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Topic: Top ten film scores of all time

  1. #1

    Top ten film scores of all time

    I am curious to know what the opinions of other musicians are on the best film scores of all time. Star wars? LOTR? Braveheart? Or whatever, just chip in; I would love to hear your recommendations.

    My top ten would probably be:
    (Not necessarily in order)

    Star wars: A new hope – John Williams (I am sort of including episodes 5 and 6)
    The Rocketeer – James Horner
    Indiana Jones and Last crusade – John Williams (No ticket – and Scherzo are among the greatest tracks of all time)
    Gladiator – Hans Zimmer
    Chicken Run – Harry Gregson-Willams and John Powell
    Schindler’s list – John Williams
    Beautiful mind – James Horner (Kaleidoscope of mathematics puts this in the top ten)
    Band of Brothers – Michael Kamen
    Prince of Egypt – Hans Zimmer (Hans knows his melody)
    E.T. – John Williams

    My runners-up for top ten would have to be:

    Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost ark – John Williams (possibly a greater soundtrack than IJ3 -- but I enjoy Crusade more.
    Monsters Inc. – Randy Newman
    Magnificent seven – Elmer Bernstein (the best western soundtrack ever?)
    Silverado – Bruce Broughton (the second best western soundtrack ever?)
    Hook – John Williams (I am not very familiar with the whole soundtrack, but Flight to Neverland puts it here)
    Mask of Zorro – James Horner (this soundtrack is just plain fun)
    Angela’s ashes – John Williams
    Jurassic Park – John Williams
    LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring – Howard Shore
    Star wars: Phantom Menace – John Williams

    Of course, my favorites are subject to change depending on my daily listening.

  2. #2

    Re: Top ten film scores of all time

    I've come up with seven soundtracks that I feel especially suited the films for which they were written. I don't know if that's what you wanted, but that is my criterium.


    Walk on the Wild Side - Elmer Bernstein
    To Kill a Mockingbird - Elmer Bernstein
    The French Connection - Don Ellis
    The Lion in Winter - John Barry
    The Three Musketeers (1973) - Michel Legrand
    Shakespeare in Love - Stephen Warbeck
    The Quiet Man - Victor Young

    Hmmm. I'm probably showing my age here.


  3. #3

    Re: Top ten film scores of all time

    that's a good list.
    here are some of my favorites:

    "Close Encounters"
    It's brilliant how the score is used as the aliens' "horn call"

    2001, although not the usual film score.

    some others:

    JAWS! of course
    Dances with Wolves beautiful
    the good, the bad, and the ugly, and others by Ennio Morricone
    memoirs of a gaisha

    many almodovar films scored by Alerto Iglesias

    Koyannisqaatsi - Philip glass (different but amazing, all composers must see this film)

    Altered States - John Corigliano
    American Beauty
    the Truman Show
    Requiem for a Dream
    children of men
    planet of the apes
    on golden pond,

    can't think of any more

    seriously, though,
    go out and rent Koyannisqaatsi and watch it all without interruption

  4. #4

    Re: Top ten film scores of all time

    Well, here's a few of my favorites. Some of them aren't masterpieces, but I enjoy listening to them. These aren't in any particular order.

    Black Beauty (Danny Elfman)
    Last Samurai (Zimmer)
    Braveheart (Horner)
    13th Warrior (Goldsmith)
    The Last of the Mohicans (Trevor Jones/Randy Eldelman)
    Dances with Wolves (Barry?)
    Shindler's List (John Williams)
    Batman Begins (Zimmer/Newton Howard)
    Harry Potter movies (Williams)

    This is all that I can think of right now...I know that I'm forgetting a few

  5. #5

    Re: Top ten film scores of all time

    Quote Originally Posted by sandden1
    I've come up with seven soundtracks that I feel especially suited the films for which they were written. I don't know if that's what you wanted, but that is my criterium.

    Yes, that is exactly what I had in mind. After all, the #1 ultimate goal of the score is to compliment and support the film.
    The pleasure derived from listening to the score alone is not as important, but good soundtracks can usually do both.

  6. #6

    Re: Top ten film scores of all time

    I give a second vote to many listings including the John Williams scores, Braveheart, The Three Muskateers (1973) and the last Harry Potter movie. There are so many, I'll add just a few...

    1) Edward Scissorhands (Danny Elfman does great stuff in general)
    2) Peter Pan (2003) (The soundtrack actually lifted the movie to another level)
    3) The Chronicles of Narnia LWaW (I've listened to it over and over and over)
    4) Saving Private Ryan (The only soundtrack I've seen reduce a theatre full of grown men to tears.)
    5) The 5th Element (Ok, not traditional, but wow did it add to the movie!)
    6) Monty Python and the Holy Grain (C'mon! That theme song will be engrained in all of our brains forever! )
    7) Titanic (Hymn to the Sea is both haunting and gorgeous)
    8) The Firm (Acoustic piano only and fantastic!)
    9) Amadeus (I hear they brought in a ringer of a composer for this one)
    10) The Wizard of Oz (Too many catchy tunes to count!)

    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
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  7. #7

    Re: Top ten film scores of all time

    To the above, I'd add two Bernard Hermann scored films - Vertigo and Taxi Driver.

  8. #8

    Re: Top ten film scores of all time

    I'll Add a couple not mentioned, definitely worth listening to.

    Chocolate............Rachel Portman ( a delightful gem )
    The Time Machine ... Klaus Badelt
    Lawrence of Arabia....Maurice Jarre
    The Mists of Avalon... Lee Holdridge
    X-Men3 .............John Powell
    First Knight....... Goldsmith
    The Omen......... Goldsmith
    Crimson Tide..... Zimmer
    Waterworld....James Newton Howard ( Great opening score)
    Nightmare before Christmas... Elfman

    And of Course the best: Conan The Barbarian.....Basil Poledouris

  9. #9

    Re: Top ten film scores of all time

    Ooooh, that's a hard exercise!

    Lord of the Rings (of course)
    Star Wars (naturally)
    Jurassic Park (beautifully romantic themes for an action adventure... I didn't hear such themes in War of the Worlds!)
    Chronicles of Narnia LWaW (I've also listened to it over and over )
    Finding Neverland (fantastical music for a drama... and the best piano tunes in film music I know of)
    Shrek (full of short musical cues, but beautiful melodies)
    Harry Potter (John Williams' themes are spot on... while Doyle did a great job with #4, I wish I could know what Williams would have done for it)
    Pirates of the Caribbean (I think the movie's success is due partly to its catchy music)
    Peter Pan (2003) (I would agree with LFO, the music "lifted the movie to another level")
    Amadeus (of course )

    Of course, there are so many more...
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  10. #10

    Re: Top ten film scores of all time


    Not LOTR... While I do enjoy listening to it I can't find something amazing special about it... Maybe I'm too critical... please don't kill me for that...


    Conan the barbarian: The first film, by Basil Polidouris . A great music, full a themes, great orchestration, some 5/4 rythms, and exciting use of choirs, burried by a little "bad" production, or maybe it was just the era... dunno...
    Harry Potter Williams... Yup He is GREAT!
    Dances with Wolves John Barry. Classic. Not exactly what you would expect, as the orchestration is a little "weird" at places, but still this music has brilliant qualities!
    The last of the Mohicans Who was he again... I know he's well known but his name skips my mind right now... :P Yet again, nothing special I have to admit, excpet for the use of guitars at lots of places, and the fact that I was in a very nice/tender/ age once out...
    Blade Runner V a ng e li s, golden age I guess... (<-can't believe his name is been censored! )
    Batman Returns Danny Elfman at his best (personal opinion!)
    Lorence of Arabia Moriece Jarre (father of Jean Michel Jarre). How brilliant can a man be?
    Bridge on the rive Kwai Malcolm Arnold. That tune will hunt me for the rest of my life...
    pic nic at hanging rock Ok, nobody knows this film but anyways it's got this piano tune, with some electronice stuff in and a fake (!) choir at 27/16 which is just...just...just... well makes me cry for more than a decade...
    Bard's Tale!!! Yes it's not a film, it's a computer game. A tune can be found here in midi format. Notice that it's 1 voice (since at 1985 there was no polyphony in PCs), but yet the composer Larwence Holland manages to create the feeling of two voices! Can't say anythign else really...

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