The Greatest Movie Themes Films
Ultimate List
76  items 2,899 votes 218 voters 5,188 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.
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  1. 12
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    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

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  2. 60
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    ranked low on reranks 20th Century Fox Fanfare

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  3. 23
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    Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell

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  4. 35
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    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

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  5. 8
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    Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

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  6. 11
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    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

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  7. 71
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    added by Richard777 David Greenan, Myrna Matthews, Dirk Benedict

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  8. 25
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

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  9. 38
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    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  10. 41
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    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

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  11. 32
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

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  12. 55
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    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene

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  13. 14
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    often listed Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Robert MacNaughton

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  14. 48
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine

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  15. 50
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    Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart

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  16. 47
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    Sylvester Stallone, David Caruso, Brian Dennehy

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  17. 30
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    Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone

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  18. 69
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    new! & added by Richard777 Peter Fonda, Yul Brynner, Blythe Danner

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  19. 16
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    ranked low on reranks Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

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  20. 21
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    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris

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  21. 68
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    added by dee123 Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

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  22. 18
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

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  23. 36
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    ranked low on reranks Emma Watson, Julianne Hough, Daniel Radcliffe

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  24. 53
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    Grace Kelly, Gary Cooper, Lee Van Cleef

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  25. 40
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

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  26. 2
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    most listed Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Frank Welker

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  27. 4
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    Kalabhavan Mani, Indrans, Raghu

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  28. 9
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    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw

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  29. 7
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    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern

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  30. 58
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    Keira Knightley, Clive Owen, Stellan Skarsgård

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  31. 43
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    Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

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  32. 20
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    Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave

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  33. 56
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    Frank Welker, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto

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  34. 31
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  35. 63
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    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

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  36. 67
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    added by dee123 Craig T. Nelson, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein

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  37. 33
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    Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

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  38. 34
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

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  39. 37
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    Alex Van Halen, Leeza Gibbons, Peter Weller

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  40. 6
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    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith

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  41. 52
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    often listed Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau

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  42. 66
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    added by dee123 Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

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  43. 59
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    Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley

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  44. 46
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    Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

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  45. 22
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    Jennifer Morrison, Zoe Saldana, Winona Ryder

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  46. 19
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

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  47. 1
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    the people's #1 Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

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  48. 5
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

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  49. 13
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

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  50. 76
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    added by WarrenMitchell Jamie Lee Curtis, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin

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  51. 77 +

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