Off the Black

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Off the Black
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Ponsoldt
Produced by Scott Macaulay
Robin O'Hara
Written by James Ponsoldt
Starring Nick Nolte
Trevor Morgan
Timothy Hutton
Sally Kirkland
Music by Claire Campbell
Alex Neville
Brian Petway
Cinematography Tim Orr
Edited by Sabine Hoffmann
Distributed by


Axiom Films (UK and Ireland)
Release date
  • October 19, 2006 (2006-10-19) (Orlando Film Festival)
Running time
90 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English

Off the Black is a 2006 American drama film starring Nick Nolte and Trevor Morgan. It was written and directed by James Ponsoldt, who also has a small role in the film, and is his feature directorial debut.[2]


Ray Cook (Nolte) is a bitter, disconcerted high school baseball umpire and chronic alcoholic who, after a series of unusual events, crosses paths with Dave Tibbel (Morgan), a high school baseball player seeking revenge after Cook's questionable calls cost his team the most crucial game of the season. Over time, an unlikely bond forms between the mismatched pair, and Dave agrees to pose as Ray's son for the old man's forty-year high school reunion. The film is a story of two wandering lost souls, one an adolescent boy struggling (along with his younger sister, played by Sonia Feigelson) with an absent mother and a father (Timothy Hutton) who has entirely checked out, and the other an older man, who has seen the curve balls life can throw at you and continuously struck out in his struggle to be the man he wishes to be.


Actor Role
Trevor Morgan Dave Tibbel
Nick Nolte Ray Cook
Sonia Feigelson Ashley Tibbel
Rosemarie DeWitt Debra
Timothy Hutton Mr. Tibbel
Sally Kirkland Marianne Reynolds
Noah Fleiss Todd Hunter
Johnathan Tchaikovsky Paul Michaels
Michael Higgins Al Cook


Off the black received positive reviews and has a rating of 65% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews with an average rating of 6.3 out of 10. The critical consensus states "Nick Nolte shines in his role as an irascible high school umpire, imbuing this indie coming-of-age dramedy with heft and true-to-life warmth."[3]

The film only had a limited release in America and made $24,425.[4]


  1. ^ "Off the Black". 8 December 2006. Retrieved 30 October 2017. 
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (December 8, 2006). "Off the Black (2006) Fathers and Sons and Raging Infernos". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Off the Black". Retrieved 30 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "Off the Black (2006) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 30 October 2017. 

External links[edit]