The Wilhelm Scream: The Amen Break Of Movie Sound Effects

The Wilhelm Scream may be the most famous movie sound effect of all time:

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It’s a scream that’s been used in movies for over 50 years, becoming a sort of inside joke among filmmakers. It was used in all six Star Wars movies, Poltergeist, all three Pirates of the Caribbean films, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Reservoir Dogs and all four Indiana Jones movies. It even shows up in many of Disney’s recent cartoons.

Watching this visual history of the Wilhelm Scream, it’s funny to see all the places it’s been used:

Here’s a brief history of the Wilhelm Scream:

You can download the Wilhelm Scream from the player above or via archive.org.

8 thoughts on “The Wilhelm Scream: The Amen Break Of Movie Sound Effects

  1. That was awesome; thanks. : )

    You know, ever since I played the game Morrowind, I swear that I hear the same sample of a door opening in everything from X-Files to Firefly. I’ve always imagined that was because the door opening sample was on some sample-CD that cheap sound companies used a lot… but perhaps it’s another secret handshake…

    1. Me too! That door sound must be all over the place. Seems like I hear sound effects reused a lot.
      I notice the overuse of fonts as well… haha.

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