Here are 10 trivia facts about Field Of Dreams from 1989, which originally appeared as our Mystery Movie Quiz on our Facebook page. There are many pieces of behind-the-scenes information about this movie. Please feel free to comment and add more trivia we might have missed.
1. This movie features something that becomes current news once every year.
Sports news of varying types appears 12 months a year, but when the “boys of summer” move on to the World Series, baseball is noticeably in the news.
2. Finances play a role in the film.
When Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears the voice telling him “if you build it, he will come,” he is so convinced that he plows his cornfield. But after a year without anything happening, he and Annie (Amy Madigan) are in financial straits and consider selling the farm.
Throughout the film, Ray’s brother-in-law tries to convince him to sell because they are running out of money. Mark (Timothy Busfield) is adament about replanting the crops before Ray and Annie are bankrupt, but once he is able to see the ballplayers for himself, he then agrees Ray and Annie should not sell.
3. Real people are depicted in the film.
Moonlight Graham (Archibald “Moonlight” Wright Graham) was a baseball player for the New York Giants but who only played one professional game. Just a few days later, he left baseball to go to medical school and became a doctor. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was also a major league baseball player.
Some of the ballplayers who emerge “from the field” are other team members of the Chicago White Sox who were involved with the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919, in which they and Jackson were accused of conspiring with gamblers to throw the World Series. Additionally, the part of Terrence Mann, played by James Earl Jones is fictional, but in the book on which the movie is based, Ray is looking for real-life author J.D. Salinger. It wasn’t much of a stretch because the author of the book, W.P. Kinsella, was actually a friend of Salinger’s.
4. The movie has a spiritual aspect.
Although the subject matter of Field Of Dreams is undoubtably baseball, many see it as not merely a baseball movie but more as a film about finding a way to have a second chance in life. The movie’s theme of Ray’s ability to follow his heart is inspirational and the message sent to spend as much time as you can with your family is undeniable. As a testament to the film’s spirituality, more than 50,000 people make pilgrimage every year to visit the “field” in Dyersville, Iowa.
Long before Ben Affleck and Matt Damon became famous, they were in Field of Dreams among thousands of extras in the Fenway Park scene in Boston. They were both uncredited.
Supposedly, ten years later when Afleck was filming The Sum of All Fears with the same director from Field Of Dreams, Phil Alden Robinson, Ben had to explain to Robinson how they previously worked together.
6. One of the quotes in the film appears in AFI’s top 100 list.
“If you build it, he will come” is often misquoted as “”if you build it, they will come.” Regardless of how you slice it, that quote is number 39 among the American Film Institute’s top 100 film quotes. It is rumored that “the voice” heard whispering that famous line in the film is that of actor Ray Liotta. Does anyone know if that is true?
7. The contrived setting for part of the film still exists today.
The land where Universal built the now famous baseball diamond is in Dyersville, Iowa. After filming was completed and everyone went home, Don and Becky Lansing, who owned the farm, kept and maintained the field, which quickly became a tourist attraction. The farm was in the Lansing family for over a century but in 2010, they decided it was time to move on and all 193 acres of the farm and field were put up for sale.
8. This film was nominated for multiple Oscars but didn’t win any.
Field Of Dreams was nominated for three Academy Awards–Best Music (Original Score), Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) and Best Picture–but came away empty-handed.
9. One of the actors is known for doing voice-overs.
Although James Earl Jones has been before the cameras (or behind them) more than 150 times, he is probably best known as the voice of Darth Vader. His resonance has kept him busy doing animated features like Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King, and Mr. Jones has even lent his famous voice to video games.
10. The star of the film was in the news in 2010 for something that had nothing to do with acting.
The newspaper headline seen nationwide during the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico spill accident read, “Carson City company tied to actor Kevin Costner may aid in oil spill.” Along with his brother Dan, Kevin Costner has been in the news lately because his company, Costner Industries Nevada Corporation (CINC), has developed a Liquid-Liquid Centrifugal Separator which can be used for clean-up as needed in the Gulf of Mexico.