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"Baptism of Fire is an US Army documentary that addresses the anxiety associated with going into combat for the first time. Part of the WWII U.S. Army "Fighting Men" series of films. This 1943 Army training film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1944..." The cast includes Elisha Cook, Jr., as "Bill."
US Army Training Film TF21-2014
Public domain film from the Prelinger Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Elisha Vanslyck Cook, Jr. (December 26, 1903 – May 18, 1995) was an American character actor, probably best remembered as the "gunsel" Wilmer, who tries to intimidate Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, but his acting career spanned more than 60 years, with roles in films such as The Big Sleep, Shane, The Killing, and House on Haunted Hill...
Cook was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Elisha Vanslyck Cook, Sr., a pharmacist. He grew up in Chicago, starting out in vaudeville and stock by the age of fourteen. He was a traveling actor in the East Coast and the Midwest before arriving in New York City, where Eugene O'Neill cast him in his play Ah, Wilderness!, which ran on Broadway for two years.
In 1936, Cook settled in Hollywood and, after playing a series of college-aged parts, began a long period playing weaklings or sadistic losers and hoods. Cook's characters usually ended up being killed off (strangled, poisoned or shot). Hollywood's most notable fall guy for many years, he made a rare appearance in slapstick comedy in the cameo role of The Screenwriter in Hellzapoppin' (1941). In Universal's Phantom Lady (1944), he portrays a slimy, intoxicated nightclub-orchestra drummer to memorable effect. He had a substantial uncredited role as Bobo in I, the Jury (1953).
Cook may be best-remembered for playing Wilmer, the "gunsel", in The Maltese Falcon (1941), Other notable roles included the doomed informant Harry Jones in The Big Sleep (1946), a henchman (Marty Waterman) of the murderous title character in Born to Kill (1947)), the pugnacious ex-Confederate soldier 'Stonewall' Torrey in Shane (1953), and George Peatty, the shady, cuckolded husband in Stanley Kubrick's The Killing (1956). He also appeared in William Castle's horror film House on Haunted Hill (1959) and Rosemary's Baby (1968).
Cook appeared on American television. He played a private detective in an episode of Adventures of Superman television series entitled Semi-Private Eye (1953). That same season, he guest starred on NBC's The Dennis Day Show. In 1960 he was cast in the episode, "The Hermit", of the ABC sitcom The Real McCoys, with Walter Brennan. He appeared as Jeremy Hake in the episode "The Bequest" of the ABC western series, The Rebel (1960), starring Nick Adams. He appeared in the second episode of ABC's crime drama, The Fugitive.
Cook made two guest appearances on the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason. In 1958 he played Art Crowley in "The Case of the Pint-Sized Client," and in 1964 he played Reelin' Peter Rockwell in "The Case of the Reckless Rockhound". Cook played lawyer Samuel T. Cogley in the Star Trek episode "Court Martial" (1967), Isaac Isaacson on the Batman television series, Weasel Craig in Salem's Lot, and later had a long-term recurring role as Honolulu crime lord "Ice Pick" on CBS's Magnum, P.I.. He also appeared in The Bionic Woman episode, "Once a Thief" (1977)...