Saturday, April 11, 2009


Cynthia and I had an argument the other night.

We were watching the junkfest that is Australia. What seems like 4 hours into the movie, the Japanese begin bombing Darwin. Dirt and bodies fly everywhere, the main characters survive point-blank bombings without a single scratch, and an aboriginal man looks around calmly as war unfolds around him. Right at this moment, one disposable character is killed and an unmistakable sound effect can be heard.

"Wilhelm scream", I said, in what has become a knee-jerk reaction. I probably say that at least once a week without really thinking about it. I said it just last Friday watching Monsters vs. Aliens. And I'm sure I'll probably say it in the next action movie I watch. Thanks for the inside joke, Ben Burtt.

But this time, Cynthia wasn't so sure it was the Wilhelm. We then watched the same clip over and over, each time at marginally louder volumes trying to figure out if it truly was the great audio cliché. My confidence sounded like the Wilhelm...but slightly different. Could it be that it was edited?

After a quick peek on Wikipedia, we discovered that there are actually three different takes that are all considered to be a Wilhelm scream. Who knew!? With the argument settled, we resumed the movie.

Here's one of several beautiful compilations on YouTube of the Wilhelm scream...and none of them are the original usage! (There are better ones on YouTube, but they're a little more mature than this one)

In case you were wondering, here's the original Wilhelm scream.

1 comment:

  1. Now that you mentioned it you know people are going to comment here, right?
    [I must admit: I completely missed this post the first time around...which when I think about it, is your own fault. "How? What?" You might ask. Well, I didn't start checking your blog until after this time because, although you told us when you started a blog, you never told us the address. I finally thought to find it in the Bradshaw's links.]
    I've never heard of the Wilhelm Scream before. I feel more intelligent and culturally superior to what I was only moments ago.