Despite a happy family life, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Costner) is left musing over lost idealism and a squandered relationship with his father, a former baseball player now dead. Hearing a disembodied voice urging 'If you build it, he will come', he is propelled on a quest which initially involves putting a baseball pitch in the middle of his crop. This in turn heralds the arrival of ghostly baseball players - including the infamous Shoeless Joe Jackson, implicated in the fixing of the 1919 World Series. Taken in bare outline, the plot may appear faintly ridiculous; but this often beautiful film (John Lindley's cinematography is breathtaking) - using baseball as a metaphor for other issues, namely the bonding or lack of it between father and son - embraces qualities which are skilfully amplified and not sentimentalised. Writer/director Robinson has embellished WP Kinsella's novel to examine the ideological conflict between the '60s and the '80s; together with moments of dry humour and fine performances, the political element lends the film gravity sufficient to counterbalance any sense of whimsy. Pure magic.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Phil Alden Robinson|
|Screenwriter:||Phil Alden Robinson|
James Earl Jones