7.4/10
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138 user 23 critic

Taking Chance (2009)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | TV Movie 21 February 2009
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1:51 | Trailer
Based on real-life events, Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort officer, accompanies the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming.

Director:

Ross Katz

Writers:

Michael Strobl (screenplay) (as LtCol Michael R. Strobl USMC [Ret.]), Ross Katz (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,691 ( 212)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... LtCol Mike Strobl
Tom Aldredge ... Charlie Fitts
Nicholas Art Nicholas Art ... Nate Strobl (as Nicholas Reese Art)
Blanche Baker ... Chris Phelps
Tom Bloom ... Navy Chaplain
Guy Boyd ... Gary Hargrove
James Castanien James Castanien ... Robert Orndoff
Gordon Clapp ... Tom Garrett
Mike Colter ... MGySgt Demetry
Henry Coy Henry Coy ... Marine Driver (as GySgt Henry Coy)
Joel de la Fuente ... Ticketing Agent
Liza Colón-Zayas ... Ticketing Agent
Ann Dowd ... Gretchen
Tate Ellington ... A.V. Scott
Noah Fleiss ... Army Sergeant
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Storyline

In April, 2004, casualties mount in Iraq. At Quantico, choices focus on increasing troop strength or only replacing casualties. Lt. Col. Michael Strobl crunches numbers. Stung by his superior's rejection of his recommendation because he lacks recent combat experience, Strobl volunteers for escort duty, accompanying the remains Pfc. Chance Phelps, killed at 19. From Dover to Philadelphia by hearse, from there to Minneapolis and on to Billings by plane, and then by car to Phelps' Wyoming home - person after person pays respects. Kind words, small gifts, and gratitude are given Strobl to deliver to the family on this soul-searching journey. What are his own discoveries? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Taking Chance See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Strobl, a Desert Storm veteran, says he decided against another combat tour largely because of his young family. But he was conflicted, and joined the many military personnel who volunteered for escort duty as Iraqi war deaths escalated. Strobl's week-long trip accompanying Phelps' body from a Delaware military mortuary to burial in Wyoming, provides Taking Chance's poignant emotional context. Strobl shared his twenty-page journal of the trip with friends and co-workers, and it eventually spread virally to military blogs and the media. It was quickly green-lit for filming after surfacing at HBO, which has become a major outlet for war-related programming, both documentary and dramatized, with miniseries and films such as Generation Kill (2008), Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq (2006), Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery (2008), and Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops From the Battlefields of Iraq (2004). See more »

Goofs

Towards the beginning of the film, when the bodies are being unloaded from the plane in Dover, DE it's raining. But it's only raining on the tail end of the plane, the rest of the plane is bone dry because the sprinklers didn't reach that far forward. See more »

Quotes

LtCol Mike Strobl: I stayed home. I was trained to fight. If I'm not over there, what am I? Those guys, guys like Chance... they're Marines.
Charlie Fitts: And you think you're not? Want to be with your family every night - you think you have to justify that? You'd better stop right there, sir. You've brought Chance home. You're his witness now. Without a witness, they just disappear.
See more »


Soundtracks

Take The Highway
Written by Toy Caldwell
Performed by The Marshall Tucker Band
By Arrangement with Natural Energy Lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What is wrong with people?!
20 June 2009 | by pyxSee all my reviews

To analyse this for its acting or deconstruct its camera angle and technique is to utterly miss the point. The undeniable truth of Taking Chance is that millions of people feel respect and gratitude to those brave enough to risk their lives for us. This movie is as much about them, as it is about the life a young marine who died young.

I'm the first person to argue against the propaganda of the Iraq war, or even Americas "Might is right" attitude, but those issues are utterly irrelevant to this movie.

This movie is about the respect and honour that everyone, from the lowliest baggage handler to the highest ranking officer should afford those who risk, and sometimes forfeit their lives in service of their country.

It doesn't matter whether the politicians are right or wrong - a footsoldier simply serves and trusts that his service is for the greater good, and for the protection of the freedoms that we enjoy.

This movie was incredibly moving, and when people call it boring or rant about its agenda, I have to ask if they have hearts of stone. Anyone with the minutest amount of human empathy can surely respect the tragedy of lives lost so young, even if you believe that they are misguided in their service.

What made this film so touching, was not the emotional journey of the escort, but the depiction of the genuine and heartfelt respect that ordinary Americans pay to the fallen. This was not contrived or made up. The average person has the humanity to put politics aside and honour the dead, and this movie was simply about that - the humanity and dignity and gratitude shown to the fallen.

I believe all war is wrong, and I despise Bush, but sometimes, unless we are to all roll over and hand our freedom over to those who do not share our values, soldiers such as Chance must go to war, and sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice. What is wrong with acknowledging and honouring that in a movie? America has fallen greatly in global opinion over the past decade, but this movie reminds me that ordinary Americans are compassionate, humane, decent people who, like the rest of us, have no control over those they elect to power, and only limited choices over whom to elect (if the elections are even run fairly in the first place).


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