Shrieks and Squeals to Shout About!

Image from muppet.wikia.com

Wayne and I took Mom and Dad to visit the Center for Puppetry Arts here in Atlanta this weekend to see a live performance and take in the exhibit “Jim Henson: The Wonders of His Workshop.” We saw Fraggles, Doozers, Emmett and Ma Otter, and a plethora of other favorites. However, as I lovingly stared at the Sir Didymus puppet (sadly sans Ambrosius), Wayne openly admitted he’d never seen Labyrinth. We corrected that rather egregious oversight that evening, and while he was slightly weirded out, he admitted he enjoyed it. It had been quite a while since I’d seen it, and I came to realize that there are many scenes involving David Bowie in a codpiece, Jennifer Connelly vapidly staring off into the distance, and a copious amount of yelling. Well, the last fact got us to discussing our favorite movie screams. This ended up being our top five list…

5. Albert Goldman (A.K.A. Starina) in The Birdcage

I don’t know if it’s the timing or how he manages to pitch the scream at the exact same range as the car horn, but this always cracks me up.

4. Doc Brown in Back to the Future

The jaw drop in combination with the sound makes this gasp priceless. It’s quirky and befitting of Doc Brown, the mad and loving genius friend of Marty McFly. Christoper Lloyd has several great moments of hollering in the trilogy.

3. Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (at 0:21)

This montage is proof positive that Harrison Ford is one Hollywood actor who knows how to yelp, howl, and cry out like a pro. I’ve always been fond of some of the Han Solo moments collected here, but the scene where he’s bashed in the chin by the full length mirror when he’s already beaten half to death is classic. I also love the fact Lucas chose to pull back and give us a shot of the boat to accentuate the size of Indy’s pain and the barbaric epicness of the yawp.

2. Person in the Hallway in Ghostbusters

This one happens so quickly it’s easy to miss it. However, it’s one my family has used early and often when we come upon a scene we didn’t expect. I have to hand it to the actor who huffs this one out. After all, you have to be on your game to express such surprise and horror when looking at..well…nothing.

1. Lando Calrissian in Star Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi

Like Han, Lando is a man’s man. An adventurer. A scoundrel. Which is why the scream that bursts out of his throat when he’s snagged by the Sarlacc Pit is one of the funniest on record. It’s half cartoon sound effect and half girly squeal with a dash of flair thrown in for effect.

**Honorable Mention** Marv in Home Alone

It’s a little too obvious because there’s a tarantula involved. However, the bloodcurdling shriek that Daniel Stern emits when that spider is placed on his face is nearly Oscar worthy for sheer volume.

How about you all? What’s your favorite movie outburst? Is it one caused by terror, surprise, or sheer vomit-inducing grossness? I’d love to hear your top five!

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2 thoughts on “Shrieks and Squeals to Shout About!

    1. It’s difficult to feign surprise in a scene where you’ve trained to “look natural.” Screaming is such a primal thing I just don’t know how people “fake it” like this. 🙂

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