The Wilhelm Scream

Found this at Ain’t It Cool News. Like any movie geek, I love stuff like this.

For me, the sound effect that drives me crazy is what I call “The Wind,” a specific, whistling wind sound thatI hear in every god-damned movie. Wind is something that happens all over the world, 24 hours a day. Go out and record some new wind fr chrissakes.
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12 Responses to “The Wilhelm Scream”
  1. craigjclark says:

    The one that always jumps out as me is a door-opening sound effect that I used on a radio comedy show that I did in college. Ever since then, I’ve heard it in countless movies and TV shows.

    • There’s also a scifi door opening sound that is everywhere. (I first recognized it as the sound of a tank going into siege mode in the game Starcraft.)

      • Todd says:

        Video games have exposed a lot of these effects, since they use key sounds for important events hundreds of times. Certain door openings and what I call “button-pushing” effects, beeps and clicks and bongs and hums and, oh, and footsteps on metal flooring, Jesus.

      • susumu says:

        Is that also Doom door opening noise?

        The one that gets my back up is the Generic Baby Chuckle which just gets used arbitrarily in fabric conditioner and toilet roll ads.

  2. zodmicrobe says:

    you’re indavertantly quoting the beginning of BLOW OUT

    “get me new wind! and a new scream! and go fuck Nancy Allen!”

  3. r_sikoryak says:

    I recommend this piece on the Wilhelm, also used in A Star is Born:

    The one I can’t stand is the cat screech. Whenever it appears, it makes the “funny cat moment” the opposite of funny.

  4. adam_0oo says:

    I used to think the Wilhelm scream was that double female scream they use all the time. If any female is getting murdered offscreen or whatever, always the same. Always takes me out of the movie.

  5. papajoemambo says:

    I love the Wilhelm…

    I knew they used it for the two troopers in the first two (well, chronologically) STAR WARS movies because Ben Burtt was on an episode of, of all things, the Mike Douglas Show in like, 1981, and he gave an example of it as a stock sound. He even called it the Wilhelm at the time. I knew it as a child as the sound of the South American peasant farmer screaming as Charleton Heston watched him being eaten alive by red ants in THE NAKED JUNGLE.

    The one that gets me is the stock werewolf/creepy wolf sound. The slow “wark-wark-warrRRooUUU!” as opposed to the yippy one. The one that sounds like it’s in it’s throat. That one says B-Horror to me like no other. And it’s EVERYWHERE. Mel Brooks used it in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, even.

  6. moroccomole says:

    Here’s a link to another Wilhelm montage, which I posted yesterday:

  7. teamwak says:

    Hi Todd. You may this amusing, or very possibly not!

    It is a company selling glamourised guns, including the Hello Kitty AK47, the Princess Di Magnum, and the My Little Carbine! I thought they were joking, but theyre not. 🙁