The Greatest Movie Themes Films
Ultimate List
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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. 62
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    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

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  2. 48
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    Sylvester Stallone, David Caruso, Brian Dennehy

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  3. 12
    Up 61
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    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

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  4. 5
    Up 73
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

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  5. 2
    Up 106
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    most listed Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Frank Welker

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  6. 36
    Up 21
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    Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

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  7. 47
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    Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

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  8. 51
    Up 11
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    Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart

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  9. 46
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    Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Jeffrey Jones

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  10. 18
    Up 59
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    Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave

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  11. 55
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    Frank Welker, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto

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  12. 35
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

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  13. 43
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

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  14. 57
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    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin

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  15. 15
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

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  16. 64
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    Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen

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  17. 9
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    Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

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  18. 68
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    added by Richard777 David Greenan, Myrna Matthews, Dirk Benedict

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  19. 23
    Up 38
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    Jennifer Morrison, Zoe Saldana, Winona Ryder

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  20. 1
    Up 119
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    the people's #1 Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

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  21. 11
    Up 46
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    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

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  22. 59
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley

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  23. 61
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    Down 3

    Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson

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  24. 75
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    added by Kaloy

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  25. 3
    Up 113
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    Kalabhavan Mani, Indrans, Raghu

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  26. 13
    Up 53
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    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

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  27. 40
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    Alex Van Halen, Leeza Gibbons, Peter Weller

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  28. 10
    Up 71
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    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

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  29. 49
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    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins

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  30. 69
    Up 5
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    added by WarrenMitchell Halle Berry, Elizabeth Taylor, Rosie O'Donnell

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  31. 72
    Up 2
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    added by dee123 Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

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  32. 16
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    Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven

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  33. 63
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    new! Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Colin Farrell

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  34. 77
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    added by WarrenMitchell Jamie Lee Curtis, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin

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  35. 74
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    added by Richard777 Kirk Douglas, Daryl Hannah, Jim Belushi

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  36. 14
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Robert MacNaughton

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  37. 29
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    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

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  38. 65
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    Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons

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  39. 38
    Up 33
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    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

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  40. 20
    Up 34
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    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris

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  41. 26
    Up 22
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    Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

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  42. 54
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    Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau

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  43. 33
    Up 37
    Down 21

    Emma Watson, Julianne Hough, Daniel Radcliffe

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  44. 7
    Up 76
    Down 24

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern

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  45. 44
    Up 16
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    Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

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  46. 66
    Up 4
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    added by dee123 Craig T. Nelson, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein

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  47. 32
    Up 17
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    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

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  48. 71
    Up 2
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    added by dee123 Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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  49. 8
    Up 76
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    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw

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  50. 67
    Up 3
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    added by dee123 Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

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