Sir William

3rd Nov 2005

General questions

I've seen this throughout the site, but what exactly is a "Wilhelm scream" I know what it sounds like, but why is it called a "Wilhelm" scream and why is it so important?

Sir William

Chosen answer: The original scream was recorded for the film "Distant Drums" in 1951, and it was archived as "man being bitten by alligator and screams" in the sound effects library at Warner Bros. Studio, and used numerous times thereafter. In 1953, the scream is heard in "The Charge at Feather River" when a soldier named Private Wilhelm is shot by an arrow. In the mid-70s, when Ben Burtt was hired as a sound designer for Star Wars, he found the original recording, dubbed it "Wilhelm" after the earlier character. Both he and friend Richard Anderson adopted this scream, and it's been used in all the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" films, dozens of other films, TV shows, and even at theme parks. Though there is no documentation, this popular scream is believed to have been done by Sheb Wooley, a musician and character actor. For more information, this website is dedicated solely to the infamous Wilhelm: http://www.hollywoodlostandfound.net/wilhelm/

Super Grover Premium member

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.