The original recording of the Wilhelm Scream has been found after 70 years

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The original recording of the Wilhelm Scream – arguably the most famous sound effect in movie history – has been discovered.

As revealed by a CBS report, CalArts researcher Craig Smith uncovered the tape among a collection he received from the film school at USC. The archived clip also includes five alternate takes on the iconic scream. And, no, we’re never going to unhear the "Ooowww" version either.

Smith, however, admitted it could have been lost to history – after being resigned to a basement archive for years.

"[There were] close calls all over the place," Smith said. "Nobody wanted it. Nobody cared about it." You can see a brief excerpt from the story below.

The Wilhem Scream, named after a character who utilized the anguished yell in 1953 Western The Charge at Feather River after first being recorded for 1951’s The Distant Drums, has cropped up in everything from Star Wars to Breaking Bad.

Most recently, it could be heard during the opening train sequence of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. In total, the effect has been heard in over 400 movies, TV shows, and video games.

On the topic of Indy’s illustrious history, GamesRadar+ and Total Film recently sat down with producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy and asked about saying goodbye to the character after 40 years.

"I think this was really more Steven [Spielberg] and Harrison [Ford], they both felt very strongly that they hadn't really quite wrapped things up the way they wanted," Kennedy said of the character’s return. "More importantly, for Harrison and his character, he wanted a final chapter. He was ready; he's 80 years old but he's in great shape, very together. He wasn't quite ready to say goodbye – now he is."

For more from our Dial of Destiny coverage, check out:

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.