An American classic that depends on the sport, subculture and colloquialisms of an understanding audience may not make the transition to the United Kingdom as well as expected. It is the reverse effect of projects such as I, Daniel Blake or The Damned United not quite working out their American market. Not because they necessarily need to, but because the culture is so volatile and different in comparison. Field of Dreams is a bridge for that gap, an experience led by grand performances that can include just about everyone in its baseball-led drama, sports jargon et al. Audiences can connect with ideas and cultural pieces beyond their own, but not baseball. Baseball is the sport of hell.
Noir and seedy press agents with trilbies and oversized cameras are a beautiful match. The iconography presented by later efforts to replicate this blend are nice offerings of a time that was so thoroughly well utilised by the movies. The Public Eye with Joe Pesci shows the visual enthusiasm best of all with its poster. Cigar chomping hacks with a knack for wrinkling out a story. Sweet Smell of Success hopes for the same effects, and with Burt Lancaster in a leading role alongside Tony Curtis, it is hard not to feel some level of comfort and safety with his capable hands guiding a story of sinister dealings. The hustle and bustle of the streets in these opening moments are unavoidably brilliant, bringing life to the darker streets of this city.
While the spaghetti westerns dominated the cult market and rough movie houses, the frequent efforts of the Hollywood machine offered safe, reliable ensembles. The Professionals is one such piece. With all the hallmarks of the genre, no ensemble in the world could counteract the effect Eastwood and Van Cleef had on the gun-toting streets of these dusty communities. As impossible it may be to stand up to such titans, director Richard Brooks gives it an honest shot, assembling some of the recognisable faces of the fast-fading genre, combining Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster as they hit the road together in the hopes of rescuing a trophy wife from the clutches of typical Mexican bandits.