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Ray Liotta never saw one of his best movies for a very sad reason

It's easy to limit Ray Liotta to his role in Goodfellas, but he was also in many other greats. It turns out, though, he never got to see his own classic movie.

Ray Liotta as Shoeless Jackson in Field of Dreams

When we lost Ray Liotta, we really lost one of the Hollywood greats. Most will know Ray Liotta from his work in one of the best drama movies of all time, Goodfellas. But he also expanded his career into an expanse of different avenues, from the small screen to the big.

Even his last role in Cocaine Bear was a testament to his range, variety, and unwavering ability to be entertaining. From the best comedy movies to the most gripping thrillers, there wasn’t much he didn’t manage to accomplish.

But sadly, one thing he never did was watch one of his most well-known movies. As one of the best sports movies ever made, Field of Dreams is about a man who builds a baseball field in his cornfield that becomes inhabited with the ghosts of legendary baseball players. (“If you build it, he will come.”) In this, Liotta plays ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, the reincarnation of the famous American outfielder.

The movie was released to positive acclaim, and was even nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. In 2017, it was also selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. One of the best movies of all time? …Maybe, maybe not. But it certainly holds a special place in the hearts of those who’ve seen it.

But Liotta never saw himself in the movie, and for an emotional reason. In a recently published Deadline interview that took place before his death, Liotta discussed Field of Dreams, and revealed why he’d never watched it.

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“My mother had cancer, and I was in the middle of doing Goodfellas,” he said. “There was a screening one weekend. My dad and my mom came, and we were watching it, and she just started not feeling well. Her lungs started getting… She felt the fluid coming. She was having trouble breathing, so we just left.”

From then on, Liotta never had the opportunity to sit down and watch the rest of the movie (or, perhaps, he didn’t want to). When he passed away in 2022, one of his greatest movies remained unseen by the man himself.

“I don’t know why I’ve never seen it. It’s not like if I watched it, I’d cry,” he said. “I mean, I’ve seen what I did, different clips, because for a while there, every paper was using it as Field of something… Whatever was going on in the government at one time or other. But that’s why I’ve never seen it.”

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Field of Dreams is a worthy installment in Liotta’s filmography, perhaps second only to Goodfellas. Also starring Yellowstone‘s Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams serves as more than a mere baseball flick. It also explores the themes of legacy and nostalgia and, to many, is a memorable piece of American cinema.

For more greats, take a look at our list of the best movies based on a true story and best thriller movies. You can also find out why Ray Liotta was grossed out by his own scene in this horror movie. Plus, we’ve also got a breakdown of all the new movies coming soon.

And, for more on some of the best actors around, check out our lists of the best Robert De Niro movies, best Matt Damon movies, and the best directors of all time.