The story begins when Ray Kinsella, a reluctant Iowa farmer, although he won't admit he's reluctant, starts hearing a voice telling him "build it and he will come." Ray dreams, ponders and finally plows under many acres of his crop to build a baseball field on his farm, against all rational logic. And the magic begins. This magic takes Ray on a strange quest in search of a '60s radical holed up in a New York City apartment writing children's books played by James Earl Jones - to tell why would spoil the movie. But suffice it to say Jones ends up with one of the most memorable "speeches" in the movie about the nostalgia of baseball.
It's hard to really do justice to the plot without spoiling the movie but it will at times give you chills and in the end is very uplifting.
FIELD OF DREAMS is a marvelous examination of America's infatuation with baseball and a moving exploration of family loyalties. Ray (as sensitively played by Kevin Costner) has a loving wife (Amy Madigan, making it look so easy) and a doting daughter, but something is missing. A voice tells him that he must build a baseball field in his corn crop (in Iowa!). When he does, the apparition of Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) shows up to play. What follows is a series of baseball adventures on and off Ray's baseball diamond, as well as in and out of the present day. Eventually, it becomes apparent that what was missing in Ray's life can only be addressed through baseball, and through a cultural icon from his past, played by the ubiquitous James Earl Jones.
When everything is resolved, there's a bit of throwaway dialogue that, in reality, is very moving. "It was you," Ray tells Shoeless Joe Jackson in reference to the voice he'd heard early in the film. "No, it was YOU," Jackson replies, indicating that
Ray's conscience prompted the entire adventure. Don't let anyone tell you that FIELD OF DREAMS is just a baseball movie. That would be like someone telling you that baseball is just a game.