The Greatest Movie Themes Films
0Ultimate List
originally by  tags 3,950 votes 293 voters 9,421 views 193 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.

  • 10 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
L The List
Z
B Comments
& Embed
G Options
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 146
    - 21

    the people's #1
    Carrie Fisher, Denis Lawson, Harrison Ford

    ) open buy at  
  2. 2
    + 132
    - 18

    most listed
    John Rhys-Davies, Alfred Molina, Frank Marshall

    ) open buy at  
  3. 3
    + 137
    - 16

    Vani Viswanath, Kalabhavan Mani, Indrans Surendran

    ) open buy at  
  4. 4
    + 95
    - 13

    Viggo Mortensen, Jason Isaacs, Steven Mackintosh

    ) open buy at  
  5. 5
    + 103
    - 21

    Frank Stallone, Burgess Meredith, Thayer David

    ) open buy at  
  6. 6
    + 85
    - 35

    Jackie Cooper, Trevor Howard, Terence Stamp

    ) open buy at  
  7. 7
    + 98
    - 30

    Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Kiley

    ) open buy at  
  8. 8
    + 88
    - 24

    Robert Duvall, Sofia Coppola, Diane Keaton

    ) open buy at  
  9. 9
    + 91
    - 17

    John Searle, Steven Spielberg, Carl Gottlieb

    ) open buy at  
  10. 10
    + 78
    - 27

    Billy Zane, Lea Thompson, Charles L. Campbell

    ) open buy at  
  11. 11
    + 73
    - 29

    Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton, Billy Dee Williams

    ) open buy at  
  12. 12
    + 66
    - 16

    Harold Ramis, Larry King, David Margulies

    ) open buy at  
  13. 13
    + 63
    - 17

    Claudia Cardinale, Peter Sellers, Brenda De Banzie

    ) open buy at  
  14. 14
    + 54
    - 25

    Keir Dullea, Margaret Tyzack, Leonard Rossiter

    ) open buy at  
  15. 15
    + 72
    - 23

    Emmanuelle Béart, Kristin Scott Thomas, Henry Czerny

    ) open buy at  
  16. 16
    + 55
    - 27

    Edward Furlong, S. Epatha Merkerson, Diane Rodriguez

    ) open buy at  
  17. 17
    + 54
    - 15

    Sandy Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, P. J. Soles

    ) open buy at  
  18. 18
    + 39
    - 15

    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn

    ) open buy at  
  19. 19
    + 42
    - 21

    Erika Eleniak, Peter Coyote, Mitch Suskin

    ) open buy at  
  20. 20
    + 70
    - 24
    ) open buy at  
  21. 21
    + 46
    - 19

    John Gielgud, Ian Holm, Brad Davis

    ) open buy at  
  22. 22
    + 43
    - 25

    Michael Sheen, Al Hunter Ashton, Russell Crowe

    ) open buy at  
  23. 23
    + 50
    - 24
    ) open buy at  
  24. 24
    + 32
    - 19

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Jodhi May

    ) open buy at  
  25. 25
    + 44
    - 18

    Eric Bana, Karl Urban, Brad William Henke

    ) open buy at  
  26. 26
    + 26
    - 24

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Edward James Olmos, Sean Young, M. Emmet Walsh

    ) open buy at  
  27. 27
    + 40
    - 23

    Paul Winfield, Bill Paxton, William Wisher

    ) open buy at  
  28. 28
    + 28
    - 16

    Will Smith, Vincent D'Onofrio, Tommy Lee Jones

    ) open buy at  
  29. 29
    + 29
    - 18

    Paul Winfield, Kirstie Alley, James Horner

    ) open buy at  
  30. 30
    + 26
    - 12

    Clint Eastwood, Lee Miller, Mario Brega

    ) open buy at  
  31. 31
    + 32
    - 17

    Brian Cox, Ian Bannen, Brendan Gleeson

    ) open buy at  
  32. 32
    + 33
    - 16

    Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Mercedes McCambridge

    ) open buy at  
  33. 33
    + 37
    - 24

    Simon Callow, Minnie Driver, Murray Melvin

    ) open buy at  
  34. 34
    + 43
    - 22

    Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, John Hurt

    ) open buy at  
  35. 35
    + 27
    - 26

    Kevin Costner, Christian Slater, Geraldine McEwan

    ) open buy at  
  36. 36
    + 22
    - 11

    Klaus Kinski, Clint Eastwood, Peter Lee Lawrence

    ) open buy at  
  37. 37
    + 30
    - 12

    Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Ted Knight

    ) open buy at  
  38. 38
    + 20
    - 16

    John Hurt, Ian Holm, Tom Skerritt

    ) open buy at  
  39. 39
    + 24
    - 17

    Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Clarence Gilyard

    ) open buy at  
  40. 40
    + 23
    - 13

    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner

    ) open buy at  
  41. 41
    + 30
    - 24

    Bernard Hill, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane

    ) open buy at  
  42. 42
    + 18
    - 22

    Jorge Sanz, Max von Sydow, Ben Davidson

    ) open buy at  
  43. 43
    + 22
    - 21

    Paul McCrane, Leeza Gibbons, Ray Wise

    ) open buy at  
  44. 44
    + 23
    - 18

    Jim Norton, Stanley Anderson, Kirsten Dunst

    ) open buy at  
  45. 45
    + 15
    - 9

    David Caruso, Brian Dennehy, Alf Humphreys

    ) open buy at  
  46. 46
    + 12
    - 11

    Helen Mirren, Bríd Brennan, Ciarán Hinds

    ) open buy at  
  47. 47
    + 17
    - 13

    Kevin Costner, Patricia Clarkson, John Barrowman

    ) open buy at  
  48. 48
    + 15
    - 21

    Will Smith, Harvey Fierstein, Jeff Goldblum

    ) open buy at  
  49. 49
    + 19
    - 15

    Christopher Lambert, Trevor Goddard, Bridgette Wilson

    ) open buy at  
  50. 50
    + 20
    - 12

    James Whitmore, Paul McCrane, Bob Gunton

    ) open buy at  
194 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists