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Films >> Field of Dreams (1989) >>

The screenplay of Field of Dreams is based on Shoeless Joe, a novel by W.P. Kinsella (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1982). W.P. Kinsella is the author of many books about baseball, including The Iowa Baseball Confederacy. Shoeless Joe is a Canadian book that was transformed into an American film by filmmaker Phil Robinson in 1989. Both the film and the book are based on the same thing: Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner in the film) brings back to life a famous player from the early 1900s named Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was involved in the very controversial Black Sox Scandal of 1919. Although the film and the book parallel each other for the most part, there are a few differences. For example, in the film Ray Kinsella seeks out a fictional author named Terrance Mann, a black man famous for his writings in the 1960s. In the book Ray Kinsella seeks out a white writer named J.D. Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye (1954), who is not fictional. The movie also omits six players involved in the Black Sox Scandal who are in the book. In essence, the film, although it does not replicate the book, complements it very nicely. Both have the same idea in that they bring back disreputable baseball players from American history to give them a second chance to play the game that they all loved, baseball.