Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Wilhelm Scream

This is going to a be a bit of a random post, focusing on an obscure quirk of movie-making. The Wilhelm Scream.

I first discovered a mention of this strange sound in a movie review on the wonderful movie review site Mutant Reviewers From Hell(which I read religiously!) I was sitting at home reading a review of Peter Jackson's King Kong when I read the line, "One of the sailors does the Wilhelm scream when he’s knocked off the cliff by a brontosaurus."

What in the world is the Wilhelm Scream?

This looked like a job for Wikipedia, so I searched for "the Wilhelm scream" and discovered that it is a specific recording of a famous scream (first used in 1951's Distant Drums) reused over and over again in films such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Lethal Weapon.

It is a remarkably funny scream, used mostly when flying off cliffs, getting shot, and generally dying. Below, I have linked a video which compiles Wilhelm screams from many Hollywood movies. Check it out for a good laugh:

In my hours of browsing YouTube, I also found a compilation of scenes from movies that SHOULD have the Wilhelm scream! The laughs never stop...

Call it an Ode to Wilhelm:


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does this mean you're going to start incorporating the Wilhelm scream into all your movies too? (That would be classic...)