By Marc Bernardin
Updated October 19, 2007 at 02:00 PM EDT

Now, I want you to watch this compilation…and listen closely. I’m not gonna tell you what to listen for, I think you’ll notice what ties all the clips together. (And the audio has not been monkeyed with at all.) We’ll talk about it after the jump.

Did you hear it? That sound that you heard in all of those film clips is referred to lovingly as The Wilhelm Scream, and it’s a terrific piece of sound editor arcana. The short version: the Wilhelm Scream was recorded for a ’50s Western, popped up in a handful of movies in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, was adopted by George Lucas’ sound man Ben Burtt (who put the Scream in each Star Wars and Indiana Jones flick), and then dropped into more than 150 other movies since.

And here’s the long version:

That’s the end of today’s lesson, kids. Now, go out there and do some good.