"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Wilheim Scream

ABC News ran a report that finally gives a little historical insight into the Wilheim scream. A scream you have probably heard often but may not have connected as being the same from its use in Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and 112 other films (see film collage below for some).

The scream is believed to have been first used in Distant Drums (1951) when recorded by Sheb Wooley, but the voice isn't 100% confirmed. The scream was recycled for a character named Private Wilheim (hence the name of the scream) in The Charge of Feather River (1953) when he was shot with an arrow. The scream was reused again in Them! (1954), Land of the Pharoahs (1955) and The Green Berets (1963).

The traditional of the scream was renewed by Ben Burtt when worked together with Richard Anderson on Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Anderson then used it again on Poltergeist (1982) and many other movies after that, most recently Madagascar (2005). So the 55 year tradition of the scream continues, no telling what future movies it will pop up in.

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