AMBOY — When a veteran dies, the Amboy American Legion will perform a graveside military honors services. The Legion performs about 30 of these graveside services each year.
The Amboy American Legion performed this honors service for Clifford Becker, Sr., in January 2011. Little did they know that some six years late, in the early spring of 2017, they would be asked to perform the graveside honors services for a movie.
Fourteen men, members of the Amboy American Legion and a trumpeter, boarded a rental van for Hillside on March 28, 2017 to reenact the graveside honor services for the movie What They Had. The movie was written and directed by Elizabeth Chomko, one of the granddaughters of Clifford Becker, Sr.
Larry Leffelman, then commander of the Amboy American Legion, said that Chomko had attended her grandfather’s funeral and was moved by the military honors ceremony. So much that, according to Leffelman, she decided to have the Amboy American Legion in the move to recreate the burial ceremony.
From first-time writer/director Chomko, What They Had centers on a family in crisis. Bridget (Hilary Swank) returns home to Chicago at her brother's (Michael Shannon) urging to deal with her ailing mother (Blythe Danner) and her father's (Robert Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together.
What They Had was released in theaters on Oct. 19 as a limited release, the closest to Amboy it was shown was in Chicago. On Jan. 8, 2019, What They Had was released on DVD, and also available on Amazon Video and iTunes.