HomeAmerican EntertainmentHappy Birthday James Earl Jones: Remembering the Acting Legend’s Iconic ‘Field of Dreams’ Monologue

Happy Birthday James Earl Jones: Remembering the Acting Legend’s Iconic ‘Field of Dreams’ Monologue

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Happy birthday, James Earl Jones! Today, we celebrate the 91-year-old Hollywood icon by remembering his iconic Field of Dreams monologue.

In the scene, James Earl Jones character Terence Mann tells Kevin Costner’s Ray Kinsella, “Ray, people will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. [The people will] arrive at your door as innocent as children, loaning the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around. You’ll say, ‘It’s only twenty dollars per person.’ They’ll pass over the ones without even thinking about it. For it is money they have and peace they lack.”

James Earl Jones’ Mann goes on to declare that the people will walk out to the bleachers and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. “They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along with one of the baselines. Where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game. And it’ll be as if they’d dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.”

James Earl Jones’ Mann goes on to convince Ray that the one constant through all the years for him has been baseball. “America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game — it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhhhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

Field of Dreams follows Kinsella who is inspired to pursue his dream. With the support of his wife, Kinsella turns his ordinary cornfield into a baseball field. 

James Earl Jones Reflects on His Roles in ‘Field Of Dreams,’ ‘Star Wars,’ & ‘The Sandlot’ 

During a 2016 interview with Us Weekly, James Earl Jones reflects on his experience on the set of the 1989 film Field of Dreams. He jokingly declared, “What was great about Field of Dreams was the smell of pig manure. Wow, that is strong.”

James Earl Jones also spoke about his role in The Empire Strikes Back when he declared that he was Luke’s father. While chatting about the famous line in the film, Jones revealed that people still come up to him and him to say the line. “There was a time I wasn’t allowed to. [Director and creator] George Lucas is very careful about the stuff he wrote. I can’t just carelessly [say it].”

In regards to playing the feared neighbor, Mr. Mertle, in The Sandlot, James Earl Jones went on to add, “You can have 14 lines and be a great star.”