response to Jackson’s question ‘is this heaven?’).

Take a look back at how the film was received by some top movie critics and online reviewers.

  • Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times): "Field of Dreams" will not appeal to grinches and grouches and realists. It is a delicate movie, a fragile construction of one goofy fantasy after another. But it has the courage to be about exactly what it promises. (Score 4 out of 4)
  • Michael Wilmington (Los Angeles Times): All of this would work better if (director Phil Alden) Robinson built up the reality of the town more, made the citizens a more palpable presence, as Frank Capra did in Hollywood's greatest fable-fantasy, "It's a Wonderful Life." (Score 2.5 out of 5)
  • Rita Kemply (Washington Post): Poesy, pointlessness and baseball worship aside, the movie is easy to get along with.
  • Caryn James (New York Times): It seems much easier to fall into "Field of Dreams" than to resist its warm, intelligent, timely appeal to our most idealistic selves.
  • Kevin Hagopian (Penn State University): The story of Ray Kinsella's crusade to bring a perfect ballyard to his Iowa cornfield is an unashamed parable of male longing, an excusably sexist paean to a universe untroubled by the emasculating realities of corporate economics, and by the withering of skill that comes with age.

The iconic baseball field still stands in Dyersville, Iowa, and still draws tourists.

As a recent story in the Des Moines Register stated, "Hollywood carved 3 1/2 acres out of the fertile cropland into a magical place where the ghosts of baseball legends could materialize from out of the corn. 'Field of Dreams' . . .  has become one of the most beloved movies in a generation and transformed this small patch of Dubuque County into Iowa's most famous farm."

—Reviews were aggregated by

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Springfield Entertainment

5 quotes that make us love Dave Chappelle even more
5 quotes that make us love Dave Chappelle even more

Twelve years ago, Dave Chappelle walked away from his hit Comedy Central Series and left Hollywood for a quiet life right here in Yellow Springs. Some of us who call the Dayton area home have gotten excited at a “Chappelle sighting” in the village during those years. But for most of the rest of the world, he essentially disappeared. But...
Bristol Palin shares her excitement about welcoming baby no. 3 any day now
Bristol Palin shares her excitement about welcoming baby no. 3 any day now

Bristol Palin says she just can’t wait to meet her third child, and she’s due any day now. The daughter of former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin took to Instagram Tuesday to share her excitement. “My world!!! I can’t believe we’ll be a family of 5 in a matter of days,” Palin wrote as...
‘Cash Me Outside’ teen to be in  court Wednesday
‘Cash Me Outside’ teen to be in court Wednesday

The former Boynton Beach resident and viral internet star Danielle Bregoli will be back in Palm Beach County on Wednesday morning for a court appearance. Bregoli, who gained notoriety during a “Dr. Phil” interview where she taunted audience members with the now famous phrase, “Cash Me Outside,” will appear in...
The Temptations bass player Kerry Turman dead at 59
The Temptations bass player Kerry Turman dead at 59

Kerry Turman, a bass player for the iconic rhythm and blues group The Temptations, has died, according to a post on the group’s Facebook page. KFVS reported that Turman, 59, was pronounced dead Sunday morning after performing at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on Saturday. The group confirmed the news Sunday in posts...
OPAI brining ‘Mr. Fox’ to life
OPAI brining ‘Mr. Fox’ to life

There’s a mountain forming on East High Street — indoors. Before making climbing plans, know that this mountain is man-made and the perspective is best seen through imagination. It’s helpful when bringing the fantasy world of a character like Mr. Fox to life. “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” will be set to outfantastic three dimwitted...
More Stories