By Kyle | March 30, 2009
HBO’s film “Taking Chance,” which stars Kevin Bacon in a finely restrained performance as a Marine Corps colonel escorting the remains of a fallen Marine home for burial, is the best Iraq War movie yet produced by the film industry. Simply by taking a neutral position on the rightness or wrongness of the Iraq War, the film has a throwback feel, one of deep respect for our fighting men and women. It’s a feeling that ought to transcend politics but rarely does. My column on the film drew dozens of e-mails, many of them from those who served or who continue to serve, and everyone I heard from agrees that the movie is a fitting tribute to those who wear the uniform of this country.
Having completed a run on HBO, “Taking Chance” is coming to DVD on May 12. Press release below.
Official Selection of 2009 Sundance Film Festival
An HBO Films Production Based on True Story of
Fallen Marine’s Final Journey Home
In Stores, Exclusively from HBO Home Entertainment®
On May 12, 2009
DVD Special Bonus Features Includes Two Featurettes on the Life of Chance Phelps – the Soldier Who Inspired the Story Behind Taking Chance
New York, N.Y., March 30, 2009 – Profound and emotionally stirring, Taking Chance chronicles Lt. Colonel Michael R. Strobl’s experience as a military escort for a fallen Marine, 19-year-old Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, whose remains he accompanied home for burial. Out in stores from HBO Home Entertainment on May 12, 2009, Taking Chance stars Kevin Bacon (Oscar® nominated Frost/Nixon) and is based on a personal journal of the same name by LtCol Strobl, USMC (Ret.), who also co-wrote the screenplay with first-time director Ross Katz, a two-time Academy Award® nominated producer (Lost in Translation, In the Bedroom).
In the spring of 2004, Strobl, a Desert Storm veteran with 17 years of military service and then working as a strategic analyst at Marine Corps Base in Quantico, comes across Phelps’ name in a list of casualties from Iraq. Learning that Phelps once lived in his hometown, Strobl volunteers to escort the body to its final resting place in Wyoming. Deeply affected by the experience and touched by the extraordinary respect shown by strangers along the three-day journey as well as his encounters with Phelps’ family and community, Strobl writes a first-person account that quickly gets circulated throughout the military community and eventually reaches mainstream media. Based on that journal, Taking Chance bears witness to the fallen heroes as well as to those who carry them home, paying homage to the silent, virtually unseen ritual and ceremony that escorts provide all casualties, ensuring that they are delivered safe to the next of kin and are treated with dignity and honor along the way.
Marketing and Advertising
Taking Chance is backed by a national online promotion via HBO.com as well as press outreach to national broadcast, print and other online outlets.
DVD Bonus Features
Taking Chance includes the following:
“Bearing Witness” – a featurette that includes interviews with Chance Phelps’ friend and family as well as a section on the real LtCol Strobl.
“The Real Chance Phelps” – interviews, home movies and personal photos that help paint a more vivid picture of his hero.
“From Script to Screen” – a featurette on how Taking Chance was made, from concept through production.
“I’ll Watch Over Him” – deleted scene from film.
Street Date: May 12, 2009
Order Date: April 7, 2009
Runtime: Approx. 78 minutes
Price: $19.97 DVD SRP
About HBO Home Entertainment®
HBO Home Entertainment markets an extensive array of programs ranging from the critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking series The Sopranos®, Sex and the City® and Entourage® to theatrical features such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the #1 romantic comedy of all time. The company’s catalog contains hundreds of titles including the HBO multiple Emmy® Award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers, Angels in America and Elizabeth I, the Peabody Award-winning children’s program Classical Baby, provocative movies from HBO Films including Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and comedy specials featuring top stand-up performers like Chris Rock and Dane Cook. Launched in 1984, HBO Home Entertainment created a London-based international division in 2003 to capitalize on the rapidly expanding worldwide DVD market.