The Final Season
|The Final Season|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Mickey Evans|
|Written by||Art D'Alessandro|
Rachael Leigh Cook
|Music by||Nathan Wang|
|Edited by||Harry Kerimidas|
|Distributed by||Yari Film Group|
The Final Season is a 2007 baseball film starring Sean Astin, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tom Arnold, Powers Boothe, Larry Miller, Brett Claywell, Michael Angarano, and Marshall Bell and directed by David Mickey Evans. The film wrapped production in 2006 in Shellsburg, Iowa, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and was released in the United States and Canada on October 12, 2007, by Yari Film Group.
This is the true story of Kent Stock, who in 1991 takes on what he perceives as the job of a lifetime as head coach of the Norway High School Tigers baseball team, which has won 19 state titles and has a baseball tradition in Iowa tantamount to that of the New York Yankees nationally.
Stock joins the team in 1990 as assistant coach, excited to learn from the legendary Tigers coach Jim Van Scoyoc. The Tigers win the 1990 title, the twelfth under Van Scoyoc. Stock is unaware that he has been picked by the school's Principal Halberstorm to replace Van Scoyoc in order to facilitate a losing 1991 season. The principal is pushing a consolidation of Norway with the larger "Madison School District" (in real life, the Benton Community School District), but the town is opposed, centered mainly on not wanting to give up the successful baseball program. The principal only knows about Stock's experience as a girls' volleyball coach, unaware that Stock was a star player for his Division III college baseball team and is a student of the game.
Several of the Tigers' returning stars refuse to go out for Coach Stock, who must win over the rest and convince them, the skeptical townspeople and himself that he can fill their former coach's shoes, all while dealing with the reality that this will be the team's final season due to the impending merger. With the support of a young female state auditor whose findings helped push through the merger, and a gadfly baseball writer from Des Moines who is following the team, Kent learns to motivate the team his own way.
In May 1991, Norway High's baseball tradition ends on a triumphant but somber note as it wins its 20th state championship in its final season. A video clip of the actual Coach Stock thanking Van Scoyoc publicly for the opportunity opens the final scene.
- Sean Astin as Kent Stock
- Rachael Leigh Cook as Polly Hudson,school board budget officer
- Michael Angarano as Mitch Akers, troubled transfer student and new player
- Powers Boothe as Jim Van Scoyoc
- Tom Arnold as Burt Akers
- Brett Claywell as Patrick Iverson, player
- Marshall Bell as Harvey Makepeace, school board supervisor
- Danielle Savre as Cindy Iverson
- James Gammon as Jared (Grandpa) Akers
- Jesse Henecke as Principal Halberstorm
- Larry Miller as Roger Dempsey
- Roscoe Myrick as Sammy
- Chris Olsen as Eddie Fitz
- Angela Paton as Ann (Grandma) Akers
- Nick Livingston as Kevin
- Ryan Flood as Baseball Player #4
- Nick Schmitt as Baseball player #5 Norway team
- Nathan Pyan as Baseball Player #10 Norway team
- Josh Merino as Reed Ellis
- Chris Jay Becker as Extra (Uncredited)
- Ryan Birkicht as Baseball Player #34 Norway Team Tommy Driscoll (Uncredited)
The Final Season received mainly negative to mixed reviews from critics. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a "Rotten" rating of 26%, based on 50 reviews. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 43 out of 100, based on 16 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews". The film grossed $1,159,691 in the USA.
- Sports action was by Rob Miller of ReelSports.
- Amy Acker and Eliza Dushku were at one point cast in the role of Polly, but both dropped out because of scheduling conflicts.
- Cameraman Roland Schlotzhauer was killed during a helicopter crash while filming a scene in the movie. His Bell 206 helicopter hit a powerline and crashed in a field, killing him and injuring the pilot and a producer.
- "The Final Season | Freestyle Releasing". freestylereleasing.com. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
- "The Final Season (2007) - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
- "The Final Season - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
- "Final Season, The (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-10-13.