[Quick Summary: An Iowa farmer is led by a Voice to build a baseball field in his corn field & to go find a reclusive writer, all in the face of skepticism & potential financial ruin.]
Yeah, I cried.
I banked them for as long as I could, but when Ray says in awe, "I am pitching to Shoeless Joe Jackson", I lost it.
This script doesn't read like a clunky adaption for two reasons:
1) No Cul de Sacs - I heard the director/writer say in an interview that he first eliminated all the cul de sacs, i.e., the things that didn't push the plot forward.
I know from covering many scripts that it's such a temptation to keep cool subplots in.
ex. The writer had to drop the identical twin brother storyline from the book because it distracted from Ray's development.
2) Streamline to Focus - The script is a moving bullet from beginning to end because it is always clear what Ray is facing, what his motive is, & what inner struggle he's trying to overcome. Any other distractions were stricken.
ex. The writer changed the character of J.D. Salinger to a made up writer b/c mixing fictional and non-fictional people didn't make it real enough on-screen.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Nothing should hamper the story arc pushing forward.
I saw an interview of the book's author who said that he cried when he read the script. He was moved by a work based on his own book - now that is a great adaption!
Field of Dreams (1989)
by Phil Alden Robinson