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Taking Chance (2009)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, War  |  21 February 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 10,212 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 23 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.



(screenplay) (as LtCol Michael R. Strobl USMC [Ret.]) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas Art ...
Nate Strobl (as Nicholas Reese Art)
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 <>

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?


When Lt. Col. Strobl and Pfc. Phelps leave the hangar in Minneapolis there is a large Kalitta Air Charter airplane in the background. In 2007 Congress passed a law that military members were no longer to be returned to their families as cargo in the cargo hold of airliners as with Chance Phelps. The remains are now flown by Kalitta on their fleet of small jets. See more »


Military protocol says the casket will be loaded or carried feet first. During one of the scenes where they are loading the C-17 one of the caskets is being loaded with the blue of the American flag loaded first. The blue of the flag is always draped over the head/shoulder indicating the head is being loaded first. See more »


Rich Brewer: Nobody in my family's in the military and none of my friends. But I thought about joining up. Yeah, but I was too chickenshit.
[chuckles, then silence]
Rich Brewer: Sorry, I mean too chicken.
LtCol Mike Strobl: You can say shit.
Rich Brewer: Oh, cool. And plus the whole haircut thing. I'm in a band and, you know, you gotta keep it long to keep the ladies happy.
See more »


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User Reviews

Incredibly Powerful Movie
19 January 2009 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

I saw the premiere of this movie at Sundance, and had a chance to talk to several others in the audience. All of us felt this movie was one of the most powerful and moving films we've ever seen. Although there is a tie to the war in Iraq, this is not yet another political statement on the issues around the war.

The movie is based on the actual experience of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, who volunteers to escort the body of a young Marine (Chance Phelps) who was killed in Iraq, and whose remains are being returned to the Marine's family. Scene after scene in this movie are pitch perfect, and it made me appreciate the professionalism and sacrifice of those in the military. While I was personally opposed to the war in Iraq, I feel this movie is something every US citizen should see, as well as every government official. As a result of seeing "Taking Chance," the dedication and professionalism of our military is far more tangible, as well as the pain and suffering each family experiences with each death.

My only caution is that you should have tissue handy, since the movie made almost everyone in the audience cry. But as our Sundance group talked about the film afterwards, we were all deeply appreciative to have had the opportunity to see this movie, and gain new empathy with the rank-and-file in the military who are so heroic.

112 of 163 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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