Originally recorded in 1951, this sound effect has appeared in numerous films and video games.
Though its exact origin is not well established (the best research on just who performed the scream point to actor and singer Sheb Wooley) the Wilhelm Scream was first heard in the 1951 film Distant Drums and earned its name two years later from the character Private Wilhelm in the Western The Charge at Feather River. The scream made a comeback in Star Wars Episode IV when sound engineer Ben Burtt used it for a scene where Luke Skywalker shoots a stormtrooper inside the Death Star. Burtt worked with directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg on several other projects over the following decades and included the scream in most of them, making an in-joke out of the effect. Other sound engineers caught on and soon the Wilhelm Scream was made ubiquitous.
Currently featured in over 150 films, the scream can be described as a very feminine yell of surprise or pain always emanating from a man.
|1981||Raiders of the Lost Ark|
|1980||The Big Brawl|
|1980||Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back|
|1979||More American Graffiti|
|1978||The Star Wars Holiday Special|
|1977||A Bridge Too Far|
|1969||The Wild Bunch|
|1968||The Green Berets|
|1955||Land of the Pharaohs|
|1955||The Sea Chase|
|1953||The Charge at Feather River|