October 30, 1929 – The Silly Symphony Short Film Hell’s Bells is Released to Theaters
On October 30, 1929, the Silly Symphony short film Hell’s Bells was released to theaters. The short was drawn by Ub Iwerks, and is also notable for being Iwerks’ first foray into directing. The music for the short was done by Carl Stalling; the piece heavily featured in the short is “Funeral March of a Marionette” by Charles-Francois Gounod.
The short first erupts into a blaze of fire, which reveals an underground cavern populated by bats, spiders, and other strange creatures that introduce themselves to the camera one by one. Satan is then seen sitting in his chair, being entertained by dancing musical demons, who use skulls, volcanoes, and even each other to create the music. A troupe of demons also dance around merrily, with comical results. Satan claps with delight before ringing a bell, alerting the other demons to bring their master dinner.
After enjoying his dish, Satan grabs a demon and feeds him to his three-headed dog, laughing at the result. He tries to grab the other demon to feed his pet, but the demon manages to escape Satan’s grasp, sending him flying into the fiery pits below.