The Wilhelm Scream

The Wilhelm scream is a stock sound effect that was originally used in the 1951 movie Distant Drums. The sound was revived when re-discovered by Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt and labled as “Man being eaten by alligator”. He named it after Wilhelm, a minor character who emitted the scream in the 1953 movie The Charge at Feather River.

Listen to it here

It is probably one of the most recognizable cinema cliche’s and Sheb Wooley is considered by many to be the most likely voice actor for the scream, having appeared on a memo as a voice extra for Distant Drums.

Since then, it has been an inside joke among sound designers in the film industry who try to sneak it into movies. I hear it alot. The fun thing is to hear it in a movie thats not an action movie.

Here is a list of movies the scream has been in:


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