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Taking Chance (2009)

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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.



(screenplay) (as LtCol Michael R. Strobl USMC [Ret.]), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2,788 ( 76)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas Art ...
Nate Strobl (as Nicholas Reese Art)
James Castanien ...
Henry Coy ...
Marine Driver (as GySgt Henry Coy)
Ticketing Agent
Ticketing Agent
Army Sergeant


In April, 2004, casualties mount in Iraq. At Quantico, choices focus on increasing troop strength or only replacing casualties. Lt. Col. Mike 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 | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


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Release Date:

21 February 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A lélek útja  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


LTCol 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 20-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; Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq; Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery; and Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops From the Battlefields of Iraq. See more »


The coffin is loaded into a Northwest Airlines DC-9 in Philadelphia, but the plane shown landing in Minneapolis is a Boeing 747. When it's time to unload the coffin in Minneapolis, the plane is again an DC-9. The next day, the coffin is loaded into an MD-80 for the flight to Billings, Montana, but the plane that lands in Billings is a NWA Airbus A319. Again, when the coffin is unloaded in the cargo area at the Billings airport for the trip by hearse to Wyoming, it is removed from an DC-9. NWA does operate all three aircraft types, but they were not shown consistently in the movie. See more »


LtCol Mike Strobl: [Noticing Annie had typed "HOT soldier" into her phone] Actually, it's Marine.
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User Reviews

Wonderful moving movie
21 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I felt I had to write a comment after seeing this wonderful movie at Sundance yesterday and then noticing that there were some poor reviews which are somewhat puzzling to me. As the earlier commenter noted EVERYONE that we spoke with after the premier was moved and loved the movie regardless of age or political affiliation. Further it is the only movie I have ever seen at Sundance in five years of attendance that received four standing ovations. It is a wonderful story of respect, service, sacrifice and the dignity of life. LtCol Mike Strobl did a great job of sharing with us through his book, and now this movie. A true story of a serviceman's journey home who has been Killed In Action (KIA). It is a moving account of the respect that the Marines give their fallen. In addition is shows the outpouring of thanks and respect that LtCol Strobl encountered as he escorted the body Lance Corporal Chance Phelps back to his family.

Everyone should see this movie. Itdoes not have any political or idealogical agenda. It is just a great story of service and sacrifice as well as respect and honor.

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