The Wilhelm Scream


Thanks to the internet, now you too can be in on a joke shared by Hollywood sound editors since the 1950s!

The Wilhelm scream is nothing more than a sound effect from the 1951 movie Distant Drums, for a scene in which a minor character is eaten by an alligator. Since this unlikely début, the scream has appeared in more than 80 films!

I found out about it while surfing Team America: World Police on the Internet Movie Database. If you want to hear the Wilhelm scream for yourself, click here; to see it in action, click here


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4 responses to “The Wilhelm Scream”

  1. AC:
    I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the Wilhelm Scream in comedy shorts, either. There’s also a thunderclap that sound editors also like to use as an injoke. And there was a telephone ring that used to get used in films and TV for decades despite the wow from the original’s tape origins.
    In PC video games, a character named Timmy shows up from time to time as an injoke amongst programmers. I discovered him in Warcraft III this weekend.


  2. I don’t know about Timmy, but on a more wide spread note, there’s also the fact that the Road Runner’s sound is the same one from the beginning, it’s just used over and over again. It originated from one of the P.As at Warner Brothers. He delivered the mail and would push past people letting off his famous beep, to get them out of his way.

    Also I’m working on a short film and I can’t promise anything but I may try and get the yell incorporated.

  3. AC those links have been forwarded to all of my movie friends and I would not be suprised if it ended up on etalk daily (where I’m at) sometime VERY SOON! 🙂

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