Baptism of Fire

Nominated for an academy award in 1943, and starring Elisha Cook, Jr., one of the best character actors, think The Maltese Falcon, of his day, this training film is head and shoulders above most produced by the Army in World War II.  This film attempted to prepare men for what combat was like.  As the debacle at Kasserine Pass in 1942 illustrated, combat was always a shock for green troops, particularly if they were up against veterans.  Some things of course no amount of preparation can truly prepare anyone for, and combat is the prime example of that type of experience.  However, the film would let troops know that it was common for all soldiers to be concerned about combat, and that such thoughts did not mean that a man was a coward.  Additionally the combat scenes were quite graphic by the mild standards of 1943 and would give the soldiers viewing it a small taste of what combat was going to be like.  Better than nothing.

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Baptism of Fire  
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