The Greatest Movie Themes Films
Ultimate List
76  items 2,899 votes 218 voters 5,193 views more info

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. 10
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    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

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  2. 44
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    Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Jeffrey Jones

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  3. 37
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    Alex Van Halen, Leeza Gibbons, Peter Weller

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  4. 33
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    Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

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  5. 13
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

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  6. 32
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

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  7. 24
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Bill Paxton

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  8. 12
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    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

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  9. 16
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    ranked low on reranks Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

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  10. 62
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    Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen

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  11. 3
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    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

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  12. 23
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    Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell

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  13. 30
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    Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone

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  14. 67
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    added by dee123 Craig T. Nelson, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein

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  15. 28
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    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

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  16. 71
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    added by Richard777 David Greenan, Myrna Matthews, Dirk Benedict

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  17. 14
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    often listed Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Robert MacNaughton

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  18. 66
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    added by dee123 Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

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  19. 54
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    often listed Emma Stone, Sally Field, Martin Sheen

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  20. 36
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    ranked low on reranks Emma Watson, Julianne Hough, Daniel Radcliffe

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  21. 27
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    Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver

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  22. 56
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    Frank Welker, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto

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  23. 53
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    Grace Kelly, Gary Cooper, Lee Van Cleef

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  24. 74
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    added by WarrenMitchell Halle Berry, Elizabeth Taylor, Rosie O'Donnell

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  25. 57
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    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin

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  26. 2
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    most listed Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Frank Welker

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  27. 1
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    the people's #1 Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

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  28. 25
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

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  29. 11
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    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

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  30. 73
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    added by dee123 Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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  31. 76
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    added by WarrenMitchell Jamie Lee Curtis, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin

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  32. 48
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine

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  33. 18
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

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  34. 22
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    Jennifer Morrison, Zoe Saldana, Winona Ryder

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  35. 63
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    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

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  36. 4
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    Kalabhavan Mani, Indrans, Raghu

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  37. 58
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    Keira Knightley, Clive Owen, Stellan Skarsgård

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  38. 55
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    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene

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  39. 70
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    added by Richard777 Kirk Douglas, Daryl Hannah, Jim Belushi

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  40. 65
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    added by RonnCunningham Kirk Douglas, Gus Mercurio, Jack Thompson

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  41. 46
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    Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

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  42. 19
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

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  43. 51
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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, James Cameron

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  44. 50
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    Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart

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  45. 5
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

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  46. 26
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    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

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  47. 38
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    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  48. 61
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    Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson

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  49. 8
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    Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

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  50. 59
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    Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley

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  51. 77 +

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