In 1989, Kevin Costner played one of his biggest roles as Ray Kinsella in the classic baseball movie, Field Of Dreams. The story follows Kinsella after a mysterious voice urges him to build a baseball field in the cornfield outside his house. Despite protests from both his friends and family, Ray builds the field which summons the ghosts of former baseball players to play the game once again.
Besides Costner, The Field Of Dreams cast also includes James Earl Jones, who plays former writer and activist Terence Mann, Amy Madigan as the supportive wife Annie Kinsella, and Ray Liotta, who stars as the famous baseball player “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.
On paper, the premise behind Field Of Dreams is a little silly. The movie is essentially about ghosts playing baseball. But it worked! Field Of Dreams was a huge hit and made $84.4 million dollars at the box office. For those fanatics out there, here’s a list of the top quotes from Field Of Dreams.
“If You Build It…”
Let’s start with one of the most famous quotes from Field Of Dreams. At the beginning of the movie, we see Ray outside in his cornfields when a voice whispers the infamous line to him, “If you build it, he will come.” We soon find out that he means the field of dreams park, but this quotation makes several appearances throughout the film and is last said by Joe Jackson.
- Shoeless Joe Jackson: If you build it, he will come.
“Is This Heaven?”
When Joe Jackson makes his first appearance at Ray’s field, he asks him, “Is this heaven?” Right away, Ray responds, “No.” Then he pauses before continuing, “This is Iowa.”
This line also makes a comeback at the end of the movie when Ray’s father, John Kinsella, shows up in his Yankees uniform. After Ray tells him that it is Iowa, his dad responds, “Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.”
Ray asks, “Is there a heaven?” John replies, “Oh yeah, it’s the place where dreams come true.”
As Ray looks around his farm, he contemplates aloud, “Maybe this is heaven.”
- Shoeless Joe Jackson: Is this Heaven?
- Ray Kinsella: No…..It’s Iowa
“Peace, love, and dope.”
After Ray hears that mysterious voice again during a parent meeting at his kid’s school where they discuss the appropriateness of Terance Mann’s book The Boat Rocker, he goes looking for the author at his home in Boston. When he gets there, it’s clear that Mann spends most of his days now as a recluse.
Mann acts hostile towards Ray and sends him away immediately after he knocks on his door. After putting up a fight, Ray says, “You changed—you know that?” Out of spite, he replies, “Yes, I suppose I have! How about this? Peace, love, and dope. Now get the hell out of here!”
- Ray Kinsella: (being rushed out of Mann’s loft) You’ve changed – you know that?
- Terence Mann: Yes – I suppose I have! How about this: “Peace, love, and dope”? Now get the hell out of here!
“What Do You Want?”
After Terance begrudgingly goes to Fenway Park with Ray, they continue to bicker. As they make their way towards their seats, Ray questions why he no longer wants to be in the spotlight. Terance explains how he feels like his work didn’t enact the change he wanted to see in the 60s and that he isn’t as popular with American people (as we saw in the scene at Ray’s daughter’s school).
Ray asks Terance, “So, what do you want?” He responds by saying, “I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves. I want my privacy.”
Frustrated by the answer, Ray says, “No, what do you want?” There’s a jump cut that shows the concession stand behind them. Realizing what he means, Terance asks for “a dog and a beer.”
- Ray Kinsella: So what do you want?
- Terence Mann: I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves. I want my privacy.
- Ray Kinsella: No, I mean, what do you WANT? (Gestures to the concession stand)
- Terence Mann: Oh. Dog and a beer.
“There’ll Be Other Days”
After finding out former player Archie “Moonlight” Graham has passed away during their visit to Minnesota, Ray runs into him one night on the street. Graham got promoted to the major leagues, but only got to play for half an inning before his professional career ended. He went on to become a physician instead.
Graham explains to Ray that, “We just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments while they’re happening. Back then, I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.” This line sums up one of the movie’s reoccurring themes — guilt and regret.
- Archie Graham: We just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments while they’re happening. Back then I thought, “Well, there’ll be other days”. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.
“How ‘Bout A Warning?”
Young Archie Graham joins the game after getting picked up on the side of the road by Ray and Terance on their way back to Iowa. The rookie winks at the pitcher before he throws the ball. In disdain, the pitcher throws the ball right in Archie’s direction.
The young slugger turns behind him and says, “Hey, ump, how ’bout a warning?” The umpire wittily responds, “Sure, kid. Watch out yah don’t get killed.”
- (Archie’s at bat and is almost hit by the pitcher’s throws, twice)
- Archie Graham: Hey, ump, how ’bout a warning?
- Clean-Shaven Umpire: Sure, kid. Watch out you don’t get killed.
“People Will Come”
On the verge of having to sign foreclosure documents because Ray spent his savings on the baseball field that isn’t bringing in any revenue, Terence Mann reassures him with a touching monologue that begins with this:
- Terence Mann: Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
In the closing scene of the movie, Ray and John Kinsella say goodnight and shake hands. As John heads back into the cornfield, Ray stops him and says, “Hey, Dad. You wanna have a catch?”
His father turns around and responds, “I’d like that.” This scene signifies that resolution between the two, and Ray no longer has to carry the burden of not talking to his father in the last years of his life.
Additionally, when the camera pans out of the father/son game, the audience sees all the cars lined up to watch a game at the field of dreams. It suggests that Ray and his family will be able to stay on the farm for the foreseeable future.
- Ray Kinsella: Hey, Dad. You wanna have a catch?
- John Kinsella: I’d like that.
How To Visit The Field Of Dreams Baseball Field
For the movie, Universal Studios built a real baseball diamond on a farm in Dyersville, Iowa. After the filming was completed, the family that owned the farm made a very smart decision, they kept it intact. They didn’t bulldoze the baseball field and plant more crops, they built a sign advertising the movie site and added a gift shop. You can even play a game of baseball on the field.
If you don’t plan on making the trip to Dyersville, Iowa to see the Field Of Dreams in person, then you can use Google Maps. Just enter 42°29’51.8″N 91°03’18.4″W to see the baseball field from above. It’s just west of the Missippi River.
Did These Famous Quotes From Field Of Dreams Bring Back Memories?
Hopefully, these Field of Dreams quotes made you laugh and brought back memories from the first time you watched the film. Do you have any favorite Field Of Dreams quotes that we didn’t mention? Drop them in the comments below!
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NERD NOTE: The 1989 Kevin Costner movie, Field Of Dreams, was originally titled Shoeless Joe. The film is based on the W.P. Kinsella book called Shoeless Joe and that was the title that Universal Studios planned on using. However, test audiences hated the name Shoeless Joe and thought the movie was about a homeless man without shoes. Universal called director and screenwriter Phil Alden Robinson to tell him that the were changing the movie’s title to “Field Of Dreams”. Robinson then reluctantly called W.P. Kinsella to tell him the bad news. But Kinsella didn’t care. The original title for his book was “Dream Field” and the book publisher changed it to “Shoeless Joe”.
Such a great movie. Costner was on a roll until he did Waterworld.