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I think it means that if I build a baseball field out there that Shoeless Joe Jackson will get to come back and play ball again.  -Ray Kinsella

Review by Roger Ebert April 21, 1989

:: This is the kind of movie Frank Capra might have directed, and James Stewart might have starred in - a movie about dreams.

It is important not to tell too much about the plot. (I'm grateful I knew nothing about the movie when I went to see it, but the ads give away the Shoeless Joe angle.) Let it be said that Annie supports her husband's vision, and that he finds it necessary to travel east to Boston so that he can enlist the support of a famous writer (James Earl Jones) who has disappeared from sight, and north to Minnesota to talk to what remains of a doctor (Burt Lancaster) who never got the chance to play with the pros.

The movie sensibly never tries to make the slightest explanation for the strange events that happen after the diamond is constructed.

There is, of course, the usual business about how the bank thinks the farmer has gone haywire and wants to foreclose on his mortgage (the Capra and Stewart movies always had evil bankers in them). But there is not a corny, stupid payoff at the end. Instead, the movie depends on a poetic vision to make its point.

The director, Phil Alden Robinson, and the writer, W.P. Kinsella, are dealing with stuff that's close to the heart (it can't be a coincidence that the author and the hero have the same last name).

They love baseball, and they think it stands for an earlier, simpler time when professional sports were still games and not industries.

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