7.3/10
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47 user 27 critic

Forever Strong (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama, Sport | 26 September 2008 (USA)
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A rugby player is put up in a juvenile detention center. There he plays for the Highland Rugby team and ultimately plays against his father in the National Championships.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Marty (as Eliot Benjamin)
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Kepa Kruse ...
Tumo (as John Kepa Kruse)
Junior Salt ...
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Storyline

Rick Penning, the 17-year-old star player on his coach/father's rugby team, lands inside the Wasatch County Juvenile Detention Center following his second drunk driving conviction (and where his father leaves him to rot). Mistrust and dislike of the situation makes Rick anything but a model prisoner, but counselors at the center nonetheless hook him up with the Highland Rugby Team, a team renowned for its long string of successive state championships. Its coach, Larry Gelwix, has a surprisingly unexpected philosophy: train boys to be champions in life first, then on the field. Rick doesn't buy into this, which could earn him some time in State Prison if he doesn't turn his life and attitude around by the time he turns 18. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Greatest Victories are Born in the Heart

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving teen drug and alcohol use, and for some disturbing images | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

26 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Ryan Little Project  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$68,283 (USA) (3 October 2008)

Gross:

$630,649 (USA) (31 October 2008)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Larry Gelwix participated in the film as both a cast member (referee #4), and as the film's Rugby technical advisor, also receiving a "special thanks" credit in the end titles. His daughter, Jenny Gelwix, also participated in the film, as the Rugby wardrobe coordinator. See more »

Quotes

Marty: Now, why's he smilin'?
Lars: Let's crack open his head and find out.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The coaching philosophies of Larry Gelwix has led the Highland Rugby team to a record of 361 wins, 9 losses. They continue to dominate in their sport today. See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Make Me Dance
Written by Jeff Hinton and Quint Randle
Performed by Joshua Creek
Courtesy of Covenant Communications, INC.
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User Reviews

 
Touching redemption story with good sports action
17 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think a several of America's baseball movies are among the best movies ever made. When this movie was in production and heard it described as a rugby movie. I'd read about the Highland team in the newspapers, but didn't have high expectations for this film about a sport that didn't interest me.

Last night I viewed it "on-demand" and loved it almost as much as my favorite baseball movies. Ryan Little and the cast and crew did an amazing job. Neil McDonough was especially convincing. As the "bad dad" he displayed fine range and a subtle, but moving character arc.

I also enjoyed the Pacific Islander actors. I've been fortunate to know many of these fine people and this film captures their wonderful spirit and culture. A flashback showing how the Islander culture became such a key element of Highland's team would have been a excellent addition to the film.

Some pretty tacky movies have been shot in Utah recently. It's good to see a quality film like this from the Beehive State.


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