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Hollywood, will you PLEASE retire the Wilhelm scream!?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by John_Berger, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. John_Berger

    John_Berger Well-Known Member

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    I realize that the Wilhelm scream has become a bit of a staple in the movie industry, but it's use, or overuse IMHO, is really starting to grate on my nerves.

    I know of at least one instance in "The Two Towers", and I heard it no less than twice in "Return of the King". Then of course we have "Star Wars", "Star Trek: TMP", and no doubt a boatload of others that I have forgotten or just don't know about. It's really starting to stick out like a sore thumb even when its volume is subdued in any scene that it's in.

    When songs are overplayed on the radio, those songs often end up getting disliked and therefore stop being played. It's about that time for the damned Wilhelm scream as well!

    [​IMG]

    Just my two cents.
     
  2. Clay-F

    Clay-F Well-Known Member

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    I wish it would be reserved for comedies or something....

    Or at least done in such a way that it doesnt jump out at us and make us chuckle when we are not supposed to....
     
  3. Adam_S

    Adam_S Well-Known Member

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    I hate this sceam. I didn't know it was called the Wilhelm scream though, I've always called it the "Boba Fett" scream, since it's the noise Fett makes when he's knocked into the sarlacc.

    I don't think there are any other soundeffects used in Willow, other than this scream. [​IMG]

    I remember thinking how great it was during Fellowship and Two Towers that all the sound sounds so great and original, and then there was one guy with the boba fett scream in two towers and I was annoyed. I was again annoyed it was used twice (that I caught) in ROTK.

    This doesn't greatly affect my enjoyment or reception of the film. BUT I can't understand why filmmakers seem to always put in that scream. Every. Single. Time.

    However I would be interested in the history of the scream, since it is such a recognizable and iconic sound effect (which is unfortunate because it draws attention away from the story to remind you you're watching a movie).

    I'm waiting for the inevitable posts of "WHY DON'T YOU WATCH THE MOVIE AND FORGET ABOUT THIS CRAP". hopefully we can instead have an interesting discussion on why this soundeffect is used so often, sound libraries in general, and other repeated sound effects that may not have quite the same recognizeable signature this scream has.

    Adam
     
  4. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Well-Known Member

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  5. Chad R

    Chad R Well-Known Member

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    I'm not tired of it yet. I thought its use in the LOTR movies were a nice homage to Lucas.
     
  6. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Well-Known Member

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    Strangely enough I agree with the original poster's consent. The Wilhelm sorta took me out of Two Towers in the Helm's Deep scene. I think certain filmmakers use it as an homage, as in a large-scale action scene isn't complete without a Wilhelm yell. Peter Jackson probably used it in respect to Star Wars, not sure.
     
  7. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad others have noticed this scream. I noticed it in ROTK as well.

    The foley that REALLY bugs me, however, is the "kids laughing" sound that I first heard in the english dub for Jackie Chan's "Rumble In The Bronx", and has been in over a dozen films since. (The kids around Anakin's pod in "Episode 1" had the same "kids laughing" foley. TWICE.)

    Jason
     
  8. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't the Wilhelm also used in Kill Bill during the House of the Blue Leaves?
     
  9. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Well-Known Member

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    yes it was. twice! [​IMG]

    -Dennis
     
  10. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Well-Known Member

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    Wilhelm's scream is also heard in Raiders of the Lost Ark, during the truck chase. It seems one of the German soldiers in the back of the truck was named Wilhelm.

    Gary: the Wish You Were Here shrink wrap sticker and Star Wars, that's an interesting combination.
     
  11. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Wayne. [​IMG] If it makes you think then it works, that's my theory.
     
  12. Doug Pyle

    Doug Pyle Well-Known Member

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    Aaarrggghh! I'm not sure which scream you are talking about.

    I'm not sure I WANT to know - like edge enhancement, I was in bliss until someone pointed it out (now I can never avoid being annoyed by it).

    Okay, so IF my curiosity overwhelms my better senses -- and I decide to ruin my future enjoyment by noticing this scream when re-used -- can you tell me what part of the cited films I could look at to hear the scream?

    Thanks (I think).
     
  13. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Well-Known Member

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    I notice it everytime it is used, doesn't really bother me. Glad on the confirmation for Kill Bill, I knew I heard it.

    Doug, here is a good list of when the 'Wilhelm' can be heard Wilhelm Scream. That site even has Wilhelm Scream T-Shirts. [​IMG] I would think any movie fan would recognise the scream.
     
  14. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Well-Known Member

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    Go to my second link above and download the video. You'll get an instant crash course in the Wilhelm.
     
  15. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Well-Known Member

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    Funny to learn that that familiar old sound effect has a name and a history.

    Fascinating stuff, fellas. Thanks!
     
  16. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Well-Known Member

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    Where was the "Wilhelm" scream in Star Trek: TMP? As much as I've seen that film, I don't recall it there.
     
  17. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Well-Known Member

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    Agreed! I always recognized it, but didn't know the history behind it. Interesting stuff!

    Now, I've got to say this though.... why is the use of the Wilhelm in ROTK being thought of as an "homage" to Lucas?

    Lucas didn't tape the effect. Goodness knows the list Nick posted shows it has been used in far more than Lucas's films.

    Heck, I love the SW films....but I think the re-re-re-use of a single sound effect hardly qualifies as an "homage". (Or am I missing something?)

    Just my two cents... [​IMG]
     
  18. Chad R

    Chad R Well-Known Member

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    Because the sound effect was resurrected by Burtt for Lucas films initially, and where it gained prominence among our generation. It was noticed by geeks like us who have watched those film countless enough times to hear it in all of them. And, it's no secret that PJ was influenced in his youth by 'Star Wars' like most filmmakers of this generation. I seriously doubt PJ put them there based on some forgotten westerns.
     
  19. John_Berger

    John_Berger Well-Known Member

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    "Strangely enough"?
     
  20. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Well-Known Member

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    It's so overused now. The joke is very stale. It's not a homage, or a dedication, or anything other than crap.
     

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