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Ardolino, Frank. "Ceremonies of Innocence and Experience in Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and Eight Men Out." Journal of Popular Film and Television 18 (1990): 43-51.
For Ardolino, baseball is a "pastoral world in which ceremonies of innocence and experience are reenacted." He addresses the issues of the Chicago Black Sox scandal in 1919, how baseball has since recovered, the hardships and difficult times that America and Americans have since been through and how Americans turn to baseball to patch up the wounds and heal our past. In [such movies] we read about how baseball, politics, innocence, and experience are all dealt with. There is a national myth that America, our country, has placed before us. It is now up to the filmmakers and the audience to make this national myth a true history; baseball is America's healing and celebrated game. Field of Dreams,, in particular, "weeps for what is not now. . . . It remembers America before it lost control."
Cooper, Caroline M. "Field of Dreams: A Favorite of President Clinton—But A Typical Reaganite Film?" Literature and Film Quarterly 23 (1995): 163-68.
Field of Dreams "has become not merely a box office success in the United States, but also a film which could safely be publicly acclaimed by one particular spectator: the President." Field of Dreams is more a Republican than a Democratic movie, making it an ideal product of the 1980's. Cooper gives information, historical and factual, about each of the characters in the novel, comparing them with each of the actors in the real movie. It is so ironic that this film is a Clinton favorite because it is all about sensible husbandry and the need for achieving an unaccomplished dream, both of which Clinton has failed to do. The essay ends with a memorable line; Cooper writes, "Unless, that is, you are one of the lucky ones: forget the need for sensible husbandry; do not bother about political involvement; all you need is a magic voice to instruct you and prosperity will follow" (167).
Fong, Bobby. "The Magic Cocktail: The Enduring Appeal of the Field of Dreams." Aethlon 11 (1993): 29-36.
Fong opens with a quote from W.P. Kinsella's book Shoeless Joe around which his essay revolves. Kinsella writes, "We are mixing a cocktail of memories, and history, and love, and imagination. Now we must wait and see what effect it will have on us." Rather than telling how the book was made into a movie and portraying it in a negative way, Fong chooses to do quite the contrary. He shows the reader how Kinsella's book made an excellent movie and Phil Alden Robinson's few additions and slight changes made the movie even more spectacular. Fong, like many other writers, mentions how the film is pastoral: he says, "The magic at the heart of the novel, the movie, and the Iowa Field is a pastoral vision compounded of yearning and faith" (31).
Gaughran, Richard. "Baseball Literature's Complex Pastoralism." Diss. Lehigh Univ., 1989.
"In baseball literature . . . the boundary between fiction and non-fiction is often, like the back line of the batter's box, hardly visible after a while" (6). Baseball has been a tremendous influence on literature. Baseball is a "pastoral sport," an idea clearly defined throughout the dissertation. Baseball is related to agriculture and to an agrarian society: "Again, there is a close association between farming and baseball; the two are often presented as interchangeable." The idea of baseball being the search for the "attractive notion that time can be defeated" and "the desire for eternal youth" are discussed at great lengths. Such authors as W.P. Kinsella (on whose work Field of Dreams is based), Michael Oriard, Harry Stein, and Murray Ross, as well as many other famous and influential authors, filmmakers, politicians, and players form the basis of this study.
Jacobson, Harlan. "Shot in the Dark: Born Again Baseball." Film Comment May 1989: 78-79.
Jacobson writes about how director Phil Alden Robinson "has taken up Shoeless Joe's case and put it to absolutely startling use. He has made him Him." He goes on to write about how Costner, an ex-sixties activist, could bring about the return of the days when baseball was an innocent game. Those days are commonly referred to as "white baseball days." Field of Dreams is a movie that cleanses the humiliations of baseball and its scandals as well as the humiliations of the 1960's. Jacobson ends the article with a funny blurb about baseball and its scandals. He writes, "Perhaps like the movies, baseball will enact a Rating System for the players -- you know, little letters the guys can wear below their numbers. X for sex; R for Retching tobacco juice; PG for Party Going; PGP for Party Going where people are petting; and G for Gambling. That way we won't have to learn new letters, and our kids will be safe."
Kirtz, Mary K. "Canadian Book, American Film: Shoeless Joe Transfigured on a Field of Dreams." Literature and Film Quarterly 23 (1995): 26-31.
Kirtz, a Canadian, writes this article in favor of her homeland. She discusses in her essay how the adaptation of the book Shoeless Joe is just not the same when it is made into the movie Field of Dreams. She is very pro-Canadian, writing that "Germaine Warkentin once observed that when Americans and Canadians look at each other, it is as if they are looking through a one-way mirror: Canadians look and see Americans, but Americans look and see only themselves."
Nadel, Alan. Flatlining on the Field of Dreams: Cultural Narratives in the Films of President Reagan's America. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1997.
Nadel talks about how the films of the late 1980's proved to be real "Reaganite" films. All of the movies he discusses relate to a metaphorical power, that is, a power of illusion. America came out of an economic depression during the time period in which Reagan was President. Nadel shows how many films, including Field of Dreams, Ghost Dad, Ghost, Beetlejuice, and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey all have relevance to Reagan's new outlook on America, spiritual and dream fullfilling. Nadel shows the reader how our president of the 1980's was more of a filmmaker than a president and how he thought he was the director of a big movie named America. Each of these movies has some sort of spiritual aspect. Some ask for forgiveness from the dead by bringing them back to the living world for a few brief moments, some dead actors in the movie may come back to the living world vis a vis another person. Also, some may see the dead, and some may be lead through turbulent times with the dead by their side helping them survive their struggles each step of the way. This essay shows everyone a new and different way of reading the deeper meaning and metaphorical values of certain movies.
O'Brien, Tom. The Screening of America. New York: Continuum, 1990.
This book talks about movies and their relationships to America and American icons. In chapters on sport and religion, O'Brien explores the "deeper meanings" of baseball movies as well as other sports movies. These chapters also tell how the filmmakers for the movies that were talked about were also historically knowledgeable about events in American history as well as sports history. They tell about how the filmmakers took these two broad subjects and brought them into movies. O'Brien talks about the positive qualities that these movies possess as well as the negative aspects of these sport movies in comparing them to history as well as religion. Has a section on Field of Dreams.
Oriard, Michael. Dreaming of Heroes: American Sports Fiction, 1868-1980. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1982.
Oriard limits himself to the study of sport as "exclusively human games: organized competitions involving tests of physical skill, pitting men against men, without extraordinary means of locomotion." He goes into depth about the "obvious purpose beyond the rules of the game." He writes about how many famous sports fiction writers, such as London, Roth, Harris, and Malamud all address this issue in many of their works. Includes a detailed focus on how sports have become a widely accepted activity and a very useful subject for fiction. Captures sports as an American pastime as well as a "rich tradition." The main focus is to depict the study of sports novels: "full length works that probe deeply into the meaning of sport in America." Sports mean different things to different people, yet it is all rooted on one common ground: America.
Pellow, C. Kenneth. "Shoeless Joe in Film and Fiction." Aethlon 9 (1991): 17-23.
Books made into film are not the same as reading them. Pellow writes, "Field of Dreams does not capture fantasy in the same way that W.P. Kinsella's Shoeless Joe did," for watching a movie takes away the reader's imagination. Comparing the novel to the big screen Hollywood production, Pellow writes that director Robinson eliminates the psychological motivation and socio-political dimensions of Kinsella's book.
Vanderwerken, David L., and Spencer K. Wertz. Sport Inside Out. Forth Worth: Texas Christian UP, 1985.
Sport is a part of America's conventional wisdom, and because of its role in society, it is a major topic that needs to be addressed. This book is a compilation of essays by many authors including John Updike, Marianne Moore, Bernard Malamud, and Ernest Hemingway, who focus on "the relationship between sport and life." Four parts are titled: Sport and the Individual, Sport and Society, The Meaning of Sport, and Dimensions of Sport.

See Also

Donaldson, Mara E. "Teaching Field of Dreams as Cosmogonic Myth." Journal of Religion and Film 2.3 (1998).

Gehring, Wes D. "Field of Dreams: In Search of Capra's America." Thalia: Studies in Literary Humor 13.1-2(1993): 34-49.

Grella, George. "Baseball as Harvest: Field of Dreams." Atenea 18.1 (1998): 73-78.

Jensen, Scott, and Joseph Schuster. "'Dad-Can We Have a Catch?': Images of Fatherhood and Redemption in Three Baseball Films." Baseball/Literature/Culture: Essays, 2002-2003. Ed. Peter Carino. Jefferson: McFarland, 2004.

Joffe, Linda S. "Praise Baseball. Amen: Religious Metaphors in Shoeless Joe and Field of Dreams. Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature 9.2 (1992): 153-63.

Merlock, Ray. "Shoeless Joe: From Pickens County to the Field of Dreams." South Carolina Review 22.2 (1990): 68-76.

Nilsson, Joakim. "Take Me Back to the Ball Game: Nostalgia and Hegemonic Masculinity in Field of Dreams." Canadian Review of American Studies/Revue Canadienne d'Etudes Américaines 30.1 (2000): 52-72.

Oriard, Michael. Sporting with the Gods: The Rhetoric of Play and Game in American Culture. New York: Cambridge UP, 1991.

Robinson, Phil Alden. "Field of Dreams: The Ending." Hopkins Review 1.4 (2008): 598-609.

Rollins, Peter C. The Columbia Companion to American History on Film: How the Movies Have Portrayed the American Past. New York: Columbia UP, 2003.

Walker, Joseph S. "The Catcher Takes the Field: Holden, Hollywood, and the Making of a Mann." The Catcher in the Rye: New Essays. Ed. J. P. Steed. New York: Peter Lang, 2002.

Winkler, Scott A. "Is This Heaven? No, It's Iowa. -Or- The Avant-Garde in a Cornfield Cures What Ails You." Journal of Popular Culture 37.4 (2004): 704-18.

Video/Audio Resources

Baseball. Ken Burns, dir. Videocassette. Florentine Films/WEA, 1994.

Online Resources

Baseball Cards 1887-1914
"This collection presents a Library of Congress treasure -- 2,100 early baseball cards dating from 1887 to 1914. The cards show such legendary figures as Ty Cobb stealing third base for Detroit, Tris Speaker batting for Boston, and pitcher Cy Young posing formally in his Cleveland uniform. Other notable players include Connie Mack, Walter Johnson, King Kelly, and Christy Mathewson."
Dirks, Tom. Field of Dreams (1989).
Overview and lush, detailed summary of the film with lots of quoting.
Field of Dreams Movie Site
Web site about the film, the cast, the players in the film as well as the history and the facts about the players in the film, interactive games and amusements, virtual field of dreams postcards, the book Shoeless Joe, movie trivia, tour information about the real field of dreams in Iowa, and souvenirs from the movie site.
Left & Center Field of Dreams
Extensive web site on the movie as well as information about the actual field of dreams located in Iowa. Also includes links to other web sites such as movie trivia, Ghost Players, 10th anniversary, souvenirs, guest book, festival, maps, and
The Shoeless Joe Jackson Virtual Hall of Fame
"This site is devoted to the memory of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the movement to persuade Major League Baseball to remove Joe Jackson from their ineligible list, thereby making him eligible for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame."