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Taking Chance (2009)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, War  |  21 February 2009 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 9,964 users  
Reviews: 116 user | 22 critic

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.

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(screenplay) (as LtCol Michael R. Strobl USMC [Ret.]) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Taking Chance (TV Movie 2009)

Taking Chance (TV Movie 2009) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nicholas Art ...
Nate Strobl (as Nicholas Reese Art)
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Tom Bloom ...
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Henry Coy ...
Marine Driver (as GySgt Henry Coy)
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Ticketing Agent
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Ticketing Agent
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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. 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

Genres:

Drama | War

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Release Date:

21 February 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A lélek útja  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, like "Bernard and Doris" and Kenneth Branagh's version of "As You Like It", bypassed movie theatres in the U.S. and went straight to HBO, even though it was not actually made for television. 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

[First Line]
LtCol Mike Strobl: Once per quarter we'll give you a run down on battalion and squadron level readiness and today's briefing will focus on First Marine Division.
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Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.158 (2011) 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

 
A Good Movie That Honored the Brave Without Battle Scenes. Excellent Performance by Kevin Bacon.
1 June 2010 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The 2000's decade redefined the war movie genre much because of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And many times viewers tend to classified a movie as political or not, accurate or not, blood and guts versus contextualized and serious movies. In times when "Jarhead" or "The Hurt Locker" were so heavily criticized for having political statements (or not) on war, in "Taking Chance" you see something different. Here comes a movie that says more about bravery and honor to a duty than many war action movies. And its message sounds and appear better than movies made of Second World War, Vietnam War, any other war.

Based on a true story, the story follows LtCol Mike Strobl (Kevin Bacon), a military who volunteered to escort the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming. While on journey he realizes his importance on this function and how people get touched by his gesture.

The main plot is very original, it's something rarely showed in movies. It was interesting to see all the procedures taken before the corpse be transferred by car and airplanes, all the service made by the military who washes the body, collects the personal objects and similar things. And there's also the views of the main character on what he's doing and the way he deals with the matter and the people he sees on his journey. One of the most memorable scenes is when all the cars made a straight line escorting Mike's car and the funeral car carrying Chance's body. All the cars lined up, slowly. A very good homage.

It's a good portrayal about the people who stood up for something sacrificing their lives for its country. Instead of showing up battle scenes, the movie opted to include a conversation between Bacon's character and a soldier friend of Chance about how he died saving everybody else. It's a very touching scene (and the best also). After that Mike has a brief conversation with a war veteran (played by Tom Aldredge) where he thinks he could be a better person or he could do more if he was fighting in Iraq. The old man replies that what Mike's saying is nonsense. And we must agree with that. He's doing a noble thing, a great thing for his country even outside of enemy lines.

It's a great movie and there's no political message, or military propaganda on the surface and not even behind it. And even if it had a political context it still would be a great movie. I don't know why people get so touchy and bothered about such statements and such views. After all, politics is one the basis of mankind, basis of a society and when it's included in a film it can make a film more interesting. If it had such things in "Taking Chance" it would drag the movie in other direction and anyway that's another story.

An Incredible tour-De-force performance by Kevin Bacon, who really captured the essence of a Marine devoted to his duties, and also showed a good emotional side not trying to do such. He's powerful here. But I still think that Golden Globes and SAG Awards should award Brendan Gleeson for "Into the Storm" (different story but both contain war as subject). Gleeson playing Churchill was more difficult, he had a though and heavy text to portray and the aged make up to make him similar to the British leader. But that doesn't make Bacon's acting less visible or inferior. Watch it and you'll enjoy it.

One of the rare films of today that lacks of criticism, and it's great because of that. It certainly honors all the brave people on battles, risking their lives wherever the cause, wherever the cost. 9/10


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