Field Of Dreams Transcends The Game It Honors

Everyone who loves baseball has several reasons why they like it. Some call it the perfect game, others call it the thinking man’s athletic sport. Still, others love the fanfare that comes with going to a game. There is one thing for sure, every fan has a baseball hero, and no sport loves it’s heroes the way the game of baseball does. They honor and remember all of its greats like no other profession and entertainment does. They are near mythic heroes, and the stories are like that of old Greek gods. Field Of Dreams pays homage to all of that.

One movie took all these loves of heroes and the love people had of their heroes and did it better than any tribute any book or story could do. Field Of Dreams is just that, a tip of the hat to baseball’s heroes and those that remember and love those heroes. It’s not as much a baseball movie as it is a love of what baseball has brought to people and how it has affected people.

Field Of Dreams is much more than a baseball movie; it’s a nostalgia movie. It uses baseball as it’s vehicle to show a man’s never forgotten the love of his father and how he vowed to love his family as much as his father loved him only he’s going to show it much more than his father did.

Kevin Costner has been criticized in the past for making too many baseball movies and playing it safe in that regard, but his first two baseball movies were nothing short of pure gems as far as movies go. We did not include Field Of Dreams on our top five baseball movie list because it seems to be about so much more than baseball. A man’s search to understand his father and his father’s love for a game, baseball is the medium the storyteller uses many fathers and sons can appreciate that.

It helps to pull the intended emotions of the storyteller and made every man who saw the movie or read the book immediately want to hug his father and play catch with them just one more time.

Field Of Dreams is a movie that will forever be seen by young men and their fathers that will translate through the line of time. It will always also make grown men cry forever, and that’s what it should do. There is no shame in that and maybe it being a sports movie is what makes that OK, but sports or not it’s a love story between a father and son and with one game of catch all the unsaid things they wanted to say to each other is finally said and accepted.

Some Roles Deserve More Recognition: Dennis Quaid As Doc Holliday

If there is one tragedy to award seasons (and I understand there are multitudes of disasters) it’s that sometimes genuinely beautiful performances, award-worthy performances, get overlooked and fall through the cracks, the failure to garner any nominations let alone even one statue. It may take time to come up with a list but there is one performance that pushes to the forefront of my mind when this topic is brought up, and that is Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday in the often panned Wyatt Earp.
The film itself has been criticized from its release on even by some of its stars, I think of Michael Madsen in particular. It is long and can be dry at times and isn’t Kevin Costner’s most energetic performance but none the less it has several high points. Two that come immediately to mind are the performances of Gene Hackman and Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday. Part of the criticisms of Wyatt Earp is its release timing. It was released six months after the very popular and highly praised film, based on roughly the same subject, Tombstone. Tombstone also turned in a magnificent performance from Val Kilmer, who played the same role as Dennis Quaid, the infamous, Doc Holliday.
I could write all day about the differences between the Wyatt Earp and Tombstone films, but the focus here is on Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday, one of the most notorious gunfighter’s in the old west.

Doc was well known for a few things. First was his name, John Holliday was given the name Doc, because he was, in actuality a dentist before a famed gunfighter. After Doc contracted tuberculosis, he turned to the outlaw life as a way to thumb his nose at his illness and God whom he blamed for his illness. Being the most famous old west figure to hail from the great state of Georgia, there is a special place in Dixie’s heart for Doc. There are museums and monuments to Doc in his hometown of Griffin, Georgia.

The factors that lead me to feel the way I do about Quaid’s role in the film are several, but I will only examine a few. My goal is not to compare it to the favored Val Kilmer performance because I feel that would be unfair to Quaid.

First is the effort that Quaid put into this role. An ordinarily thick well-built man, Quaid lost over 30 pounds to play the dying and sickened gunfighter. With a gaunt look and spot-on Georgian accent (I would know I heard it growing up), Quaid almost doesn’t even look like himself. Instead, he is a shell of a man, almost as if he had tuberculosis. Quaid became someone different and looked and sounded more different than ever he had become Doc.

My next thought lay within his performance and compared to historical records, Quaid captured the ornery disposition that Holliday possessed. With a strong opinion and natural ability to offend, Doc indeed on made one friend late in his short life and that was Wyatt Earp. The scenes in the film between Wyatt and Doc are what makes the movie worth the entire experience. Costner and Quaid played against and with each other, so naturally, you are overcome with the thought that it genuinely was Doc and Wyatt. This has very little to do with Costner’s acting and everything to do with his trust and faith in Quaid to carry each scene.

Quaid will never get an award for his role of Doc Holliday despite whether or not he deserved one but from this fan’s viewpoint, it wouldn’t have hurt or been out of line to give recognition where recognition is due.