The Wilhelm scream is a frequently-used film and television stock sound effect first used in 1951 for the film Distant Drums. The effect gained new popularity (its use often becoming an in-joke) after it was used in Star Wars and many other blockbuster films as well as television programs and video games. The scream is often used when someone is either pierced with an arrow, or falling to their death from a great height or because of an explosion.
The Wilhelm scream has become a well-known cinematic sound cliché, and is claimed to have been used in over 216 films. (-> Wikipedia)
One sound effect that has found a following with many sound editors and observant movie fans is a distinctive scream named Wilhelm.
In 1951, the Warner Bros. film „Distant Drums“ directed by Raoul Walsh starred Gary Cooper as Captain Quincy Wyatt, who leads a group of soldiers to stop some Seminole Indians from threatening settlers in early 19th Century Florida. During a scene in which the soldiers are wading through a swamp in the everglades, one of them is bitten and dragged underwater by an alligator.
As is usually the case with the making of a movie, the scream for that character was recorded later. Six short pained screams were recorded in a single take, which was slated „man getting bit by an alligator, and he screams.“ The fifth scream was used for the soldier – but the 4th, 5th, and 6th screams recorded in the session were also used earlier in the film when three Indians are shot, one after another, during a raid on a fort.(->more)