The Wilhelm Scream is ubiquitous in movies and television, and as welcome and comforting as the Goofy Yell or the Roadrunner's Beep Beep. Okay. Perhaps the Wilhelm Scream isn't truly comforting because we know that someone has come to a grizzly end, but it has certainly become familiar and a welcome "aha" moment to fans.
My contribution to The Wilhelm Scream Blogathon is an episode of Maverick from its first season, The Savage Hills featuring Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick with guest star Diane Brewster as the recurring character Samantha Crawford, in the second of four episodes. The character was introduced in According to Hoyle in 1947 where "Sam" beat Bret at his own game.
Agent Gunnerson sums things up to an incarcerated Bart: "This girl comes to your hotel room - tries to rob you. You go for the sheriff. She hops into bed. You come back. She tells you she's a Secret Service Agent and I'm a crook. So you team up with her to rob me to get the reward. Is that the way it goes?"
Samantha takes the plates and jumps from a riverboat with Bart in pursuit while Gunnerson is knocked out. Attempting a cross-country route the hungry wanderers make the mistake of stealing a food pouch from a Native death lodge. They may have satiated their hunger but now they have some angry men on their trail.
Samantha proves resourceful in rescuing Bart from certain torture and this is where the Wilhelm Scream joins the action. Clever Sam starts a distracting fire, grabs a rifle, and down goes one angry Native (Ahhh!) at the 30:13 mark in the proceedings.
Samantha "dripping honeysuckle" Crawford charms the Judge, who also "drips honeysuckle" played by Thurston Hall, a favourite of classic movie fans with 230 film credits including Inspector Crane in The Lone Wolf movies.
Bart immediately jumps on board the train when he realizes Samantha has picked his pocket with her goodbye kiss. Samantha waves goodbye from the platform. Those Maverick boys consider themselves as cynical as they come, but they have a strong sentimental streak when it comes to their lovely Warner Brothers contractees.