The Greatest Movie Themes Films
0Ultimate 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
    + 7
    - 7

    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

    ) open
  2. 46
    + 14
    - 9

    Sylvester Stallone, David Caruso, Brian Dennehy

    ) open
  3. 12
    + 64
    - 27

    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

    ) open
  4. 6
    + 78
    - 31

    Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

    ) open
  5. 2
    + 116
    - 17

    most listed Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Frank Welker

    ) open
  6. 35
    + 24
    - 15

    Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

    ) open
  7. 48
    + 18
    - 17

    Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

    ) open
  8. 51
    + 11
    - 11

    Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart

    ) open
  9. 47
    + 19
    - 19

    Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Jeffrey Jones

    ) open
  10. 19
    + 62
    - 23

    ranked low on reranks Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave

    ) open
  11. 54
    + 17
    - 15

    Frank Welker, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto

    ) open
  12. 38
    + 18
    - 21

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

    ) open
  13. 43
    + 15
    - 20

    Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

    ) open
  14. 57
    + 2
    - 7

    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin

    ) open
  15. 18
    + 50
    - 26

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

    ) open
  16. 63
    + 5
    - 6

    Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen

    ) open
  17. 9
    + 66
    - 26

    Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

    ) open
  18. 69
    + 2
    - 1

    added by Richard777 David Greenan, Myrna Matthews, Dirk Benedict

    ) open
  19. 26
    + 39
    - 17

    Jennifer Morrison, Zoe Saldana, Winona Ryder

    ) open
  20. 1
    + 131
    - 19

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

    ) open
  21. 11
    + 50
    - 23

    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

    ) open
  22. 59
    + 8
    - 19

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

    ) open
  23. 61
    + 7
    - 4

    Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson

    ) open
  24. 74
    + 4
    - 5

    added by Kaloy

    ) open
  25. 4
    + 123
    - 15

    Kalabhavan Mani, Indrans, Raghu

    ) open
  26. 14
    + 59
    - 15

    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

    ) open
  27. 41
    + 20
    - 21

    Alex Van Halen, Leeza Gibbons, Peter Weller

    ) open
  28. 7
    + 78
    - 21

    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

    ) open
  29. 49
    + 19
    - 11

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins

    ) open
  30. 67
    + 6
    - 5

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

    ) open
  31. 71
    + 2
    - 2

    added by dee123 Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

    ) open
  32. 13
    + 53
    - 17

    Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven

    ) open
  33. 64
    + 1
    - 2

    Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Colin Farrell

    ) open
  34. 78
    + 2
    - 6

    added by WarrenMitchell Jamie Lee Curtis, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin

    ) open
  35. 76
    + 1
    - 2

    added by Richard777 Kirk Douglas, Daryl Hannah, Jim Belushi

    ) open
  36. 15
    + 38
    - 20

    often listed Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Robert MacNaughton

    ) open
  37. 27
    + 33
    - 15

    Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

    ) open
  38. 66
    + 2
    - 6

    Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons

    ) open
  39. 21
    + 40
    - 17

    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

    ) open
  40. 20
    + 37
    - 24

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris

    ) open
  41. 28
    + 25
    - 22

    Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

    ) open
  42. 55
    + 4
    - 13

    Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau

    ) open
  43. 33
    + 39
    - 22

    Emma Watson, Julianne Hough, Daniel Radcliffe

    ) open
  44. 8
    + 84
    - 28

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern

    ) open
  45. 44
    + 17
    - 12

    Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

    ) open
  46. 65
    + 6
    - 2

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

    ) open
  47. 37
    + 18
    - 16

    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

    ) open
  48. 72
    + 2
    - 2

    added by dee123 Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

    ) open
  49. 10
    + 82
    - 16

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

    ) open
  50. 68
    + 3
    - 2

    added by dee123 Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

    ) open
79 +

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