7.2/10
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51 user 26 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.

Director:

Ryan Little

Writers:

David Pliler, Dony West (song)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Cole ... Coach Larry Gelwix
Sean Astin ... Marcus Tate
Neal McDonough ... Coach Richard Penning
Sean Faris ... Rick Penning
Julie Warner ... Natalie Penning
Penn Badgley ... Lars
Eliot Schwartz Eliot Schwartz ... Marty (as Eliot Benjamin)
Michael J. Pagan ... Kurt
Nathan West ... Quentin
Max Kasch ... Griggs
Arielle Kebbel ... Emily
Kepa Kruse ... Tumo (as John Kepa Kruse)
Junior Salt Junior Salt ... Peeta
Jeremy Earl ... Sanchez
Larry Bagby ... Coach Cal
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Movie Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Ryan Little Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Provo, Utah, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$68,283, 3 October 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$630,649, 2 November 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full 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 »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, when Rick angrily charges at a sideline bench, there are people right next to it. When the camera switches to show Rick kicking down the bench, the people have disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Coach Richard Penning: I give you the keys to the car and this is what I get.
Rick Penning: After what I've been through the last year, you really believe that I'd be messing with drugs and booze the day I get home?
Coach Richard Penning: Okay, there where drugs and beer all over you and the car.
Rick Penning: It was Lars and Marty. Test me. I haven't had a drink in a year.
Coach Richard Penning: Rick, do you have any idea how much potential you had.
Rick Penning: Lars set me up.
Coach Richard Penning: See, my future was stolen.
Rick Penning: [under his breath] You're not even listening.
Coach Richard Penning: An-an-an... you know, an-an-an-and, what are you ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the full credits roll, the team can be seen chanting on the field. See more »

Connections

Spin-off Larry Gelwix: No Regrets (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Corporate Logic
(Pigmix)
Written by Katya Shalayeva & Oleksiy Ginchev
Performed by Katya Shalayeva (as Stereolizza)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Touching redemption story with good sports action
17 August 2009 | by matowakitaSee 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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