Field of Dreams is a 30 year old movie and it is a classic.
1. The shot of the line-drive knocking over the bag of baseballs next to Kevin Costner was sheer luck off the bat of Ray Liotta.
2. The studio built the baseball diamond on an actual farm in Dyersville, Iowa. After the filming was completed, the family owning the farm kept the field, and added a small hut where you could buy inexpensive souvenirs. As of 1990, visitors were free to come to the field and play baseball as they please.
3. Then unknown, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are among the thousands of extras in the Fenway Park scene, and are uncredited. Over a decade later, when director Phil Alden Robinson welcomed Affleck to the set of The Sum of All Fears, Affleck said, “Nice working with you again.” Robinson asked, “What do you mean ‘again’?” and Affleck explained the connection.
4. When Ray asks “Shoeless” Joe Jackson what he likes about about playing baseball, Shoeless Joe responds “the thrill of the grass,” the title of W.P. Kinsella’s 1985 book of short stories about baseball.
5. During filming, Iowa was in the middle of a drought, and the cornfields surrounding the diamond had to be given lots of extra water in order to grow tall enough for the actors to disappear into the stalks. As a result, the corn grew too fast for the Costner shots. In the one scene where corn is above his shoulders, he is walking on an elevated plank.
6. The voice in the cornfield is rumored to be that of Ed Harris.
7. Ray Liotta bats right-handed and throws left-handed. The real ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson batted left-handed and threw right-handed – exactly the opposite of the way he was portrayed.
8. Several deleted scenes include Ray getting his hearing checked; Ray buying baseball equipment; Ray getting lost on the way to Fenway with Terrence; and Ray and Terrence watching batting practice.
9. J.D. Salinger, on whom the character Terence Mann is based, was very offended by the fictional portrayal of himself in W.P. Kinsella’s novel “Shoeless Joe,” upon which the film is based. His lawyers said that they would be “unhappy if it the story were transferred to other media,” so the studio created the character of Terence Mann.
10. Archibald “Moonlight” Wright Graham was a real baseball player. On 29 June 1905, with the New York Giants, he played one Major League Baseball game. Following that one game, he continued playing professionally through the 1908 season, mostly in the New York State League, until retiring at the age of 30.
11. According to supplementary material on the DVD edition of this film, shortly before shooting began, the actor who played Ray Kinsella’s father, Dwier Brown, was notified that his father unfortunately pass away. Immediately after the funeral, he traveled directly to filming in Iowa for the scene. He stated that although the emotion was too fresh and painful, it had an effect on how he eventually played his scene with Kevin Costner.
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