Wilhelm Scream

The Wilhelm scream is a frequently-used film and television stock sound effect first used in 1951 for the film Distant Drums. The effect gained new popularity after it was used in Star Wars and many other blockbuster films as well as television programs and video games. The scream is often used when someone is either pierced with an arrow, falling to their death from a great height or because of an explosion.

The sound is named for Private Wilhelm, a character in The Charge at Feather River, a 1953 western in which the character is shot with an arrow. This was believed to be the second movie to use the sound effect and its first use from the Warner Brothers stock sound library.

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