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Hell-Bent for Election (1944)

A villainous Thomas E. Dewey supporting sprite tries to influence a sleepy Union rail switchman to derail Franklin D. Roosevelt's campaign train.


(as Charles M. Jones)


, (lyrics)


In this cartoon, a political piece paid for by the United Auto Workers, presidential candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt is portrayed as streamlined express train, while Thomas Dewey is shown as an old, tired steamer. The voters are encouraged not to "fall asleep at the switch" when it came time to support FDR. Written by Mike Konczewski

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Animation | Short





Release Date:

1 January 1944 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Featured in Animated Century (2003) See more »


We're Going to Win the War
Music by Earl Robinson
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
See more »

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User Reviews

Hell-Bent for Election was quite an effective animated piece of propaganda
3 August 2009 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

Directed by Chuck Jones and produced by Steven Bosustow for what would later become known as UPA, Hell-Bent for Election was an attempt to convince certain workers not quite sure who to vote for president in 1944 to cast it for Franklin D. Roosevelt for a fourth term in order to help "win the war" (according to song lyrics written by E. Y. Harburg). Roosevelt is portrayed as a streamlined train that's running parallel to another train called "Defeatest Limited" that has every negative connotation associated with it as connecting cars. This was, I'm sure, effective propaganda for the time and probably ensured Roosevelt got even more votes even though he probably would have been reelected anyway since he did so well before during the previous Depression and the still-active World War II during this time. Well worth a look now for the fluid and stylized animation that would help define UPA during the late '40s and much of the '50s.

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