The Greatest Movie Themes Films

The Greatest Movie Themes

2,106 views 70 items 2,087 votes 167 voters 11 followers 7reranks
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.

List Criteria: Theme music for films

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  Name
Score
  1. 58
    Up 3
    Down 1
    1952 More
    34
  2. 41
    Up 15
    Down 6

    ranked low on reranks
    Psycho

    1960 More
    49
  3. 23
    Up 18
    Down 8
    1960 More
    58
  4. 44
    Up 10
    Down 8
    1963 More
    48
  5. 24
    Up 32
    Down 11
    1963 More
    56
  6. 35
    Up 13
    Down 8
    1964 More
    52
  7. 39
    Up 9
    Down 7
    1965 More
    49
  8. 7
    Up 50
    Down 7
    1966 More
    80
  9. 12
    Up 31
    Down 14
    1968 More
    72
  10. 10
    Up 48
    Down 14
    1972 More
    75
  11. 33
    Up 17
    Down 11
    1973 More
    52
  12. 13
    Up 49
    Down 10
    1975 More
    69
  13. 6
    Up 57
    Down 13
    1976 More
    80
  14. 1
    Up 92
    Down 8

    the people's #1 &often listed
    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

    1977 More
    100
  15. 20
    Up 30
    Down 9
    1978 More
    60
  16. 5
    Up 53
    Down 19

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Superman

    1978 More
    84
  17. 37
    Up 7
    Down 9
    1979 More
    51
  18. 36
    Up 22
    Down 12
    1981 More
    51
  19. 51
    Up 8
    Down 7
    1981 More
    43
  20. 28
    Up 6
    Down 2
    1981 More
    55
  21. 2
    Up 78
    Down 7

    most listed &ranked high on reranks
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

    1981 More
    96
  22. 32
    Up 12
    Down 14
    1982 More
    54
  23. 31
    Up 12
    Down 10
    1982 More
    54
  24. 18
    Up 23
    Down 11
    1982 More
    61
  25. 43
    Up 7
    Down 4
    1982 More
    49
  26. 17
    Up 19
    Down 8
    1982 More
    65
  27. 22
    Up 36
    Down 10
    1984 More
    58
  28. 67
    Up 1
    Down 0
    1984 More
    26
    added by: WarrenMitchell
  29. 26
    Up 21
    Down 14
    1984 More
    56
  30. 8
    Up 49
    Down 15

    ranked high on reranks
    Back to the Future

    1985 More
    79
  31. 62
    Up 0
    Down 0
    1986 More
    33
  32. 50
    Up 9
    Down 12
    1986 More
    44
  33. 34
    Up 14
    Down 9
    1987 More
    52
  34. 45
    Up 10
    Down 7
    1987 More
    47
  35. 9
    Up 46
    Down 14

    ranked high on reranks
    Batman

    1989 More
    75
  36. 59
    Up 2
    Down 0
    1990 More
    34
  37. 40
    Up 15
    Down 9
    1990 More
    49
  38. 25
    Up 18
    Down 15
    1991 More
    56
  39. 11
    Up 39
    Down 17
    1991 More
    73
  40. 30
    Up 16
    Down 10
    1992 More
    54
  41. 57
    Up 4
    Down 0
    1992 More
    36
  42. 4
    Up 57
    Down 14

    ranked high on reranks
    Jurassic Park

    1993 More
    84
  43. 55
    Up 2
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks
    Rudy

    1993 More
    38
  44. 66
    Up 2
    Down 0
    1994 More
    27
    added by: WarrenMitchell
  45. 52
    Up 11
    Down 6

    ranked low on reranks
    The Shawshank Redemption

    1994 More
    42
  46. 38
    Up 18
    Down 9
    1995 More
    49
  47. 46
    Up 12
    Down 9
    1995 More
    46
  48. 42
    Up 6
    Down 12
    1996 More
    49
  49. 19
    Up 43
    Down 15
    1996 More
    60
  50. 54
    Up 5
    Down 13
    1996 More
    39
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