The Greatest Movie Themes Films
0Ultimate List
originally by  tags 3,706 votes 278 voters 8,161 views 78 items f p @

The Greatest Movie Themes

List Criteria: Theme music for films

A memorable movie theme song is an underrated crucial element that helps turn a great movie into an iconic one. At its core, a movie score is supposed to capture the mood and set the tone of what's going on in a particular scene. But the theme song if done right, can be as iconic as the film itself. Many film score composers set out to write a theme that fully encapsulates what a film is going for, but only a handful have become the greatest.

Perhaps the most famous film composer is John Williams, who is well represented on this list. Williams is the musical mind behind some of the greatest movie themes like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Superman, Jaws and the Star Wars movies. These film scores are as memorable and iconic as the films.

Great movie themes are often instrumentals that when played, can be easily recognized. Themes from Rocky, Batman, The Godfather franchise, 2001: A Space Odyssey, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Psycho are among the most recognizable songs and have long since established their place in pop culture. You can hear these songs on commercials and often times at sporting events as well.

The key element to remember as you vote on your favorite theme song is that we are only voting on the theme, not the entire score or soundtrack. This is the Ultimate List specifically for theme songs, so vote on what you think is the greatest movie them of all time. If you think a movie theme is missing, feel free to add it.

To vote on the movies with the best "mix tape" style soundtracks, not scores, check out Movies with the Best Soundtracks. For best all-around sound, vote on The Greatest Soundtracks in Film History.

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  1. 1
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    the people's #1
    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

    ) open
  2. 2
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    most listed
    Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Frank Welker

    ) open
  3. 3
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    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

    ) open
  4. 4
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    Kalabhavan Mani, Indrans, Raghu

    ) open
  5. 5
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    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith

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  6. 6
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    Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

    ) open
  7. 7
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    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern

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  8. 8
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    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

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  9. 9
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    Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

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  10. 10
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    ranked low on reranks
    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw

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  11. 11
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    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

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  12. 12
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    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

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  13. 13
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    Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven

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  14. 14
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    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

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  15. 15
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    often listed
    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Robert MacNaughton

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  16. 16
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

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  17. 17
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  18. 18
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  19. 19
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  20. 20
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  21. 21
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  22. 22
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  23. 23
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  25. 25
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  26. 26
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    Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell

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  27. 27
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    Jennifer Morrison, Zoe Saldana, Winona Ryder

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  28. 28
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    Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

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  29. 29
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    Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver

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  30. 30
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    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

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  31. 31
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    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

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  32. 32
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    Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone

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  33. 33
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    Emma Watson, Julianne Hough, Daniel Radcliffe

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  34. 34
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  35. 35
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    Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

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  36. 36
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    Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

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  37. 37
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    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

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  38. 38
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    ranked low on reranks
    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  39. 39
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

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  40. 40
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    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

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  41. 41
    + 21
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    Alex Van Halen, Leeza Gibbons, Peter Weller

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  42. 42
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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, James Cameron

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  43. 43
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

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  44. 44
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    Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer

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  45. 45
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    Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

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  46. 46
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    Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

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  47. 47
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  48. 48
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  49. 49
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    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins

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  50. 50
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    Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart

    ) open
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