Released by Paramount | Directed By Dave Fleischer

Swing You Sinners: Death Becomes Him

Swing You Sinners is eight minutes long and contains more imagination than features ten times its length. Or, as in modern blockbusters starring CGI trees, 20. The plot is simple enough: Bimbo tries to catch a chicken for dinner and instead lands a police officer. Escaping him, he ends up in a cemetery where all sorts of unearthly horrors await.


The momentary lynching imagery in the short is messed up, too.

There’s no dialogue for most of it, relying on instruments and the song to carry most of the action. Fleischer, Sears and Bowsky use it as a clothesline to hang as many blackly comic bits on it as they can, from the tree slapping Bimbo on the rear to a barn coming to life and chasing him down a pathway to hell.

It’s a fun, visceral treat, and a good precursor to the jazzier, more polished “Minnie the Moocher.” But polish isn’t everything.

Awards, Accolades & Availability

  • This film is available on YouTube.

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Danny is a writer who lives with his lovely wife, adorable children, and geriatric yet yappy dog. He blogs at, a website dedicated to Hollywood films from 1930 to 1934, and can be found on Twitter @PreCodeDotCom.


Mjm · February 27, 2015 at 1:03 am

Correction: it’s Bimbo starring in this cartoon

    Danny · February 27, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Oh duh. Thanks

Andrew Gilmore · March 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Another correction: more than two people animated on this cartoon, it’s just that only two got screen credit. There would be a whole crew of animators on a given cartoon and only two names would be listed onscreen. This was standard in both the Fleischer and Warner Brothers cartoons of the ’30s.
The only exception I know of is the Fleischers’ “Snow White” in which Roland Crandall did in fact animate the entire cartoon himself.

    Danny · March 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Good point, Andrew. Thanks.

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