The one movie that's at the top of my “whoa, stop the channel surfing!” list is Field of Dreams. I swear, if I ever win the lottery and move out of the city, I'm pretty sure one day, my wife will find me out in a cornfield building a baseball diamond. That movie...there's so much I could say about it to let you know why I love it so much, but that's not the purpose of this article.
What I'd like to do is bring to light a Field of Dreams fan theory that I just ran across, something that I'm kicking myself for never even thinking about! I'm sure there are some of you who will say that you thought of this a long time ago, and call me a big dummy for just now discovering it. The earliest I can find this theory popping up on the internet is in 2004.
Get ready for it...
Terence Mann is actually dead in the movie!
If you're like me, and haven't ever even considered it, I'll let that sink in for a while.
Ready? Here are the reasons this makes total and complete sense!
Doc Graham was a ghost, so why not Terence, as well?
Hell, the whole movie was full of ghosts. Shoeless Joe, the umps...so why would Terence Mann be the only live person Ray looks for?
“Ease his pain.”
Ray figures out that it's Terence whose pain The Voice is talking about, so he seeks him out. Only, he finds a reclusive, spiteful man who hasn't written a book in a long, long time. Reclusive? Spiteful? Unresolved issues? As a child, all Terence really wanted to do was play baseball, just like Moonlight Graham. That all spells out angry ghost! And to ease his pain, Ray has to come get him (or his ghost) and bring him to his magical field.
The exact moment Ray first sees Terence as a ghost?
Remember the scene where Ray is turning his van around to go home?
Could this be the first time Ray sees Terence dead? Maybe he didn't die before Ray goes on his little quest; maybe he died in his apartment when Ray brought him back, and the man in the headlights is actually Terence's spirit! The one thing that tells me that this could be the first of Ghost Terence we see is his sudden mood change. The entire time he's with Ray, he seems to despise the whole deal, especially getting kidnapped. But seeing him in the headlights, all of the sudden ready to go, it seems like he could have died, maybe of a heart attack or getting hit by a car right there on the street!
What About The Police Officer And Hot Dogs?
At Fenway Park, Ray asks him what he wants to eat, to which he says a hot dog and beer. Ray looks at the vendor and says to make it two. Why can the vendor see him, just like the cop that pulled Ray over for a broken tail light? I believe it's because Mann hasn't died yet, as I mentioned above.
Fun fact - did you know Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were both uncredited extras somewhere in one of the Fenway Park scenes? Good luck finding them, but they were there!
Doesn't Terence Call His Dad?
In the motel room, in the scene before Ray meets the older Doc Graham, Ray finds out that the media knows Terence is missing from a newspaper headline. Terence decides he better call his father, who is quoted as saying that he hasn't heard from his son. Mann grabs the phone, and Ray leaves the motel, where he does a funky time travel thing and meets Graham. Do we ever see him make the phone call? No...ghosts can interact with living people in this movie, as we see Ray's family talking to Terence.
Wait, Why Can Mark See Terence, But None Of The Other Ghosts?
What's that you say? Annie's brother can see and talk to Terence Mann; he introduces himself to Mann as Michael Jackson, for Pete Rose's sake. So what about that? To that I say, that's a damn fine counterpoint, one that I had to give some serious thought to. But think about when Doc Graham crosses the barrier to save Karin. Mark never saw him out on the field, because he didn't believe. Then, all of the sudden, he saw him. It's not because he magically started believing at that very moment, but Doc left the field and made himself known. Doc was still a ghost, but it's like he chose to make himself seen. Once Mark saw him appear, after a few seconds, it was thank you Shoeless Joe, he believes! It's as if one of the rules was that the ghosts can also choose when they want to be seen, and Terence could have given a flying fly ball if Mark could see him.
Check out Terence's big speech one more time before I make my last point-
And now for my closing argument!
“But you're not invited.”
This is the part the really proves to me that he HAD to have already died at some point in the movie. Near the end of the movie, Terence Mann fades away into the cornfield.
Who else does that? Dead people! Why can't Ray go? Shoeless Joe says it's because he's not invited. Of course he's not invited...he's still alive. But is Terence Mann?
Not so sure now, are you?
What do you think about this theory? Base hit? Strike out? Or are you like me, and you're going to spend the next hour looking for Field of Dreams clips on YouTube, since Netflix and Hulu BOTH don't have it available?
One more time, a catch with dad...right in the feels!