Wilhelm Scream

The Wilhelm scream is one of the most famous sound effects in cinema and television. You’ve heard it hundreds of times even if you haven’t been aware of it. Have you seen any Star Wars or Indiana Jones movies? You’ve heard it. A fan of Tarantino flicks? You’ve heard it. Watched any of the Lord of the Rings and/or The Hobbit films? You’ve heard it. It first appeared in 1951’s Distant Drums and later became a stock sound effect. It was later renamed after 1953’s The Charge at Feather River when a character called Private Wilhelm gets shot with an arrow. It became a Hollywood fixture when sound designer Ben Burtt rediscovered it and put it in Star Wars. Other sound designers picked up on it and inserted it into their films as an in-joke. Once you’re heard the distinctive scream it becomes impossible to forget. It puts a smile on your face whenever you’re watching the latest blockbuster and it pops up. You can’t escape it once you’re aware of it.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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