Professor Firstdraft’s GOODTIME SCRIPTORIUM

Dispatches from the far reaches of the WGF.



Were you the kid always picked last for sports teams? The one who groans when the suggestion of playing a friendly game of basketball or baseball arises? If that’s you, don’t let the baseball theme deter you from watching number 88 on WGA’s List of 101 Greatest Screenplays: FIELD OF DREAMS.

FIELD OF DREAMS, screenplay by Phil Alden Robinson, is an adaptation of the book SHOELESS JOE by W.P. Kinsella that delves into the historical 1920 Black Sox Scandal wherein the Cincinnati Red Sox were accused of intentionally losing the World Series in exchange for money.

But this history is merely back-story pivoting forward a beautiful, cathartic story about second chances and parental relationships long gone.

In these pages dated Sept. 8, 1987 we see Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella spouting something along the lines of ‘I-hear-voices-in-my-head’. But don’t worry; it’s not that kind of movie. The voice say ‘If you build it, he will come’, which becomes the message that carries us through Ray’s transformation.

And here we can feel that switch inside Ray where he begins to accept those words, solidifying themselves as more than just maddening mumbles coming from some unknown origin. Just listen to this: This is serious. Ray shakes his head and repeats the words to himself… And he thinks about these words…

This is no longer skepticism. This is a realization.

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Here’s the deal: Throughout 2014, we’re posting pages from every script on the WGA’s list of the 101 Greatest Screenplays, as chosen by Guild membership, because we have every one in our library. Sure, we have other scripts that didn’t make it onto the list, either because they didn’t make the cut or because they were produced after the list was generated (presumably SHARKNADO, which we totally have a copy of, is only in the latter category).