"A series of short painful screams performed by an actor were recorded in 1951 for the Warner Brother's film "Distant Drums." They were used for a scene where a man is bitten and dragged underwater by an alligator. The recording was archived into the studio's sound effects library -- and it was used in many of their films since. "Star Wars" Sound Designer Ben Burtt tracked down the scream recording - which he named "Wilhelm" after a character who let out the same scream in the film "Charge at Feather River." Ben has adopted the scream as sort of a personal sound signature, and has included it in many of the films he has worked on. He and a small circle of sound effects people, including Richard Anderson and Steve Lee, continue the crusade to keep Wilhelm alive. The Wilhelm Scream continues to be heard in new films every year."