Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread, your place on the Avocado to discuss films with your fellow commenters. Want to make a recommendation? Looking for recommendations? Want to share your opinions of movies, both new and classic?
This year is the 70th anniversary of The Charge at Feather River. It’s a completely forgotten except for one thing: a minor character known as Private Wilhelm. It’s not the first use of what would be known as the Wilhelm Scream. It was originally used in a movie two years earlier called Distant Drums where a man gets eaten by an alligator.
The yell became part of a sound library. A young sound editor named Ben Burtt took a liking to it. He threw it into films as an in-joke. Well, thanks to the popularity of those films (Star Wars trilogy, Indiana Jones movies), the scream named after poor Private Wilhelm would become an in-joke for everyone.
Well, except Star Wars. Apparently they’ve retired the Wilhelm scream.
Can it be distracting? Yes. But there is a certain joy one gets from watching an intense scene, hearing the scream, and the people around you wondering why you let out a little knowing chuckle.
Bonus prompt: when was the first time you noticed the Wilhelm scream? Do you like it as an insider joke, or does it totally take you out of the movie?