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Posted on Feb 13, 2009 in Books and Movies

HBO Films’ Taking Chance – Kevin Bacon, Michael Strobl Interview

Gerald D. Swick

Kevin Bacon as Lt. Col. Michael Stroble in HBO Films' "Taking Chance." Photo courtesy HBO-James Bridges.

The overwhelming comment that we got was either "I was surprised at the tone of the film" or surprised at just what the reality of escort duty is.

There are no on-screen explosions in Taking Chance, a new television movie from HBO Films, Civil Dawn Pictures and Motion Picture Corporation of America. There are few confrontations, no car chases. But in its quiet way, it provides 80 minutes of some of the most intense drama likely to be seen on television this year.

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It debuts February 21 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time. It will be rebroadcast four more times between February 21–24 and twice on HBO2 on February 26, and it will be available for an extended time on HBO on Demand.

Based on a journal written by U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, Taking Chance is the story of his cross-country journey in 2004 as escort for the body of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, a 19-year-old Marine killed in action in Iraq.

Strobl originally typed up his 20 pages of journal notes—which had begun simply as the "trip report" that escorts are required to file—and showed it to a few friends. Soon, it was making the rounds of military Internet sites. Now, it is a film starring Kevin Bacon as Lt. Col. Strobl. The family of Chance Phelps approved the making of the film.

Taking Chance is not a war movie. It is not a movie about Iraq. It isn’t even about a single fallen solider coming home.

"What ultimately struck me (on the escort trip) to the point that I was moved to write the story in the first place (is) the decency for every American. That’s what I experienced on the trip. I hope that when other families —military families—see the movie, they’ll be reminded how much goodness there is out there and how much people really care."

With assistance from Dover Port Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, the film takes viewers behind of the scenes of how America’s fallen warriors are returned to the U.S., how their bodies are prepared and processed and sent to their families for burial. Bags of ice placed around a body bag within a shipping container melt and the water has to be vacuumed out. Personal effects are removed and blood washed from them and from the body. A bar-coded label is printed and attached to the shipping container.

It is a sobering, efficient, essential process few have seen before, even within the military, that has been carried out at Dover over 50,000 times since 1955.

Kevin Bacon as Lt. Col. Michael Strobl in the funeral scene from "Taking Chance." HBO - James Bridges.A single escort accompanies every fallen member of America’s military on the trip from Dover to his or her burial place. Lieutenant Colonel Strobl volunteers to escort the body of Chance Phelps, mistakenly believing they are from the same town.

Along the route to Wyoming, one person after another performs acts of kindness, and the lieutenant colonel comes to realize these are not so much for him as for the young man whose body he is escorting.

The quality of the acting, directing and film-editing make this simple story a moving experience that remains with viewers long after the final credits roll. Impressive for its absence of clichés or over-dramatization, it is neither a John Wayne flag-waver nor an Oliver Stone question-authority film. In many ways, it is best compared to an Andrew Wyeth painting: powerful because of its nuances of strength, beauty and sadness. Parts of it may be difficult to watch, but at the same time, it is an affirmation of the best in human beings.

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58 Comments

  1. Please have Lt. Col Michael R. Strobl contact me via email.

    Sincerely, Genia Meyer
    Proud mother of Spc. Brandon . Meyer
    KIA 1-28-08 Mosul, Iraq

  2. I just watched “Taking Chance” with my family. This movie hit me hard but in a good way. I served in the ARMY for 10 years, 18 months in Iraq. Im glad that this movie focused on the personal side of war. People, media, get so consumed on personal agendas when it comes to war that they forget about the “Chances”. War is something the government in-acts but the soldiers carry out, there are a lot of “Chances” out there and I think about that everyday. I hope a lot of people watch this movie it was amazing and tragic, but true..this is the other side of war. Thank you Mr. Bacon and crew.

  3. So thought provoking – so respectful – this young man served our country – young – loved – without names or titles or rankings – always treated respectfully from all americans – so proud – so sad – so real. Thank you!

  4. Dear Mr. Bacon,

    I know your portrayal of Lt.Col Strobl will not win you any awards, however, you win a academy award with me. Your portrayal is outstanding, with honor, integrity, your are a credit to yourself and keeping in the highest tradition of the United States Marine Corps.

    Semper FI

    GySgt
    USM Ret.

    • You just said exactly what I would also love to say to Kevin Bacon. It was a performance that won an academy award for me as well. I hope there is some way that Kevin is able to view our comments. I know nothing about the inner workings of the heart of an actor, but I pray that God will bless Kevin for taking on this role. The casting of movies has always intrigued me. So often I come away thinking it would have been impossible for anyone but “?” to play that role. This was true for this movie, for sure. I would so love to know that Kevin Bacon, the writers, the producers and all that made the movie possible………that they can receive these notes of appreciation and praise. I too wish I could also get a note to the ‘escort’ that shared the story, and the journalist that penned the pages that helped to bring this story to our attention. Thanks to all, for helping me with my need to gain new respect, honor and appreciation for ‘all’ who serve our country.

  5. I have never written a fan letter before and I’m over 70 years old.

    “Taking Chance” was the mose beautiful visual movie I have seen in more years than I care to remember. The casting was excellent. Kevin Bacon was outstanding and should receive an award for the brilliant actiing he did. Every character, from the two children in the airport to the Sgt. telling of Chance’s last minutes, was spot-on and no over-acting.

    “Taking Chance” is what film should be about and so often in not.

    Pauline Logan Mencio

  6. SIR, OUR FAMILY WATCHED “TAKING CHANCE” AND WERE VERY IMPRESSED WITH THE DIGNITY THAT WAS EXUDED THROUGHOUT THIS FILM. MY FIRST REACTION WAS OH GREAT ARE WE GOING TO BASH THE MILITARY AGAIN. VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE BEAUTIFUL EXPOSE OF DEATH WHICH IS HAND IN GLOVE WITH WAR.
    HAVING BEEN GRAVESIDE THREE TIMES IN ONE YEAR DURING THE VIETNAM WAR… AND MY HUSBAND AT THE TIME AN ESCORT, THIS FILM WAS ON TARGET BUT UNFORTUNATELY THEY DID NOT RECIEVE THE WARMTH AS THESE FAMILIES DID. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR MAKING YOUR THOUGHT KNOWN AND FOR THE EMPATHIC PERFORMANCE OF KEVIN BACON. I THINK HE WAS THE ONE FOR THIS ROLE. HIS GIFT TO BECOME THE EARTHLY GUARDIAN ANGEL IS INDEED SPECIAL. THANK YOU KEVIN FOR GIVING BACK TO ALL THE FAMILIES THEN AND NOW.

  7. All I can say is thank you to the men and women of our American Armed forces.

    Mr. Bacon thank you for your presentation of the story that needed to be told.

  8. I served in Viet Nam as a combat photographer and took the photograph of the soldier with the head wound and box of crackerjacks that Col. Strobl (Bacon) saw when at the hall in Chance’s hometown. Of all the 1000′s of images in our archives, to have seen that one placed in the movie brought me to tears. It was taken of a young man in May of 1969 during the assault on Hill #376 in South VietNam. It would be my honor to send a copy of it both to Col Strobl and Kevin Bacon.

    A personal friend of mine was also an escort and the film accurately and honestly mirrored his experience. He became the soldier for the families.

    Thank you for making this film that is surely going to touch all our lives.

    • Mr. Klubock,
      I believe the other wounded soldier in the picture is my husband. I would be very interested in a copy of the photo. After my husband was wounded he became an escort and it was quite a surprise to see his picture in that movie.
      Sincerely,
      Cathy Briggs

  9. A film that matters…

    Once again, HBO has put our troops in the spotlight.
    An awesome film all of America needs to view, to help them
    understand the real cost of our freedom.

    I salute all involved with “Taking Chance”.

    Respectfully,
    Kirk W. Boland

    kirk@fullmetaljacketmusic.com
    Full Metal Jacket Music,ASCAP
    http://www.fullmetaljacketmusic.com

  10. This movie profoundly moved me like few ever have.

    I served 32 years in the Army National Guard and never deployed. It still bothers me.

    My son joined an area Army Guard infantry company in 2002 and deployed to Iraq in late 2003. He and Chance were born in the same year and both were in-country at the same time. Chance died on Good Friday. Andrew’s unit had its first engagement two days later (Easter Sunday) in Samarra. A young man in the vehicle just ahead of Andrew’s was killed along with several wounded…followed by more later in the tour. I thank God every day that I still have him.

    My father served as a Marine in WWII and his father served in the Army in WWI. So, there are lots of linkages to my family in this movie for me personally.

    Mr Bacon and ALL of the people directly or indirectly supporting the making of this film are to highly commended. Of course, special recognition and appreciation go to Chance’s family and Lt. Col. Strobl, and the United Staes Marine Corps.

  11. Thank you the Men and Women in our Armed Forces.

    The Movie was a very moving. I cried throughout the whole movie.

    I have family in the military and worry constantly about them, if God forbid something happened to them it would be comforting to know that they were treated with respect and honor by strangers.

  12. Dear Mr. Bacon,

    The producers, director, and crew, outstanding. This story gives America a chance to pay respect, and grieve for those who have given their lives. The material was presented in a dignified and most respectful way……you are to be commended.

  13. This has to be the most moving film I have ever seen! It clearly represented the events, circumstances and the emotions experienced by an escort officer.

    I had the honor of being an escort officer for a friend and language school classmate during the weekend of Woodstock. Due to the proximity of the service to the festival site I would not have been surprised if we had anti-war demonstrators at the service. Fortunately this did not happen and a detachment of fellow Special Forces soldiers drove down from Ft. Devens Ma to serve as an Honor Guard.

    This movie brought back many memories and was an accurate depiction of the escort duty and response from friends, family and public.

    Thank you very much for making this movie and a salute to LTC Strobl for writing the story

  14. I am very pleased to see that someone has taken a chance and made Taking Chance. I traveled the world in researching my book, Soldier Dead: How We Recover, Identify, Bury, and Honor Our Military Fallen, and the dedication of servicemembers to their fallen and to the bereaved families always takes my breath away.

    Mike Sledge
    wwww.mikesledge.com

  15. I was bored and found this movie on HBO. I’m so glad I did! It is the best movie I have seen since “Crash”.

    Every aspect of this film is top notch – writing directing editing pace music cinematography … I cant see anything topping it in the coming years. I hope it gets the recognition it deserves simply for its pure art value.

    But also for the value it will serve this country. This movie is a true gift of light to this country in one of its darkest hours. It was so wonderful to see the dignity and respect demonstrated by all the Americans, military or civilian, that Lt. Sobol encountered. It made me so proud of people that they put aside all their political differences to show their gratitude and respect. Yes this country is full of Bernie Madoffs and O.J. Simpson, et.al, but the Americans in this film were the Americans that built this country. It was such a gift to see that true American spirit still exists. Thank you to all the cast and crew for this amazing film. You have touched lives in so many, many ways.

    I featured a clip about the movie on my website Americans Are Tough.com. because I believe in it and the powerful message that it will bring to the people of this country.

    Thank you to all military personnel, past, present and future. This American salutes you!

  16. Living in Palisade/Clifton, Colorado, we knew of Lt. Col. Strobl’s journal and were looking forward to seeing the movie. Kevin Bacon and everyone involved is to be congratulated on a superior job — showing a side of the war, any war, that we seldom see. Seeing the universal respect and mourning along the way was moving indeed.

  17. As a wife of a military man (30 years, retired Col) and having a father, brother, and son that served in the military I want to express my great appreciation for the movie Taking Chance. It touched my heart so deeply, but what I really appreciated was that finally the military is shown in an honorable way. So many movies show military personnel as rigid, war hungry, and corrupt. None of the military people in my life are/were like that, but instead are caring, tender, honest, with a great amount of integrity. Thank you, Kevin Bacon, for making this movie. I will request everyone I know to watch it as well. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Greatful regards,
    Valerie L. Pulscher

  18. Dear Mr. Bacon,

    I am a retired Army Officer and Attack Helicopter Pilot with more than 25 years of service to my beloved America. I have just watched “Taking Chance” for the fourth time and found myself in tears through most of it. My chest nearly burst with pride for the accurate portrayal of military traditions and honor afforded to Chance. Every American should see this film and the way we now treat our honored dead and the support the American people are demonstrating to our fallen service members.

    I recall that during the Viet Nam era, the profession of soldier was not a thing of respect or admiration neither for those who’s names are written on the “The Wall” or for those who came home to ridicule and derision. I recall being spat upon when I had the audacity to wear my uniform on the campus at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where I was studying engineering.

    My father served with Patton on Sicily and all six of his brothers served in WWII, My brother served on the Ranger (CV-61) during the Viet Nam war and now both of my sons are service members, one in the Army and the other is a Navy SeaBee, so you can see that we are a family of patriots who stepped up and served.

    My father taught me that my mandatory service to America was not only an honor but an unbreakable obligation. Our service pays for the safety and protection of our children and grandchildren. I stayed in the Army and the National Guard and flew gunships until my retirement in 1992. But, without quite knowing it, the wounds inflicted on me by my own countrymen after Viet Nam never really healed.

    That brings me to your portrayal of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl who volunteered to take Lance Corporal Chance Phelps home to his family. The story is incredibly moving in its own right and makes an indelible statement about loyalty, honor, respect and character of our military, but your portrayal of Ltc Strobl is what impressed and moved me most.

    I know that you are an actor and not a Marine but your representation as a Marine officer is one that my father would be proud of. He told me about wearing the uniform when I was a boy. He taught me to respect & honor my uniform and to wear it with all of the skill and attention to detail that I saw in you as a Marine officer. I saw the meticulous care in which you wore the uniform, the attention to detail of the ribbons, medals, fit and polish worthy of the best and most honored traditions of “The Corps.” In so many Hollywood productions, these careful but incredibly important details of the uniform and its presentation somehow are regrettably lost as irrelevant to the storyline. Your presentation as a marine officer makes no such mistake; for that, you have my profound appreciation. Every Marine, solder, airman and seaman will be proud of your representation of the traditions of the Corps and especially the uniform, you were every inch a Marine.

    The main reason I am writing t0 you in gratitude tonight is because of the deep respect and honor that your character gives to Chance at each point along the journey. Your refusal to remove your tunic and desecrate the uniform even when anyone would understand if you had done so, or be separated from Chance even when no one would know, speaks of a level of character that all men can only hope to aspire.

    I started hearing about your movie several months ago with e-mails from my former flying buddies praising the movie. Now that I have seen it, “Taking Chance” I see what they have been raving about. Your movie provides a great service to America, the US Military and to their families of our KIA. It portrays the best of our warrior traditions that originate from the birth of our country. For that Mr. Bacon, I give you my thanks and profound appreciation.

    Semper Fidelous Mr. Bacon!

    Warmest regards,

    Jack A. Riehle CW4 USAR (Ret)

  19. First and foremost, I would like to Thank the Armed Forces for their sacrifice. I read a letter recently and it stated that two people will die for you. One being JESUS CHRIST and second A SOLDIER. I have not seen the movie yet, but plan to soon. My boss saw it and cried throughout the entire movie. Her eye definitely showed it. God Bless the USA.

  20. I just watched the movie and really enjoyed it. As an enlisted sailor being over in Afghanistan remembering the fallen comrade ceremonies. This is for all the fallen.
    “Honor and Remember, Inc. has created a symbol that honors, 365 days a
    year, all those who gave their lives in defense of our great country
    since the Revolutionary War – about 1.6 million men and women.

    Please look at our website, http://www.honorandremember.org
    and also at a recent newspaper
    article and video at
    http://hamptonroads.com/2008/12/father-fallen-soldier-campaigns-memorial
    -flag#primary_tabs
    . The Honor and Remember Flag has been mentioned on the Bill
    O’Reilly Show, “The No Spin Zone”, on FoxNews and is already supported
    by many national veterans organizations.

    It is important that the word is spread about this patriotic flag and
    the story behind it. Consider linking our website to yours and, if you
    have a newsletter or magazine, publish an article about the flag so all
    your members become aware. It would also be helpful if your members
    contacted their Congressmen in support of legislation designating the
    flag as a national symbol.

    If you take any of the above action, please inform us by responding to
    this email. Thank you very much for your time and attention.

    V/R
    Michael Gordon

  21. Tonight I viewed, again, your film, TAKING CHANCE. I am the mother of four sons and, although only one has served in the Armed Services, in the medical corp of the Air Force, all have tried to honor and protect our country.

    There are no words to describe the loss of ones child. I lost my second son due to juvenile diabetes and it was through my faith in God, and much more, that I found closure.

    Each culture has its folklore and I know there is more to say, and a lot of truth to be found in these stories than simple tales passsed down from one generation to the next.

    My father’s people were the Cherokee, and he believed, I believe, that when it is time to cross over the spirits from the past gather together, with compassion and understanding, to walk beside our loved one ~ to give comfort and dispel any fears that might lirk about ~ lighting the path that must be traveled with a radiance so pure that only joy and peace are allowed to join the procession.

    The Angels who care for our fallen, who attend to their bodies, who stand guard until they start on their final jouorney, and to those who walk and protect our love ones on their final journey must surely feel the presence of those from the past who journey with them.

    Thank you for your truth, your courage in telling this story.

    Barbara Duell
    Tucson, Arizona

  22. Dear Mr. Bacon, Lt. Col. Michael Strobl & the Phelps Family

    Mr. Bacon, trophies of one’s work in life can be certificates, statues, titles of recognition etc. Your grandest award for your work will be from your portrayal of Lt. Col. Strobl. Award societies will be hard pressed to find a more moving performance.

    Bless you Lt. Col. Strobl for sharing but most of all caring. Thank you for sharing your “notes”. Thank you for being an example for other young men to aspire to. My salute to you, sir.

    My sincere condolences to the Phelps family in the loss of Chance. Thank you for alllowing us to meet this fine young man.

  23. What an extraordinary display of honor.

  24. As the wife of a Marine, and Aunt of three Marines all from Delaware, near Dover Air Force Base, we watched Kevin Bacon portray Lt. Cot. Strobl. Mr. Bacon has, once again, shown that he is truly a talented professional for whom awards and popularity could never give enough credit. Kevin Bacon’s moving performance was respectful to every one who ever served in the military for this great country! His respectful performance would make every service person proud to be an American! !We actually watched this movie twice and have told everyone that we know to do the same. You are one of the most talented and sincerely authentic actors in the industry.
    Thank you for bringing attention to the very respectful manner in which our heroes are brought home to rest. So many drive by Dover Air Force Base and never know that there are certainly angels at work in this facility! For this Mr Bacon, we all respect you as well, for bringing this to the attention of every American. I sincerely think that this movie should be shown in every movie theater across America.

  25. A “must see” film. Kevin Bacon’s performance was remarkable in its quiet determined strength; he captured and displayed the solemnity, precision and respect of this hidden ritual in a way that will inspire those who see this movie. I am sending an email to all of my friends to make certain they know about this story and his performance.

  26. I have watched the movie several times, the one scene that impressed me the most was when the two Officers opened the casket and you saw the perfection of the Uniform on Cpl Chance.
    The Dover Mortuary knew it was to be a closed casket, but they still had Cpl Chance’s Uniform in perfect condition.
    I was so moved emotionally and so proud to see the loving care given by many to Cpl Chance from Iraq to his home town.

  27. I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THE TIME AND THANK VERY MUCH THE OUTSTANDING PERFOMANCE TO THIS MOVIE AND HOW HE BROUGHT CHANCE BACK TO HIS PARENTS.
    I ALSO APPUALD HBO FOR THE MAKING OF THIS FILM THAT I BELIVE SHOULD BE SHOWED IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEMS TODAY. AND THE PRICE THAT OUR MEN & WOMEN WHO GO OVER THERE AND FIGHT FOR US.
    THANK YOU MR KEVIN BACON FOR YOUR WORK ON THIS FILM IT IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE..

    GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS..
    ELIZABETH NJ U.S.A.

  28. My husband and I watched Taking Chance last night and it was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and impressive movies we have seen. Mr. Bacon’s portrayal, the story of Chance, of all of our fallen heroes, Lt.Col. Strobl, military traditions – what a wonderful movie for all to see, it gently reminds us of all of those who represent and protect our country at home and abroad everyday.

  29. Hopefully you can convey my comment to Mr. Bacon. I can’t improve on the comments I have seen. However, after four years In Korea, I wanted to thank him for so honorably protraying the honor, and the respect with which we regard those who fall during the imperfect effort free men make to protect freedom.

    Jack Langhorne
    USN
    Korea
    jack@moderncruising.com

  30. God Bless our troops. Today was the first time I ever saw Taking Chance. I’m a teen who is in the MCJROTC and plan to eventually enlist into the Marines after college. This movie was very moving and emotional for me. It was amazing. Truthfully.

    SemperFi,
    Cadet Galletta

  31. I’m 13 years old and this is probably the most amazing performance i have ever seen tho I’m young, i still feel great pain,emotion, and respect for the soldiers that have died for this country. I don’t think i have ever cried so hard in a movie.

    Gabriella M. MI, U.S.A

  32. I served in the US Army and I continue to serve the Army as a civilian now at Fort Bragg, NC. I saw this film with my entire family and there was not a dry eye in the room. This was one of the most powerful and emotional films we have seen in a very long time. Great work by Kevin Bacon and the entire crew. This movie was a great demostration of the American Spirit. HOOAH!

  33. The film is outstanding…Bacon’s role is much more than a master…

    Since I write out from USA and I am not an american citizen, probably my view is far different, but the film touched my heart from the very first.

    Americans have to be proud to have these feelings. I pray to God for all the Americans died in action.

    Jesus L Sanchez
    Canary Islands
    Spain

  34. In the current world of opinion that consistently puts down America, I am so proud of my country to witness its true soul portrayed in this movie. Kevin Bacon, thank you so very much for the effort you gave to make this movie so real and simple in appearance. I believe it must have taken a great deal to emulate real life in such a way that these images, and basic lines of can make us feel it so deeply.

  35. So many well-worded reviews have gone before this…I have only just now watched “Taking Chance” and wish I were as articulate as others.

    It was beautiful in content, scope, picture, and intent. Most importantly, it never fell prey to becoming “Hollywood”.

    Thanks to Kevin Bacon and all involved. I won’t soon forget it.

    Rachael Wilson

  36. What a beautiful & heartwarming & heartbreaking film!
    Thank you for sharing this touching story with us!
    We watched this movie on Memorial weekend -what a powerful message it told.
    Thank you to all members of our proud military & their families-from a grateful American family!

    God Bless Our Troops & America!

  37. I did not want to see this film. I had made incorrect assumptions regarding the content. I knew it would be an emotional journey. I was afraid it would leave me with a sense of despair. Rather, it left me with a renewed sense of hope in my country and faith in my God.

    I do not sing “God Bless America” as a rally song, as though demanding a blessing we perceive we deserve. Rather I sing it as a prayer, imploring His mercy. My favoriter patriotic song I also pray. America, America God shed His grace on thee. I need His grace more than His blessings.

    • Dear Marilyn,
      I read your comment and others. I googled ‘how to send a note to actor Kevin Bacon’, and this site came up. I set out to send my comment of awe, gratitude and very sorry that I didn’t know about this movie, and I believe it was not adequately presented as a must see, as so many other, much more unseemily and much more meaningless movies are promoted. I had thoughts to comment, until I came to yours and many others, and feel like I couldn’t begin to express myself as so many comments that were left on this site. Thank you for sharing from your heart, as you did. I so appreciated your expressions of how you feel about the song “God Bless America” and the wording of your prayer that followed. I share your sentiments, and feel connected to you through your comment.

  38. A great movie indeed.
    This movie really hit home.
    My cousin was killed the same way Chance was. It took 3 weeks to get my cousin home USMC Eric R Lueken. Also Eric is from Dubois,Indiana and Chance was from Dubois Wyoming.
    The 1st Sqt that brought the bad news to us, is actually part of our family.
    John

  39. I just watched Taking Chance for the second time today it was by far more then I thought it would be. Kevin Bacon was maginifcent in his portrayal of Lt Col. Mike Strobl. With such honor and dignity. To Lt Col. Strobl – thank you for bringing one of our boys home and keeping him close to you, I’m so moved by your care and respect and honor for this young man, a man you didn’t even know who is now and forver a part of you. To the Phelps family, thank you for allowing this to be made in the honor of your son and so many thousands of our men and women who have fallen, they will NEVER be forgotten, as a proud daughter of a vietnam vet, and friend to a few soldiers in Iraq and Afghanastan, I think of you all…. your always in our prayers. To all come home soon. . . . . . .

  40. I’m watching the Emmy awards… Taking Chance is being overlooked…that is tragic. Kevin Bacon’s performance was touching, moving and the best performance I have seen all year. Thank you Kevin… you are the best. You deserved an award… but Hollywood and the poeple who vote for the Emmy’s missed it big time. THANK YOU for recognizing and portraying with dignity and class our military. I was moved, I cried….. have a new respect for you as an actor. Blessings to you and your family… your wife a;so looked beautiful on the red carpet. Wishing you the best.
    Nancy

  41. Question: When Kevin Bacon viewed the body of Chance at the church and showed the ribbons on Chance’s uniform, I did not see a purple heart ribbon. Could I have missed the ribbon or a medal of the purple heart? It’s bugging me, please help and thanks.

    As a veteran of two wars WW II & Korea, I would like to tell you that the movie Taking Chance was one of the best movies I have seen and the most informative of the care given to the casualties. Kevin Bacon has always been one of my favorite movie stars, he deserves an Oscar for his performance. If not from Holiywood then one from me.

    Thanks to all of the cast and what we say in the Navy “WELL DONE”.

  42. I’ve just watched on cable, for the second time, this most under-stated yet magnificant movie I have seen in years. There is a transparent honesty to the performances and content that the whole movie “shines” in its own integrity.

    Mr Bacon, you never do a movie again your utterly superb performance will remain in my heart forever. It was obvious that it meant something very dear to you.

    LTCol Strobl, thank you sir for writing this, you do honour to your service and your people by doing so.

    To the Phelps family, my deepest and sincerest respects, I know your son’s memory will never dim. I’m an Australian but that doesn’t alter the sadness I feel at your loss.

    I’d like to see this movie shown as widely as possible to remind people what our children do for us, on our behalf and the losses they sometimes suffer as a result.

  43. I just got the courage up to watch this film; after viewing it I have been up all night. My son was killed in Iraq just a couple of weeks after Chance, his name was Kyle Brinlee of the Oklahoma National Guard. This film shows the honor and dignity that people who I never knew exhibited during the loss of Kyle. I remember how people just knew, and the sad looks everyone gave, the headlights and crowd waving flags lining the street of our hometown. I was so touched by the Korean War verteran who said ” a witness prevents us from forgetting.” Thank you Lt. Col. Stobl, Mr. Bacon, and all involved with this film. It is a great witness for all to see, so America never forgets Chance, Kyle and the other servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

    Robert Showler
    Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
    Radshowler@aol.com

  44. Great performance and a great movie… to all the family who lost family member(s) while serving for their country, my prayers are with them.

    Kamarul-Malaysia

  45. I’m a recently retired Marine officer with nearly 29 years of service. To all connected with this movie I want to say “Thank you.”

    First to LCpl Phelps who CHOSE to be a Marine knowing full well the risk. His story, told so well here, explains why I still thank God every night in my prayers for the privilege of standing among men such as you and being accepted as one of them. I loved them like younger brothers, and in the later years of my career, like my sons. I loved them then and love them still because they were the kind of young men that you are LCpl Phelps.

    Second, to Lance Corpral Phelps’ parents; for raising a strong and worthy young man who would have been exceptional simply because he heard the call. But he showed himself to be extraordinary because he answered it. One of my commanding officers once told me that our kids are the most important “report card” we’ll ever get. Clearly, you got an A+. God bless and keep you both for sharing the most precious thing any parent can.

    Mr. Bacon, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every movie ever made that featured the Marine Corps. Until this one, even the best of them was marred by some kind of cliche’ or tired stereotype, to say nothing of those with outrageous inaccuracies. But you got it right. It’s not just a tribute to your skill as an actor. I expect it speaks to you personal commitment to this story as well. Count me now as a fan.

    LtCol Strobl, thanks for taking on the task and for sharing the journey with us. Semper Fi Devil Dog

    For all those others who had a hand in getting this project off the ground and then in making it: Well done.

    • After leaving my comment, I scrolled and found your comment. My heart is full of tears and many, many emotions. I wanted to thank you for your comment, first of all. Most of all, for your service for our country. This site is like an answer to prayer for me. I am very ill, and pretty much bedfast. Therefore, I have a lot of time to pray and think of so many things which many others take for granted. Recently, I have been so impressed to write to those that are in the service for our country, that will not be able to get home for Christmas. I will send Christmas cards through the Red Cross, but doing so, I almost feel ashamed to do so, because the guidelines only allow one to send a generic message. I will try to make that as meaningful as possible, but I still am left with the desire to do more. This movie was more beautiful than I feel words can express. I chose the movie because I saw Kevin Bacon’s name, but expected something so much more negative and disconcerting. As the movie went on, I remember having the thought….could it be that they are highlighting respect and honor without messing it up with a lot of unnecessary drama???? How wonderful surprised and grateful I am that I came upon this movie. I will be doing my best to encourage everyone I know to watch the movie. My voice has never amounted to making a big difference with anything. It doesn’t matter. I will just spread the word, for whatever I can do.

      I salute you, dear sir. Thank You again for your comments and for serving our country. My father fought in WWII through the Navy. I tended to lean toward the Navy with favoritism. I am a fan of NCIS, and in several other ways, including this movie and your comments – I now lean toward favoritism for Marines. I appreciate ‘all’ those that serve our country.

      My illness has brought me to a place of a closer relationship to God; it has also helped me to have a heart to pray for others, as I have never done before. For the next two days, I will specifically pray for you and your loved ones.

      • Ms. Sauder,

        Thank you for your prayers ma’am. I’ll pray for you as well.

        S/F,
        Ron Yowell

  46. My husband and I just finished watching this incredibly moving film on Memorial Day 2011. Lovely film with the best performance ever by Kevin Bacon. War is hell – indeed it is. I wonder if we will ever find a peaceful way to resolve our differences.

    Thanks so much to all who made this film possible and my heart goes out to the family and friends of all fallen soldiers everywhere.

  47. My wife and I were bored and flipping through channels when we came upon this film. As a former Marine, father and husband I was moved to tears. Thank you Colonel, thank you Kevin Bacon and thank you HBO for bringing us this beautiful story of a young fighting Marine and a man who found out much more in life as an escort.
    Semper Fi and God Bless this great nation and her fighting men and women.

  48. My husband and I watched this film on the day before Memorial Day 2012 and were both moved to tears. America is a great country and it is the dedication of our military that continues to keep us free. This nation does respect and honor the men and women of the armed forces past, present and future. We are proud of all of you and Thank You isn’t ever going to be enough but this movie gives a glimpse of the gratitude of us all.

  49. I think that “Taking Chance” is a great movie. I watches it in class yesterday. It was a really touching movie. One of my classmates got it very touching. Some of her family members are in the marines and I think some of them passed I feel bad for her

    • watches

  50. I would appreciate knowing how I could get a note to Kevin Bacon and the producers of this movie. Very seldom have I been so moved by a movie, and the message that was brought to life in such a perfect way through Kevin Bacon, and every glimpse of those that were so respectful, thoughtful and loviing. I feel so frustrated when I feel so helpless to know how to ‘salute’ all those that were involved in making this movie. I had not heard of the movie through promotion as many other movies were promoted. I now almost feel like we have been robbed of knowing the importance of watching this movie. Today, I was looking for a movie to watch on HBO, as I am bedfast. I checked out all movie titles that were offered. I stopped at the title of this movie to check out the actors. As soon as I saw Kevin Bacon’s name, I decided to watch it. I need to encourage everyone that I can to watch this movie. I felt much like someone else that commented. I was expecting a totally different tone and content. I don’t remember ever being so surprised with how different (in an awesome way) of a journey a movie took me into. Words aren’t big enough!!! Thank you for producing this movie. I plan to look into purchasing the movie for our film library. I don’t remember ever being so proud of he movie industry. Thank you for reaching my heart with such a powerful example of honor, respect and appreciation for all those precious ones that sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom(s).

  51. TO THE POWERS THAT BE: Please email me to let me know what we can do to make sure that this movie is able to be viewed by a much broader audience? Please, someone….I sure hope someone is managing this site and passing on important information to Kevin Bacon, producers, investors, etc. etc. My email address is abcds@ptd.net

  52. One the absolute best movies I have ever seen. Since 2009 I have watched no less then 15 times. I am watching it as I write this for the second time today – Memorial Day. We re so blessed to be American. LCpl Phelps, may he rest in peace knowing that his story has left an impression on thousands of people who have watched and cried during Taking Chance. I felt as though I was watching my own son(s) come home. HBO did a great job. LtCol Strobl, I as I am sure many people appreciate your desire to have been an escort. It obviously meant so much and touched a nerve that needed to be calmed. This was accomplished by your wonderful deed you did for the Phelp’s family and friends. God Bless you – and thank you so much!

    Sincerely,

    Steve K.

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