Field of Dreams Parent Guide
You don't need to understand, or even like baseball, to appreciate this film's deeper messages about family, dreams, and love.
Parent Movie Review
While out working in his cornfield, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears a strange voice calling the fateful phrase: “If you build it, he will come.” Unclear on what he’s supposed to build or who would show up if he did, Ray tries to move on. After all, neither his wife Annie (Amy Madigan) nor daughter Karin (Gaby Hoffman) heard the voice. Unfortunately for Ray, the voice keeps insisting that he build…something. And then Ray has a vision of a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield, with the long-dead baseball hero Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) standing in it. Concerned about the cost of plowing under his crop and building the pitch, but unwilling to ignore the voice, Ray sets about making his vision a reality – and his vision comes true when Shoeless Joe strides out of his corn to play ball, along with a number of other players. But the voice isn’t done, insisting that Ray “ease his pain”. Once again, it’s up to Ray to figure out whose pain he’s supposed to be easing, and how…
Although the film is centered around baseball as both a national icon and a personal dream, you really don’t need to understand the mechanics of the game to appreciate the story, which has far more to do with relationships and ambition than it has to do with runs, strikes, or balls. Whether it’s the relationship between Ray and his late father; author Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) and the past; or Archibald “Moonlight” Graham (Burt Lancaster and Frank Whaley) and the road not taken, the film is committed to exploring what happens when opportunity passes by – and what people would do with another chance at their once-in-a-lifetime moment.
It’s also a remarkably clean film, considering how mature and heartfelt the themes are, with no violence, substance use, or sexual content to speak of. There are a few instances of profanity, but far fewer than many more recent films. I grew up watching this movie, and while I admittedly didn’t appreciate all the finer nuances of the writing, there’s enough mystery and excitement in the story to keep younger viewers invested and entertained.
Apart from its iconic status in pop culture (which has made it eminently quotable, at least in our household), Field of Dreams is a remarkable film, driven by enigmatic messages from the Great Beyond, pushing characters to confront their pasts, their choices, and what really matters to them. It has something for everyone, whether it’s the best PTA meeting ever put to film or the classic baseball scenes, and it’s a must-watch if you haven’t seen it already.Directed by Phil Alden Robinson. Starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release May 5, 1989. Updated July 30, 2022
Watch the trailer for Field of Dreams
Field of Dreams
Rating & Content Info
Why is Field of Dreams rated PG? Field of Dreams is rated PG by the MPAA
Violence: An individual is threatened with a crowbar. A child briefly chokes on some food.
Sexual Content: There is one brief verbal reference to masturbation.
Profanity: There are two uses of scatological profanity, and a few uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking wine or beer socially.
Page last updated July 30, 2022
Field of Dreams Parents' Guide
Why does Ray do what the voice tells him? What are the personal consequences for him and his family? What are the rewards? How does he help the others the voice directs him to? Why are their stories in particular tied up in his?
Book banning is a perennial issue, especially in America. Why is it so important to make literature accessible and approachable for students? What can we learn from books we disagree with or find distasteful?