The Greatest Movie Themes Films

The Greatest Movie Themes

16k votes 1.5k voters 44k views 217 items tags f p @

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
    + 636
    - 101
    Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

  2. 2
    + 443
    - 98
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen

  3. 3
    + 367
    - 110
    Rocky is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith

    ;
  4. 4
    + 419
    - 101
    James Bond is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Kalabhavan Mani, Indrans Surendran, Raghu

    ;
  5. 5
    + 314
    - 89
    Jaws is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Jaws Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider

  6. 6
    + 269
    - 105
    Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Back to the Future Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

  7. 7
    + 305
    - 85
    Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

  8. 8
    + 351
    - 111
    Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Jurassic Park Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

  9. 9
    + 270
    - 115
    Superman is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

  10. 10
    + 246
    - 84
    The Pink Panther is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    The Pink Panther Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven

  11. 11
    + 260
    - 87
    Pirates of the Caribbean films is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes
    ;
  12. 12
    + 250
    - 109
    The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    The Godfather Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

  13. 13
    + 266
    - 77
    Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks
    Mission: Impossible Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave

  14. 14
    + 214
    - 96
    Batman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Batman Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

  15. 15
    + 208
    - 107
    Good is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Good Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong

  16. 16
    + 241
    - 83
    The Lord of the Rings film tri... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks
    The Lord of the Rings film trilogy

  17. 17
    + 151
    - 104
    Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Terminator 2: Judgment Day Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

  18. 18
    + 126
    - 70
    Top Gun is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Top Gun Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer

  19. 19
    + 180
    - 86
    Harry Potter and the Philosoph... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Julianne Hough

  20. 20
    + 128
    - 79
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

  21. 21
    + 138
    - 76
    Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Star Trek Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder

  22. 22
    + 148
    - 83
    Chariots of Fire is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Chariots of Fire Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

  23. 23
    + 119
    - 87
    Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Gladiator Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

  24. 24
    + 150
    - 92
    Halloween is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Halloween Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

  25. 25
    + 146
    - 82
    2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

  26. 26
    + 101
    - 73
    The Magnificent Seven is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    often listed
    The Magnificent Seven Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn

  27. 27
    + 103
    - 28
    Return of the Jedi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks
    Return of the Jedi Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

  28. 28
    + 136
    - 80
    Titanic is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates

  29. 29
    + 105
    - 77
    The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    The Phantom of the Opera Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver

  30. 30
    + 87
    - 83
    The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    The Last of the Mohicans Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

  31. 31
    + 70
    - 81
    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

  32. 32
    + 100
    - 77
    The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton

  33. 33
    + 63
    - 30
    Saturday Night Fever is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks & added by slaft
    Saturday Night Fever John Travolta, Fran Drescher, Denny Dillon

  34. 34
    + 44
    - 30
    Skyfall is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    added by CraigAlarm
    Skyfall Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem

  35. 35
    + 62
    - 35
    The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    added by CraigAlarm
    The Breakfast Club Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall

  36. 36
    + 69
    - 66
    A Fistful of Dollars is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    A Fistful of Dollars Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell

  37. 37
    + 66
    - 72
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kha... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

  38. 38
    + 86
    - 72
    The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

    ;
  39. 39
    + 82
    - 33
    Grease is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks & added by CraigAlarm
    Grease John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing

  40. 40
    + 79
    - 78
    Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Men in Black Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

  41. 41
    + 76
    - 77
    Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

  42. 42
    + 63
    - 64
    For a Few Dollars More is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    For a Few Dollars More Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone

  43. 43
    + 71
    - 49
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fel... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler

  44. 44
    + 92
    - 60
    Psycho is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks
    Psycho Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

  45. 45
    + 51
    - 75
    Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Blade Runner Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

  46. 46
    + 68
    - 64
    Spider-Man is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes


    Spider-Man Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

  47. 47
    + 56
    - 79
    RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    RoboCop Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons

  48. 48
    + 63
    - 41
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The ... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

  49. 49
    + 67
    - 24
    The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    ranked low on reranks & added by slaft
    The Sound of Music Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker

  50. 50
    + 40
    - 36
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Movie Themes

    added by CraigAlarm
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones

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