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Cinematic sound cliché supercut: The Wilhelm Scream

As outlined in this informative cartoon, “The Wilhelm Scream” is a stock sound effect first used in 1951 which was later resurrected by Star Wars, and has been used in more than 80 films (semi-obnoxious grammar note: people, stop saying “over” when you mean “more than”).  The original Wilhelm screamer was Sheb Wooley, who also sang “Purple People Eater” and wrote the theme for “Hee Haw.”  Not enough people are named “Sheb” these days.  Like pretty much all things Star Wars-related, the obscure sound effect has been run into the ground, and Joseph Demme over at Cinexcellence recently put together a 12-minute video compilation of all the places the Wilhelm Scream has appeared, which you can watch below.  It’s exactly as repetitive as that sounds, but surprisingly entertaining.  It starts out funny, then gets old, then eventually loops back around to being funny again when the repetitiveness itself becomes the joke, a lá Baby Booey, or Kevin Smith’s “and sh*t, and whatnot.”  Anyway, cheers to you, whacky Hollywood sound designers.  I now consider the last 60 years of Wilhelm Scream in-jokes retroactively hilarious.

[hat tip: Slashfilm]

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