Must Watch: Nearly Every Instance of the Wilhelm Scream on Film
For those who seem to be completely lost after reading that headline, here's a little backstory. According to Wikipedia, The Wilhelm scream is a film and television stock sound effect first used in 1951 for the film Distant Drums. Though you may not know it by name, you certainly know its signature sound as it has appeared in a whole slew of popular films. For those of you who have no idea what we're talking about, you'll soon be enlightened as SlashFilm just had one of their readers send them quite an extensive video compilation of nearly every instance this signature scream has been heard on film. Check this out below!
The sound itself became popular on film again after sound designer Ben Burtt discovered the original recording (which he found as a studio reel labeled "Man being eaten by alligator") and incorporated it into the above scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. He's even credited with naming the scream after Private Wilhelm, a character in The Charge at Feather River, a 1953 western in which the character is shot with an arrow. Apparently this is believed the third instance in which the stock sound was used on screen. As you can see in the video above, it's made appearances in plenty of big films since then, and will likely be around for many years to come. Pretty cool, eh?