Thursday, August 1, 2013

Throwback Thursday (Field of Dreams)

Are you familiar with "Field of Dreams"? (Beyond what I wrote about heaven and Iowa a couple of weeks ago, of course.) I had no idea that Field of Dreams began as a W.P. Kinsella novel - titled Shoeless Joe - until today, but the movie has been one of my favorites since it first hit theaters in the late 1980's.

The movie takes place in Iowa and was filmed on an actual farm in Dyersville, Iowa, and I grew to love the story even more once I developed a tie to the state (I went to college at the University of Iowa and lived in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids for a combined seven years). Tourists were/are welcome to visit the farm, play baseball on the field, and wander through the neighboring corn maze, so during the fall of my sophomore year in college, my mom and I made the drive from Iowa City to Dyersville to experience a little movie magic for ourselves.
A view of Ray and Annie's house from the shortstop position.
A special shout-out to my hubby and son, without whom I wouldn't have been
able to identify my photo-taking location on the field as the shortstop position.
A view of the entire property - farm house, baseball field and lights,
and corn fields - from the tower in the middle of the corn maze.
Kevin Costner carved a heart and Ray and Annie's names into
the first base line bleachers (which you can see in the top photo).
Me, somewhere in the middle of the corn maze. In my
souvenir bag is a Field of Dreams shot glass that I still use.
(Not so much for shots anymore though...)
A few fun and little-known facts about "Field of Dreams":

  • Because of a drought during filming, the dying corn had to be watered regularly. Those in charge of watering went overboard, however, and as a result the corn grew too quickly for filming to keep up with it. In a number of scenes, Kevin Costner is walking on a wooden plank in the corn fields so that the corn looks the right height.
  • Sod was brought in cover the baseball field, but the sod never took hold and eventually died. The lush green grass you see in the movie is actually the dead grass, painted green.
  • Tom Hanks was originally offered the role of Ray but turned it down.
  • Matt Damon and Ben Affleck - before they were famous, of course - were extras in the Fenway Park scene of the movie.

  • Ray Liotta's line-drive that knocked over the bag of baseballs next to Kevin Costner was sheer luck.

  • A friend of mine from college - who lived in Dyersville, Iowa when filming took place - is in one of the cars used in the final shot of the movie.

"Is this heaven?"
"No, it's Iowa."
It sure is.

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