The Greatest Movie Themes Films
Ultimate List
7  reranks 2,557 votes 200 voters 3,418 views more info

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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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Score
  1. 53
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    1952 More
    41
  2. 36
    Up 19
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    ranked low on reranks
    Psycho

    1960 More
    54
  3. 15
    Up 25
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    1960 More
    63
  4. 40
    Up 13
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    1963 More
    50
  5. 18
    Up 41
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    ranked low on reranks
    The Pink Panther

    1963 More
    61
  6. 23
    Up 20
    Down 8
    1964 More
    60
  7. 31
    Up 14
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    1965 More
    56
  8. 3
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    1966 More
    87
  9. 10
    Up 40
    Down 15
    1968 More
    73
  10. 12
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    1972 More
    71
  11. 26
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    1973 More
    58
  12. 11
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    1975 More
    73
  13. 6
    Up 67
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    1976 More
    80
  14. 1
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    1977 More
    100
  15. 17
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    1978 More
    61
  16. 5
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    1978 More
    84
  17. 35
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Alien

    1979 More
    54
  18. 41
    Up 26
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    1981 More
    50
  19. 50
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    1981 More
    45
  20. 48
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    1981 More
    45
  21. 2
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    1981 More
    98
  22. 25
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Blade Runner

    1982 More
    58
  23. 30
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    Down 13
    1982 More
    57
  24. 14
    Up 28
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    1982 More
    65
  25. 46
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    1982 More
    47
  26. 19
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    1982 More
    61
  27. 66
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    1982 More
    26
    added by: RonnCunningham
  28. 16
    Up 45
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    1984 More
    62
  29. 70
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    1984 More
    24
    added by: WarrenMitchell
  30. 27
    Up 25
    Down 17
    1984 More
    58
  31. 8
    Up 56
    Down 19
    1985 More
    77
  32. 63
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    1986 More
    27
  33. 47
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    1986 More
    47
  34. 34
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    1987 More
    54
  35. 42
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    1987 More
    49
  36. 9
    Up 56
    Down 16
    1989 More
    73
  37. 54
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    Down 1
    1990 More
    40
  38. 43
    Up 16
    Down 14
    1990 More
    49
  39. 33
    Up 19
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

    1991 More
    55
  40. 13
    Up 44
    Down 21
    1991 More
    70
  41. 28
    Up 20
    Down 13
    1992 More
    58
  42. 61
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    1992 More
    29
  43. 7
    Up 66
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    1993 More
    80
  44. 52
    Up 3
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    often listed
    Rudy

    1993 More
    41
  45. 68
    Up 2
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    1994 More
    25
    added by: WarrenMitchell
  46. 49
    Up 13
    Down 7
    1994 More
    45
  47. 38
    Up 22
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    1995 More
    53
  48. 56
    Up 14
    Down 12
    1995 More
    40
  49. 39
    Up 10
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Independence Day

    1996 More
    51
  50. 21
    Up 50
    Down 18
    1996 More
    61
  51. 72 +

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