Forever Strong (2008)

Forever Strong 2008tt0840322.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Forever Strong (2008)
  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 3,571 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Sport
  • Release Date: 26 September 2008 (USA)
  • Runtime: USA:112 min
  • Filming Location: Granite High School – 3305 S 500 E, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  • Gross: $630,649(USA)(2 November 2008)
  • Director: Ryan Little
  • Stars: Sean Faris, Penn Badgley and Gary Cole
  • Original Music By: J Bateman  Bart Hendrickson   
  • Soundtrack: Corporate Logic
  • Plot Keyword: Rugby | Montage | Juvie | Beautiful Woman | Athlete

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • David Pliler  writer
  • Dony West  song

Known Trivia

  • Sean Faris runs 6 miles twice a day to get in rugby shape in the 100+ weather at Utah.
  • Sean Faris sprained his ankle during the shooting.
  • This film took 21 years in the making.
  • Keep watching after the credits.

Goofs: Factual errors: Rugby Football Union matches are played in two halves of 40 minutes. On numerous occasions the scoreboard shows half time or full time ending at 60 minutes.

Plot: 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. Full summary »  »

Story: 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  


Synopsis: Rick Penning lives life just like he plays rugby; fast, hard-hitting and intense. When life on the edge lands him in jail, prison ward Marcus Tate offers him a chance to get back in the game by playing for his rival, Highland Rugby. Reluctantly Rick joins the team where he must adopt the grueling training schedule and unique code of conduct that Coach Gelwix enforces, or finish out the season behind bars. Egos clash as bitter competitors struggle to become a team. An unlikely brotherhood is formed with his Highland teammates, just as Rick is released from jail and sent back home to rejoin his former team, coached by his overbearing father. Heading into a faceoff with Highland at the National Championship, Rick is forced to choose where his loyalty lies. [D-Man2010]

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Adam Abel known as producer
  • Steven A. Lee known as line producer
  • Ryan Little known as producer
  • Brian Peck known as associate producer
  • Brad Pelo known as executive producer
  • David Pliler known as co-executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Gary Cole known as Coach Larry Gelwix
  • Sean Astin known as Marcus Tate
  • Neal McDonough known as Coach Richard Penning
  • Sean Faris known as Rick Penning
  • Julie Warner known as Natalie Penning
  • Penn Badgley known as Lars
  • Eliot Benjamin known as Marty
  • Michael J. Pagan known as Kurt
  • Nathan West known as Quentin
  • Max Kasch known as Griggs
  • Arielle Kebbel known as Emily
  • Kepa Kruse known as Tumo (as John Kepa Kruse)
  • Junior Salt known as Peeta
  • Jeremy Earl known as Sanchez
  • Larry Bagby known as Coach Cal
  • K. Danor Gerald known as Coach JT
  • Andrew Roach known as Joey
  • William Rubio known as Ernesto
  • Olesya Rulin known as Emily's Friend
  • Elizabeth Hansen known as Judge Alvarez
  • Joey Miyashima known as Defense Attorney
  • Lauren McKnight known as Gina (as Lauren McNight)
  • Jimmy Chunga known as Max Griffin
  • Brian Peck known as Colton McDonald
  • Dave Fox known as Radio Commentator (voice)
  • Maclain Nelson known as Scottish Captain
  • Britani Bateman known as Renee Tate
  • Taylor Bateman known as Samatha Tate
  • Mark Ormsby known as Field Referee #1
  • Mark Numbers known as Field Referee #2
  • Haloti Liavaa known as Field Referee #3
  • Larry Gelwix known as Field Referee #4
  • Dean Grace known as Field Referee #5
  • Mike Laws known as Field Referee #6
  • Rick Spencer known as Athletic Trainer
  • Alema Harrington known as Sports Reporter #2
  • Devin Wolfe known as Boy #1
  • Steve Luna known as Guard (as Steven Luna)
  • Emily Dunn known as Server (as Emily Tyndall)
  • Yolanda Wood known as Young Mother
  • Peter Tuiaki known as Flagstaff Hooker
  • Jonathan Law known as Flagstaff Assistant Coach
  • Ivan R. Bird known as Police Officer (as Ivan Bird)
  • Shareece Pfeiffer known as Marty's Girlfriend
  • Kirsten Wunderlich known as Party Girl
  • Jamey Airhart known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Dave Anderson known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Peter 'Hollywood' Black known as Highland Rugby Player
  • David Cole known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Nathan Herrscher known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Ben Hill known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Cameron Kiser known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Trevor King known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Preston Miller known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Scott Nielsen known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Colton Phippen known as Highland Rugby Player
  • David Root known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Ryan Roundy known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Andrew Swindle known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Jorge Portal known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Sam Thorley known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Pau Tuuanaiaou known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Robert 'Lopeti' Wolfgramm known as Highland Rugby Player
  • Matthew Flynn Bellows known as Highland player #1
  • Big Budah known as Bingham
  • Tyler Kain known as Tammy
  • Kim Page known as Emily's Mother
  • Irene Santiago known as Reporter
  • Teddi Siddall known as Cathy Gelwix
  • Andrew B. Ackerman known as Detention Boy (uncredited)
  • Morgan B. Ackerman known as Avid Highland Fan (uncredited)
  • Talon G. Ackerman known as Avid Highland Fan (uncredited)
  • Patrick Gibbs known as Criminal (uncredited)
  • Elizabeth Hales known as News Reporter (uncredited)
  • Carly Johnston known as Reporter (uncredited)
  • Carleigh King known as Hotel Receptionist (uncredited)
  • Alan Meyer known as Veteran Reporter (uncredited)
  • Taylor Moulton known as Avid Highland Fan (uncredited)
  • Savannah Ostler known as Student (uncredited)
  • Peter Phelps known as Referee (uncredited)
  • Jacob Shamy known as Reporter (uncredited)
  • Robin Westover known as Mother in Police Station (uncredited)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

  • Tiffany Dickens known as assistant hair stylist
  • Macy McKenzie known as assistant makeup artist
  • Laurie Vukich known as key hair stylist
  • Laurie Vukich known as makeup department head
  • Tiffany Vukich-Correa known as assistant makeup artist (as Tiffany Vukich)

Art Department:

  • Cindy Albertson known as property assistant
  • B.J. Harrison known as leadman
  • Heidi Hathaway known as scenic artist
  • Gabriel Jessop known as swing gang
  • Aubrey Lee known as swing gang
  • Jessica Lee known as swing gang
  • Beau MacKenzie known as carpenter
  • Jonathan McDonald known as swing gang
  • Rob McDowell known as swing gang (as Robert McDowell)
  • Scotty Meek known as swing gang (as Scottie Meek)
  • Eva Miller known as additional assistant
  • Kee Miller known as assistant property master
  • Jennifer Mortensen known as assistant scenic artist
  • D. Andy Nelson known as scenic artist
  • Becky Roundy known as property assistant
  • Jonas Sappington known as swing gang
  • Bryan Stinson known as swing gang
  • Anthony Straga known as on-set dresser
  • Jason Walser known as carpenter
  • W. Wayne Walser known as construction coordinator (as Wayne Walser)
  • Ariel Wing known as additional assistant
  • Bruce Wing known as property master


Production Companies:

  • Go Films
  • Picture Rock Entertainment

Other Companies:

  • Craze Agency, The  talent agency and representative
  • Hollywood Intermediate  digital intermediate services
  • Inflatable Crowd Company, The  inflatable mannequins
  • Murphy PR  publicity
  • Redman Movies and Stories  condors and lifts


  • Gravitas Ventures (2009) (USA) (video) (VOD)
  • Arkles Entertainment (2009) (New Zealand) (all media)
  • Con Dios Entertainment (2009) (Australia) (DVD)
  • Crane Movie Company (2008) (USA) (all media)
  • Eagle Films (2008) (non-USA) (all media) (Middle East)
  • HBO Hungary (2009) (Hungary) (TV) (original airing)
  • One Movie (2010) (Italy) (all media)
  • VVS Films (2009) (Canada) (all media)

..{tab=Other Stuff}

Special Effects:

  • Sandman Studios (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Colin V. Barton known as visual effects: title sequence
  • Rachel Clement known as digital cleanup artist
  • Rob Field known as visual effects: Sandman Studios
  • Matt Hoffman known as visual effects producer: Sandman Studios
  • Ammon Jones known as visual effects: Sandman Studios
  • Dennis Little known as DI producer
  • Mikhail E. Merkurieff known as visual effects: Sandman Studios
  • Shawn Neider known as visual effects coordinator: Sandman Studios
  • Stephen Sobisky known as visual effects supervisor: Sandman Studios
  • Doug Stewart known as digital compositor
  • Alan D. Williams known as visual effects supervisor

Release Date:

  • USA 26 September 2008
  • Australia 22 April 2009 (Blu-ray premiere)
  • Hungary 4 June 2009 (TV premiere)

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving teen drug and alcohol use, and for some disturbing images


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

Leave a Reply