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. 38
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    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  2. 11
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    Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

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  3. 3
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    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

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  4. 33
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    Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

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  5. 27
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    Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver

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  6. 37
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    Alex Van Halen, Leeza Gibbons, Peter Weller

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  7. 23
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    Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell

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  8. 42
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    Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

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  9. 30
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    Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone

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  10. 54
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    often listed Emma Stone, Sally Field, Martin Sheen

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  11. 62
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    Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen

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  12. 8
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    Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

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  13. 21
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    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris

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  14. 74
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    added by WarrenMitchell Halle Berry, Elizabeth Taylor, Rosie O'Donnell

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  15. 47
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    Sylvester Stallone, David Caruso, Brian Dennehy

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  16. 32
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

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  17. 52
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    often listed Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau

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  18. 66
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    added by dee123 Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

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  19. 25
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

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  20. 9
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    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw

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  21. 35
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    Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

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  22. 36
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    ranked low on reranks Emma Watson, Julianne Hough, Daniel Radcliffe

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  23. 41
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    Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm

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  24. 64
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    Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons

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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. 61
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    Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson

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  28. 70
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    added by Richard777 Kirk Douglas, Daryl Hannah, Jim Belushi

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  29. 24
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Bill Paxton

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  30. 1
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    the people's #1 Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

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  31. 46
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    Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

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  32. 6
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    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith

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  33. 16
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    ranked low on reranks Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

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  34. 59
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    Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley

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  35. 22
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    Jennifer Morrison, Zoe Saldana, Winona Ryder

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  36. 13
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

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  37. 51
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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, James Cameron

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  38. 39
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    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

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  39. 69
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    new! & added by Richard777 Peter Fonda, Yul Brynner, Blythe Danner

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  40. 63
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    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

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  41. 58
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    Keira Knightley, Clive Owen, Stellan Skarsgård

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  42. 45
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    Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer

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  43. 55
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    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene

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  44. 50
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    Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart

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  45. 18
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    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

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  46. 71
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    added by Richard777 David Greenan, Myrna Matthews, Dirk Benedict

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  47. 15
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    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

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

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  49. 57
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    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin

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  50. 56
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    Frank Welker, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto

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  51. 77 +

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